Ballet Vocabulary


    premiere first
    seconde second
    troisième third
    quatrième fourth
    quatrième ouvertfourth open
    quatrième ferméfourth closed
    cinquième fifth

    pointe tendue a terrestretch point on the ground
    point tendue en l’airstretch point in the air
    point tendue demi-en l’airstretch point half-way in the air
    relevésraised movements

    premiere first
    secondesecond
    troisième third
    quatrième en avantfourth front
    quatrième en hautfourth high
    cinquième en basfifth low
    cinquième en avantfifth front
    cinquième en hautfifth high

    croisée devantcrossed in front
    a la quatrieme devantto the fourth front
    ecarteseparated, thrown apart
    effacée shaded
    a la secondeto the second
    epaulé shouldered
    a la quatrieme derriereto the fourth back
    croisee derrierecrossed in back

    assembler to assemble
    couperto cut
    élancer to dart
    étendreto stretch
    glisserto glide
    plier to bend
    relever to rise
    sautér to jump
    tourner to turn

    un one
    deuxtwo
    troisthree
    quatrefour
    cinqfive
    demihalf
    petitsmall
    grandlarge/big
    pointepoint
    tenduestretch
    etand
    tourturn
    enin
    baslow
    suron
    battementbeatings
    devantfront
    derrière back
    en avantto the front
    en arrière to the back
    en croixin the pattern of a cross
    poseposing step
    jetéthrowing step
    dégagedisengage
    coupneck
    piedfoot
    jambeleg
    rondaround
    terreground
    dehorsoutwards
    dedansinwards
    frappesstrike
    retiréswithdrawn movements
    développésdeveloping movements
    echappésescaping movements
    relevésraised movements
    changementchanges of the feet
    croisséecrossed position
    chasséchasing step
    dessousunder
    dessusover
    adageslower, graceful movements
    allegrofaster, light, brisk movements
    arabesquea particular position in ballet
    enchaînement chain of steps
    glissadegliding step
    soussusunder-over step
    bourrée"stuffed" step
    balancérocking step

    a la quatrième derrièreto the fourth back
    a la quatrième devantto the fourth front
    a la secondto the second
    battements frappésbeatings struck
    grand battementslarge beatings
    grand révérenceformal bow
    pas de chatstep of the cat
    port de brascarriage of the arms
    rond de jamberound the leg
    sur le cou de piedon the neck of the ankle of the foot/ankle joint
    sur la terreon the ground
    temps levésraised movements
    temps liésconnecting movements



    Credits and Resources


    Our gratitude goes to the following persons from whom extracts of this paper were gleamed.
     
    • Cecchetti Council of America, Musical Form Teachers Grades I, II, III
    • A Concise History of Ballet, Ferdinando Reyna
    • Ballet for All, Peter Brinson and Clement Crisp
    • The Dancer’s Heritage, Ivor Guest


    • Ballet Ballet Technique, pointe, and variations classes.
    • Modern Modern Contemporary technique and improvisation.
    • Jazz Jazz Traditional and cutting-edge styles.
    • Tap Tap Rhythm and coordination development.
    • Kinder Ballet Kinder Ballet Imagination. Exploration. Fun.