Ballet Glossary
Alphabetical Terms


(French pronunciation: [ʁɔ̃ d(ə) ʒɑ̃b]; meaning 'leg circle.') Half-circle made by the pointed foot, from fourth front or back through second position to the opposite fourth and returning through first position again to repeat, in effect tracing out the letter "D." Starting front going back is called rond de jambe en dehors while starting back and going front is called rond de jambe en dedans.Rond de jambe à terre/par terre: ('on the ground.') The extended leg with pointed toe remains on the ground to sweep around in a semi-circle.Rond de jambe attitude: the leg is swung around from front to side and into attitude position behind as the supporting foot goes en pointe. (See also attitude.)Ron
(French pronunciation: [ʁwajal]) Another name for changement battu. A changement with a beating of the legs preceding the foot change. Example: with the right foot in front in fifth position, plié, jump, beat the right thigh against the left (back thigh) and continue with a changement moving the right leg to behind the left, landing fifth position left foot front. (Source Wikipedia)


(French pronunciation: [so də ʃa]) In RAD and American ballet, saut de chat refers to a jump similar to a grande jété differing in that the front leg extends through a développé instead of a grand battement. This is called a grande jété développé in other schools.In the French and Cecchetti schools, saut de chat refers to what RAD/ABT call a pas de chat. (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [sote]; literally 'jumped.') Used to indicate a step executed jumping, e.g. sauté arabesque is an arabesque performed while jumping on the supporting leg. (Source Wikipedia)
A rise, from flat to demi-pointe (from the balls to the tips of both feet), usually done multiple times in quick succession where the legs are turned out in a grand pas position. (Source Wikipedia)
Legs turned out with feet pointing in opposite directions and heels at least shoulder-width apart. (Source Wikipedia)
A term that refers to the reverse of a winging, indicating a foot where the heel is too far back so the toes are in front of the ankle and heel, breaking the line of the leg at the ankle. If a dancer sickles an en pointe or demi-pointe foot, the ankle could collapse to the outside, resulting in a sprain. A working foot should be straight to the side and mildly winged to the front or back. (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [sisɔn]) A jump done from two feet to one foot. Named after the originator of the step. In a sissonne over (dessus) the back foot closes in front, and in a sissonne under (dessous) the front foot closes behind. Sissonnes finishing on two feet include the sissonne fermée, sissonne tombée, and sissonne fondue. (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [subʁəso]) A sudden spring or small jump from both feet, traveling forward in either first, third, or fifth position and landing on both feet in the same position as they started. (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [su su]; literally 'under-under.') A relevé, or rise, into a tight fifth position, feet touching and ankles crossed, giving the appearance of one foot with two heels. A term from the Cecchetti school, sus-sous ('over-under') is the equivalent term in the French and Russian schools. (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [sutny ɑ̃ tuʁnɑ̃]; 'sustained.') Similar to tours chaînés (déboulés), a soutenu turn is a turn usually done in multiples in quick succession. The dancer first executes a demi-plié while extending the leading leg in tendu, stepping onto that leg en pointe/demi-pointe (making it the standing leg), then bringing the other leg to 5th position in front of the standing leg and finally turning (effectively, an unwinding motion). At the end of the rotation, the originally crossed-over foot in front should now be in 5th position behind.Common abbreviation of assemblé soutenu en tournant (Cecc.). This is known as a glissade en tourant in the Russian school.When done at the barre
A configuration of the legs in which the legs are extended in opposite directions, either to the side (straddle split) or with one leg forward and the other back (front split). This is employed in various movements, including grand jeté and arabesque penchée. (Source Wikipedia)