Ballet Glossary
Alphabetical Terms


A combination of linked steps


Looking over the shoulder, use of the shoulders, neck and upper back 


(French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ fas]; 'facing, in front of.') En face indicates facing something directly, generally the audience. (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [faji] 'given way', past participle.) A slide or brush-through transition step following a preceding jump or position. Failli is often used as shorthand for a sissonne (ouverte +pas) failli, indicating a jump from two feet landing on one (sissonne) with the back foot then sliding through to the front (chassé passé), and this is often done in conjunction with an assemblé: (sissonne) failli assemblé. E.g. From croisé, the upstage leg opens behind on the sissonne as the body changes direction in the air to land ouverte effacé; the back leg which is now downstage slides through in a chassé passé to fourth in front, ending the dancer croisé the corner opposite the original.
(French pronunciation: [fɛʁme]; 'closed.') Converse of ouvert(e) ('open'). Fermé may refer to positions (the first, fifth, and third positions of the feet are positions fermées), limbs, directions, or certain exercises or steps. Example: a sissonne fermée ends with closed legs, as opposed to a sissonne ouverte, which lands on one leg with the other (generally) extended. (Wikipedia)
A posture in which the feet are turned outward. With one foot in the front and one in the back, you will make fifth position. The front foot is usually facing horizontal while the back foot is diagonal. It does not matter which foot is in the front or back, as long as they are turned out. You can do pirouettes, changements, frappés, plies, and much more with fifth position. (Wikipedia)
Turned out legs with the feet pointing in opposite directions, heels touching. (Wikipedia)
A partnering dance lift, often performed as part of a pas de deux, in which the male dancer supports the female in a poisson position. (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [flik flak]) Familiar French term for battement fouetté à terre. A step where the foot of the working leg sweeps flexed across the floor from pointed à la seconde (en l'air, as in dégagé) to pointed at cou-de-pied devant or derrière. (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [fɔ̃dy]; literally 'melted.')Abbreviation for battement fondu, a lowering of the body made by bending the knee of the supporting leg, the working leg extending out à terre or in the air. Saint-Léon wrote, "Fondu is on one leg what a plié is on two." Fondu at the barre often refers to battement fondu développé, where the supporting leg begins fondu with the foot of the working leg at cou-de-pied; the working leg extends out through a petit développé as the supporting leg straightens.A term used to modify any one-legged position in order to indicate a bent supporting leg (e.g. arabesque fondu). (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [fwɛte]; literally 'whipped.') Fouetté itself refers to a move where a quick pivot on the supporting leg changes the orientation of the body and the working leg. E.g. A 180-degree or 90-degree fouetté could involve a working leg beginning extended elevated in front; the supporting leg rising onto demi-pointe or pointe quickly executing a "half" turn inside/en dedans, leading to the working leg ending in arabesque and the body now facing the opposite direction or stage direction. (This brand of action can be seen in both tour jetés and walt turns (pas de valse en tournant).) A fouetté could also change the leg/body orientation from, for example, en face à la seconde to
(French pronunciation: [fwɛte ʒəte]) A leap that begins with a fouetté. (Wikipedia)