Ballet Glossary
Alphabetical Terms


(French pronunciation: [syʁ lə ku də pje]; literally 'on the neck of the foot.') The arched working foot is placed wrapped at the part of the leg between the base of the calf and the beginning of the ankle. On the accent devant (front), the heel of the working foot is placed in front of the leg, while the toes point to the back, allowing the instep (cou-de-pied in French) of the working foot to hug the lower leg. On the accent derrière (back), the heel of the working leg is placed behind the leg with the toes pointing to the back. The action of alternating between devant and derrière is seen in a petit battement. (Source Wikipedia)


(French pronunciation: [tɑ̃ l(ə)ve]; literally 'time raised.') A term from the Cecchetti school indicating a hop on one foot while the other is raised in any position. The instep is fully arched when leaving the ground and the spring must come from the pointing of the toe and the extension of the leg after the demi-plié.In the Cecchetti method, the specifically indicates a spring from fifth position while raising one foot to sur le cou-de-pied. In the Russian and French schools, this is known as sissonne simple. (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [tɑ̃ l(ə)ve sote]; literally 'time raised jumped.') A term from the Russian school. This can be executed with both feet from first, second, third, fourth, or fifth position starting with a demi-plié, leading to a jump in the air that lands with the feet in the same position as they started. (Otherwise known as simply a saut or sauté.) This can also be performed from one foot, while the other maintains the same position it had before starting the jump (i.e. the same as temps levé). (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [tɑ̃ lje]; 'time linked.') A term indicating the transfer of weight from one leg to another by shifting through to the position without any sort of gliding or sliding movement. (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [tɑ̃dy]; literally 'stretched.') Gradually extending the working leg to the front (tendu devant), side, or back, passing from flat to demi-pointe to point where only the toes are touching the floor (tendu à terre), or only the pointed toes are elevated (en l'air). A common abbreviation for battement tendu. (Source Wikipedia)
Most ballet dancers wear tights in practices and performances unless in some contemporary and character dances or variations. (Source Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [tɔ̃be]; literally 'fallen.') The action of falling, typically used as a lead-in movement to a traveling step, e.g. pas de bourrée. A tombé en avant begins with a coupé to the front moving to a dégagé to fourth position devant, the extended foot coming down to the floor with the leg en plié, shifting the weight of the body onto the front leg and lifting the back leg off the floor in dégagé (to fourth derrière). A tombé through second starts with a dégagé of the leading leg to second position, the leading foot coming to the floor with the leg in plié, and the trailing leg lifting off the floor in dégagé to (the opposite-side) second position. A tombé en avant can also b
(French pronunciation: [tuʁz ɑ̃ l ɛːʁ]; literally 'turn in the air.') A jump, typically done by males, with a full rotation in the air. The landing can be on both feet, on one leg with the other extended in attitude or arabesque, or down on one knee as at the end of a variation. A single tour is a 360° rotation, a double is 720°. Vaslav Nijinsky was known to perform triple tours en l'air. (Source Wikipedia)
One big step, followed by two little steps, that can be done in a circle. (Source Wikipedia)
Rotation of the legs at the hips, resulting in knees and feet facing away from each other.
The tutu is a dress worn as a costume in a classical ballet performance, often with attached bodice.[1] It may be made of tarlatan, muslin, silk, tulle, gauze, or nylon. Modern tutus have two basic types: the Romantic tutu is soft and bell-shaped, reaching the calf or ankle; the Classical tutu is short and stiff, projecting horizontally from the waist and hip. (Source Wikipedia)


In ballet, a variation (sometimes referred to as a pas seul, meaning to dance alone) is a solo dance. In a classical grand pas de deux, the ballerina and danseur each perform a variation. (Source Wikipedia)