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)
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”.