Ballet Terminology

Terms in French with English definition

Barre exercises

1. Demi plie: small bend
Grande plie: large bend
Releve: to rise

2. Battement Tendu: beating stretched

3. Battement Degage: beating disengaged

4. Rond de jambe: half circle of the leg
-en dehors: outward
-en dedans: inward
-a terre: on the floor
-en l’air: in the air

5. Developpe: a developing movement (coupe, retire, attitude, extend, tendu, 5th)

6. Battement Frappe: beating struck
-accent out
-prepare for allegro, warm up ball of foot

7. Grande Battement: large beating

 

Other terms

En Croix: in the pattern of a cross, or front, side, back side

Port de bra: carriage of the arms

Arabesque: the longest line you can make with your body from the tip of your finger to the tip of your toe

Chaine turns: a chain of turns

Retire: withdrawn

Passe: to pass

Coupe: to cut

Saute: to jump

Grande Reverance: large formal bow done at the end of every lesson to show respect to the teacher and other classmates

Adage: slow and controlled (Italian)

Allegro: quick and fast (Italian)