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Ballet Term Dictionary Vocabulary Shorts Glossary

Ballet terminology shorts, explore and learn ballet terms.

Adage Slow movements

Ailes de pigeon Pigeon’s wings

Air, en l’ In the air

Allegro Brisk

Allonge Extended

Aplomb Assurance

Argue Arched

Arriere, en Backward

Arrondi Rounded curved

Assemble Joined together

Avant en Forward

Balance Rocking step

Ballon Bounce

Ballotte Tossed

Bas en Low

Battement Beating

Batterie Beaten Steps

Battu Beaten

Bras Arms

Brise Broken

Cabriole Caper

Cadre Framework

Cambre Arched

Chaines Chains links

Change Changed

Changer sans Without change

Chasse Chased

Cinquiement Fifth

Ciseaux Scissors

Cloche en Bell shape

Colle Glude

Contretemps Beating against time

Corps Body

Cote de Sideways

Cote jardin Garden side

Cou-de-pied Neck

Coupe Cut

Couronne en Shape of a crown

Couru Running

Croise Crossed

Croix en In the shape of a cross

Cuisse Thigh

Danse Dance

Deboite Disjointed

Deboules Rolling like a ball

Decor Decoration

Dedans en Inward

Degage Disengaged

Dehors en Outward

Demi Half

Derriere Behind

Descendant en Coming down

Dessous Under

Dessus over

Detire Drawn out

Detourne Turned aside

Deux Two

Deuxieme Second

Devant In front

Developpe Developed

Diagonale en In a diagonal

Divertissement Diversion

Dos a dos Back to back

Double Double

Droiste a To the right

Ecarte Separated

Echappe Escaping

Ecole School

Efface Shaded

Elan Attack

Elance Danting

Elancer To darting

Elevation pas d Step of elevation

Emboite Boxed

En In

Enchainement Linking

Enlevement Carrying off

Entrechat Interweaving

Entree Entrance

Entrelace Interlaced

Enveloppe Enveloped

Epaule Shouldered

Epaulement Shouldering

Etendre To stretch

Etendu Outstretched extended

Etoile Star

Face de In front full face

Face en Opposite

Failli Giving way

Faux False

Ferme Closed

Flechir To bend

Flic-Flac Crack

Fouette Whipped

Frappe Struck

Gauche a To the left

Genou Knee

Glissade Glide

Glisse Gliding

Glisser To gilde

Grande Large

Haut en High

Hauteur a la To the height

Incline Inclined

Jamb Leg

Jarret Ham

Jarrete Close legged knock kneed

Jete pas Throwing step

Lecon Lesson

Leve temps Time raised

Lie temps Time linked

Ligne Line

Maneges Circular

Marquer To stamp

Milieu au Center

Monter To rise

Neuf Nine

Ouvert Open

Pas Step

Passe Passed

Penche Leaning inclining

Petit Small

Pied Foot

Pietiner To stamp the feet

Pique Pricked

Pirouette Spin

Plane Soaring

Plat a On the flat

Plie Bending

Plier To bend

Poisson Fish

Port De Bras Carriage of the arms

Porte Carried

Pose Posture

Premier First

Promenade Turn in walk

Quarre en In the shape of a square

Quart Quarter

Quatre Four

Quatrieme Fourth

Raccourci Shortened

Ramasse Picked up

Rebours a In reverse

Reculant en Drawing back

Releve Raised

Relever to raise

Remontant en Going up

Renverse Upset reversed

Repeter To rehearse

Retire Withdrawn

Retombe Falling back

Reverence Curtsey

Rond Round

Royale Royal

Salle Autor de la Round the room

Saut Jump

Sauter To jump

Sautille Hopped

Seconde a la To the second

Sept Seven

Serre Tight

Simple Oedinary

Six Six

Souleve Raised

Sos-sus Under-over

Soutenu Sustained

Suite de Continuously

Sur On upen

Sus-Sous Over-under

Tableau Picture

Talcon Heel

Taquete Pegged

Temps TIme

Tendu Stretched

Termine Ended

Terre a On the ground

Tete Head

Tire-bouchon en Like a corkscrew

Tiroirs faire les Act like the drawers of a chest

Tombant Falling

Tombe Falling

Tonnelet Literally a cask

Tour Turn

Tournant en Turning

Tourney To turn around

Tour pique en dedans Pricked turn Inward

Tour pique en dehors Pricked turn outward

Tour pose Poised turn

Tour saute Jumping turn

Troisieme Third

Un One

Valse Waltz

Variation Variation

Vole Flown

Volee Flying

Volee de In flight

Voyage Traveled

Head over to our ballet technical page to view tutorials on every ballet term.

May you reach your center stage

Much love,

Jacklyn Dougherty and Joni Dougherty

Technical manual and dictionary of classical ballet. Jacklyn Dougherty
Ballet Photo Credit Jacklyn Dougherty

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