Ballet Theory

Grade 1

Plie   A bending of both knees

Demi   Half

Degage   To release the foot from a closed to an open position

Tendu   Stretched

Devant   In Front

Derriere   Behind

Battement   Beating movements of the leg

Grand   Large

A la seconde   To the second position

Petit   Small

Retire   To draw up

Bras Bas   Arms Down

En avant   Travelling forwards

En arriere     Travelling backwards

Simple   Simple

Couple   Cutting Movement (To cut the weight of the body from one foot to the other)

Temps leve   To Hop

Leve   Lifted

Passe   To pass

Sur-le-cou-de-pied   On the ankle

Jete Throwing Movement (To throw the weight of the body from one foot to the other)

Saute   To spring

Soubresaut   A spring from 3rd or 5th position without changing the feet

Changement   To change

Pose   To step (onto a straight leg)

Fondu   A bending of one knee

Enchainments   The amalgamation of steps

Curtsey or Bow/Revereance   To say "Thank You"

Supporting leg   Leg that takes the weight of the body

Working Leg   The dancer's leg that is actually performing the movement.

Grade 2 (in addition to G1 theory)

En croix   In the shape of a cross

Ronds de Jambe   Circle of the leg

A terre   On the ground

En dehors   Outwards

En dedans   Inwards

Releve   To snatch onto the demi-pointe (or en pointe) - the toe takes the place of the heel

Croise   Crossed

Ouverte   Open

En Face   Facing the front

Attitude   A position on one leg: the other in 4th opposite 5th a terre or en L'air. Raised leg is bent.

Ordinaire   Ordinary

Chasse   A sliding movement

Glissade   A gliding movement, always end in a demi-plie

Pas de Chat   Step of the cat

Pas   Step

Pas de Deux   Step for two people

Pied   Foot

Sur place   On the spot

Demi-pointe   Half point

Demi detourne   A Half turn towards the back foot.

En premiere   In first

Courru   Running

Trois   Three

Cinq   Five

Grade 3 (in addition to G1&2 theory)

Glisse   To glide

Assemble   A joining together of the legs

Soutenus   Sustained

Assemble Soutenu   A sustained joining together of the legs

Fondu   A bending of one knee

Developpe   To unfold the leg.

Ports-de-bras   Carriage of the arms

Adage   Slow movement

Arabesque   A position on one leg: the other held in 4th opposite 1st a terre or en l'air. (leg straight when in air)

De Cote   To the side

Pose   A step onto a straight leg.

Grade 4 (in addition to G1-3 theory)

En L'air   In the air

Echappe   To escape

Chasse Passe   A sliding movement with the back foot passing to the front (passe en avant) or the front foot passing to the back (passe en arriere). End in a demi-plie in 4th.

Pirouette   To spin on one foot.

Pas de Bourree   A compound step consisting of three running steps (the first two on demi-pointe, the third on the flat).

Pas de Basque   A movement derived from the swaying of skirts

Balance   A lilting movement. A change of weight from foot to foot, from side-to-side or forwards and backwards.

Sissonne   A scissor-like movement.

Sissonne (ordinaire) A spring from two feet to one foot with a softened landing.

Sissonne Ouverte   A sissonne ending with the working leg in an open position.

Grade 5 (in addition to G1-4 theory)

En ronds   Circular movement

En tournant   Turning

En Diagonale   Diagonally

Ballonne   A bouncing step

Ballonne simple   A simple ballonne with the accent on the inwards movements.

Ballonne compose   A compound ballonne

Fouette   A whipped movement

Compose   Compound

Sissonne ferme   A sissonne ending with the working leg in a closed position (Scissor movement)

Petit batterie   Small elevated beaten steps

Battu   Beaten

Changement Battu   A beaten changement

Ferme   To close

Echappe Battu Ferme/Royale ferme   Echappe ferme beaten

Demi-contretemps Temps leve, chasse passe en avant

Greque   A position relating to attitude

Epaulement   Turning of the shoulders

Grade 6 (in addition to G1-5 theory)

Sur le cou-de-pied   On the ankle

Cou de pied   Neck of the foot

Frappe   To strike

A deux bras   With two arms

Dessous   Under

Dessus   Over

Contretemps   A compound step consisting of:- coupe under, chasse en avant, temps leve, chasse passe en avant.

Sissonne double   A sissonne ouverte followed by any coupe and any assemble

Entrechat Quatre   Spring into the air and make two changments before alighting. (Entwining)

Petits battements sur le cou-de-pied   Small beats on the ankle

Echappe Battu Ouvert/Royale Ouverte   Echappe ouverte beaten.