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Ballet Terminology

Need to know some ballet terms? Can you say flexible! Whew! Click on the words to hear them pronounced.

Adagio: A graceful dance in which the key elements are alignment of the body and perfect balance. It is usually performed by a ballerina and a male partner.

Arabesque: The straight leg is raised directly behind the body.

Attitude:The leg is raised directly behind the body with the knee bent and as high as the foot, and the foot pointed at the dancer's side.

Ballerina: The star woman dancer of a ballet production.

Ballon:Holding a pose in the air.

Barre: A pole that is attached parallel to a wall to assist dancers in certain exercises.

Danseur: The star male dancer of a ballet production.

Danseuse:A female dancer.

Entrechat: A jump where one foot crosses in front of the other foot and then behind it as the dancer is in he air.

Fouette: A turn done on one foot as the other foot circles around to pull the body.

Grand Jete: (grand zhuh-TAY). A leap in which the moving leg kicks swiftly straight.

Maitre de ballet: (Ballet master). A person who composes a ballet and trains the dancers.

Pas:A step or combination of steps that makes up a dance.

Pirouette: (peer-oh-WET). A turn on one leg (in place).

Plie: (plee-AY). To bend at the knee.

Port de bras: Specific movement of the arms.

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