Ballet Glossary

Dancewise Studios

Ballet Terms and Vocabulary

Adage – Slow carefully-controlled movement

Allegro – Jumps

Arabesque – A pose in which the dancer stands on one leg with the other raised

behind.  The raised leg is straight.

Assemble – Jump in the air, bringing the feet together before landing,

(one foot to two feet).

Attitude – Same as Arabesque except the raised leg is bent.

Change/Changement – A jump to change the position of the feet.

Chasse – A sliding step

Chaines – A series of small turning steps

Couru – Running steps

Developpe – An unfolding of the leg

Echappe – A jump in which the feet move from a closed to an open position.

Glissade – Another sliding step

Grand Battement – Leg swing

Jete – Leap from one foot to the other

Pas de Bouree – Quick running step

Plie – A bending of the knees over the toes

Port de Bras – Movement of the arms

Sauté – Simple jump (two feet to two feet)

Sissone – Jump (two feet to one foot)

Allegro (jumps)

Sautes (so tays) in 1st and 2nd = jumps on two feet in 1st & 2nd position

Changemenats (shonge mons) = jumps in 5th position which change feet on landing

Soubresauts (sue brer sews) = jumps in 5th position which do not change feet

Echappes sautés (e shap ay so tays) to 2nd & 4th position = jump out to 2nd or 4th position and back to the start position; can be in 4 or 2 counts.  Exchappe means “escape” and sauté means “jumped”.

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