Ballet Vocab for Dummies


Going to the ballet for the first time or thinking about taking a class? Here's some terms to get you familiar with the moves. 


  • Battement tendu (bat-MAHN tahn-DUE): Brushing out your leg along the floor and pointing your foot. It also can be done lifting your legs to various heights, to the front, side, and back (also known as arabesque).

  • En pointe (ahn PWANT or on point): Balancing on the tips of your toes (for women only). This is achieved by wearing special pointe shoes.

  • Grand jeté (GRAHN juh-TAY): A forward jump with a split.

  • Pas de deux (PAH duh DEUH): A dance for two, like a duet.

  • Pirouette (pee-roo-ET): A turn or series of multiple turns.

  • Plié (plee-AY): Bending your knees. This can be a small or big bend, on one leg or two.

  • Port de bras (POR duh BRAH): Movement of your arms and upper body.

  • Sauté (soh-TAY): A small jump on two legs, landing on both legs

    And because hair is super important for dancers, here's how to do a perfect ballet bun.


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