Top 10 Ballet Terms

Posted on1 Month ago

Although Ballet first began in Italy, it was formalized in France in the 17th century. The Ballet terminologies that you hear has remained largely in the French languageBallet dancers across the world learn and communicate with this universal ballet vocabulary. 

Here are the Top 10 Ballet vocabulary all new dancers must know!

1. Plié (plee ay): A bending of the knees while keeping the heels on the ground.

2. Tendu (tohn doo): Stretching the foot along the floor without lifting it.

3. Arabesque (ah rah besk): A pose with one leg stretched straight behind the body.

4. Pirouette: A spin or turn done on one foot.

5. Releve (ruh-ler-vay): Rising onto the balls of the feet or fully onto the toes.

6. Grande Jeté (grand jeh tay) - a big jump from one foot to the other in which the working leg is brushed into the air and appears to have been thrown.

7. Port de Bras (pawr duh brah): The movement and carriage of arms

8. Attitude (ah tea tude): A pose on one leg with the other bent and lifted behind.

9. Turn out: The dancer turns his or her feet and legs out from the hip joints, preferably to a 90-degree position.

10. Five positions of the feet. There are five basic positions of the feet in classical ballet. Every step or movement starts and ends in one or another of these positions, which were established by Pierre Beauchamp, maître de ballet of the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse from 1671 to 1687.
- First position: The feet form one line, heels touching one another.
- Second position: The feet are on the same line but with a distance of about one foot between the heels.
- Third position: One foot is in front of the other, heels touching the middle of the other foot.
- Fourth position: The placement of the feet is similar to that in the third position, the feet being parallel and separated by the length of one foot.
- Fifth position: The feet are crossed so that the first joint of the big toe shows beyond either heel.

These terms provide a basic lexicon for young dancers to understand and execute fundamental ballet movements.


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