Classical Ballet Class Order:
  • (stretch)
  • Barre work –technique building blocks
    • Strengthen feet, legs, back
    • Increase range of motion (hips)
    • Attain balance and control
    • Stabilize turn out
    • Gain speed in feet and legs
  • Center work- achieving barre work w/o support
  • Pirouettes
  • Adage/adagio
    • Slow controlled movement, balance, extension
  • Petit allegro – small quick jumps -Rapid tempo movements
  • Grand allegro – large jumps and movement
  • Reverance- courtesy, bow- discipline and respect

Barre Order:
  • Plie – to bend- demi/grand
    • Eleve- rise straight legs
    • Releve – rise from plie
  • Tendu – to stretch - foot
  • Degage- to disengage- stretch and speed
  • Ronde de jambe – circle of the leg - range of motion hips
    • En dedans- inward
    • En dehours-outward
  • frappe – to strike
    • speed of feet
  • fondue –to melt – control/strength /extension
    • developpe' – to develop
  • Grand Battement – large beating of the leg - strength/control


A la seconde - to the side
A terre - movements on the ground
Allegro - brisk, quick movements that are generally elevated
Allonge` - to elongate
Arabesque-the longest line in ballet
Assemblé - to assemble- from 1 foot unto both feet-1 to 2
Attitude - position in which one leg is extended off the ground, but bent. This can be forward, to the side, or to the back
Balancé - ballet waltz step/to rock back & forth, down up down- rocking step, shifting weight from one leg to the other
Ballet Barre - hand support for practicing ballet technique
Bras bas - A preparatory or finished position.
Cabriole - Caper. An allegro step in which the extended legs are beaten in the air
Cambré - a bend in the waist to the side and to the back
Chaînés - chains, links; succession of turns
Changement - jump changing 5th postions
Chassé - one leg chases the other
Coupe` - to cut
Dégagé - to disengage
Demi Plie` - small bend
Demi-seconde (de bras) - Half the usual height of second position, half way between bras bas and second.
Derrière - to the back
Devant - to the front
Développé - time developed
Echappe - to escape, a movement that begins in 5th position and moves quickly to 2nd position either by sliding feet to the ball of the foot or as a jump from 5th position to 2nd position.
Echappe Saute - springing up from feet and landing in open position
Eleve` - to rise
En dedans - moving inward or towards your center-inside the door
En dehors - moving outward or away from your center-open door
En face - A body direction in which the body faces directly forward and flat to the audience.
En haut - high
En tournant - Turning, as in pique en tournant or soutenu en tournant
Enveloppe` - enveloped
Epaulement - Shouldering. A term used to indicate a particular placing of the shoulders, with one shoulder more forward in relation to the other.
Extension - The ability of a dancer to stretch the legs to
• complete straightness, or the feet to the maximum arch possible.
• The ability to lift and hold the leg in the air
Glissade - A gliding, connective step
Ferme - closed
Fondu - sinking down, to melt
Fouetté - a whipped movement of the raised foot
Frappé - to strike -the ball of the foot on the floor
Glissade - to glide - transfer of weight w/feet gliding along floor
Grand battement - large beating of the leg/brushed and thrown into the air
Grand jeté - very large jump with initiating leg using a développé
Grand plie' - big bend - externally rotated deep knee bend with the heels coming off of the floor (except in second and open fourth positions).
Jeté - spring or leap from 1 foot to the other, done w/a strong brush or "throw" of the leg into the air-1 to 1
Pas de Bourrée - small crossing steps
Pas de Bourree` En Tournant - bourree` steps turning
Pas de chat - "step of the cat"
Pas de Cheval - "step of the horse"
Passe` - to pass through
Petit battement - small beating of the foot around the ankle
Piqué - pricked, pricking- stepping onto the ball of the foot with a straight leg
Pique` Pirouette - pricked spin or whirl
Pirouette - complete turn of the body on one foot
Pirouette En Dedans - to spin or whirl inward
Pirouette En Dehors - to spin or whirl outward
Plié - bending of the knees, to bend
Port de bras - Carriage or movement of the arms. A generic term for a group of exercises designed to train the arms to move gracefully and harmoniously.
Port de corps - Carriage or movement of the body in any direction. When performed with circular port de bras it is also referred to as grand port de bras.
Releve` - to rise with a demi plie`
Retire'-withdrawn (a passe that rests)
Réverénce - a bow and thank you taken by the class in appreciation for the teacher & piano player
Rond de jambe - circular movement of the leg on the floor
Rond de jambe à terre - circle of the leg on the floor
Rond de jambe en l'air - circular movement of the leg in the air
Sauté - jump beginning and landing with the same feet position
Sissonne - spring from both feet to one foot-2 to 1
Sissonne Fermee` - closed Sissonne
Soubresaut - A sudden jump. This jump starts and ends in third or fifth position. Legs do not change places but continue to press closely together as the jump travels slightly forward.
Sous-sous- Spring to tight closed position, usually in fifth
Soutenu - sustained turn done in 5th position (performed at the barre to switch sides)
Spotting - technique used in turning to prevent dizziness
Sur le coup de pied - wrapped foot around the ankle
Temps levé - time raised (a jump)- springing from one foot and landing on the same foot. (a hop)
Temps lie` - connected movement
Tendu - to stretch or pointe
Tombé - to fall
Tombe` Pas de Bourree` - to fall with Bourree` steps
Tour En l'air - turn in the air
Turn-out - the ability to rotate the thighs from the hip joints.
Waltz - down, up, up movement done in 3/4 time w/accent on 1st beat
Working leg - the leg that is executing the given movement while the weight of the body is on the other leg