Ballet Glossary
Alphabetical Terms


(French pronunciation: [a la katʁijɛm]) One of the directions of body, facing the audience (en face), arms in second position, with one leg extended either to fourth position in front (quatrième devant) or fourth position behind (quatrième derrière). (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [a la səɡɔ̃d]) (Literally "to second") If a step is done "à la seconde," it is done to the side.'Second position'. (Wikipedia)


On the floor/ground


Abstract ballet are ballets without a plot unlike the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, etc. Most often, contemporary ballets are considered abstract ballets.  Source:
Italian, or French adage, meaning 'slowly, at ease.'Slow movements performed with fluidity and grace.One of the typical exercises of a traditional ballet class, done both at barre and in center, featuring slow, controlled movements.The section of a grand pas (e.g., grand pas de deux), often referred to as grand adage, that features dance partnering. (Wikipedia)
Allégro refers to all fast or brisk steps and movements. Every step where a ballet dancer jumps are considered allégro. This includes sautés, jetés, cabrioles, assemblés, etc. These movements are typically done after warmup and closer toward the last part of class to avoid injury, and to maximize a dancers range while warmed up. Source:
(French pronunciation: [alɔ̃ʒe]; meaning 'elongated.') Refers to a foot and leg position when the toes and knees are extended and elongated, rather than forming the usual soft curve. (Wikipedia)
Arabesque is a position in ballet where the body is supported on a single leg, while the other leg is extended directly behind the body with a straight knee. There are several different versions of arabesque such as first, second, and thirdarabesque. They can also be done at different heights or with a straight leg or in plie.Source: 
An assemblé has several different variations. The basics being that the two legs join together in the air. Since assemblé is a jump, you’ll mostly see them in petit allegro and grandé allegro combinations during a classical ballet class. Source:
(French pronunciation: [atityd]) A position in which a dancer stands on one leg (the supporting leg) while the other leg (working leg) is raised and turned out with knee bent to form an angle of approximately 90° between the thigh and the lower leg. The height of the knee versus the foot and the angle of the knee flexion will vary depending on the techniques. The working leg can be held behind (derrière), in front (devant), or to the side (à la seconde) of the body. The alignment of the thigh compared to the midline in Attitude derrière will vary depending on the techniques. The foot of the supporting leg may be flat on the floor, en demi-pointe (ball of the foot), or en pointe (tips of the


(French pronunciation: [balɑ̃se]; "balanced") A rocking sequence of three steps—fondu, relevé, fondu (down, up, down)—executed in three counts. Before the first count, one foot extends in a dégagé to second position (balancé de côté) or to the front (balancé en avant) or rear (balancé en arrière). The second foot in the sequence (in any direction) assembles behind the first to relevé in fifth or fourth position. (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [balɑ̃swaʁ]; "swing [children's toy]") Swinging the working leg between front (devant) and back (derrière) through first position, usually in conjunction with grands battements or attitudes and involving seesaw like shifting of the upper body in opposition to the legs. Similar to en cloche. (Wikipedia)