Ballet Glossary
Alphabetical Terms


(French pronunciation: [uvɛʁ(t)]; 'open, opened.') Converse of fermé(e) ('closed'). Ouvert may refer to positions (the second and fourth positions of the feet are positions ouvertes), limbs, directions, or certain exercises or steps. In the French School, this term is used to indicate a position or direction of the body. (Wikipedia)


Dancing performed by a pair of dancers, typically a male and a female, in which the pair strives to achieve a harmony of coordinated movements so that the audience remains unaware of the mechanics. A dance that is focused on a single pair of partnering dancers is a pas de deux. For a male dancer, partnering may involve lifting, catching, and carrying a partner, and providing assistance and support for leaps, promenades and pirouettes. (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [pɑ]; literally 'step.') A dance, or a suite of dances as in grand pas. (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [pɑ d(ə) bask]; 'step of the Basques.') Halfway between a step and a leap, taken on the floor (glissé) or with a jump (sauté); it can be done moving toward the front or toward the back. This step can also be found in Scottish highland dance.Starting in fifth position croisé, a dancer executes a plié while brushing the downstage leg out to tendu front. The downstage leg does a demi rond de jambe to the opposite corner while the body turns to face that corner. Weight is quickly transferred to that brushed leg, now upstage, allowing the dancer to pass the newly downstage leg through first position via a chassé passé to fourth devant, ending croisé the new corner, and fini
(French pronunciation: [pɑ d(ə) buʁe]; 'step of bourrée.') A quick sequence of movements beginning with extension of the first leg while demi-plié, closing the first leg to the second as both transition to relevé (demi-pointe or pointe), extending the second leg to an open position while relevé, and closing the first leg to the second in demi-plié (or optionally with legs straight if performed quickly or as the final step of an enchainement). Variants include:pas de bourrée derrière – 'behind' / pas de bourrée devant – 'front'pas de bourrée dessus – 'over,' initially closing the working foot in front / pas de bourrée dessous – 'under,' initially closing the working foot behindpas de bourrée
(French pronunciation: [pɑ d(ə) ʃa]; 'step of the cat.') A traveling sideways jump where while mid-air the legs are successively bent, brought to retiré, feet as high up as possible, knees apart. The Dance of the Cygnets from Swan Lake involves sixteen pas de chat performed by four dancers holding hands, arms interlaced.In the Cecchetti and French schools, this may be referred to as a saut de chat ('jump of the cat').Grand pas de chat[edit]A jump where the leading leg extends forward through grand battement (a "French pas de chat") or développé (an "Italian pas de chat") and the trailing leg remains in retiré until landing."Russian" pas de chat[edit]A jump where the legs are successively bro
(French pronunciation: [pɑ də ʃ(ə)val]; 'step of the horse.') A movement of the leg (when extended) through first or fifth position, to cou-de-pied and then energetically out to a pointe tendue through a petit développé. (Wikipedia)
('Step of two.') A dance duet, usually performed by a female and a male dancer. (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [pɑ də pwasɔ̃]; 'step of the fish.') A type of soubresaut, or a jump without a change of feet. From fifth position, a dancer executes a deep demi-plié and then jumps arching the back with straight legs behind, so that the body is curved like a fish jumping out of water. Also called temps de poisson. (Wikipedia)
('Step of four.') A dance by four dancers. (Wikipedia)
('Step of three.') A dance by three dancers. (Wikipedia)
(French pronunciation: [pɑ d(ə) vals]; 'waltz step.') A sequence of three steps—fondu, relevé, elevé (down, up, up)—always advancing (like a march), done in three counts to music generally in 34 time, traveling in any direction or while turning (en tournant). The feet do not assemble (or "cross each other") on any step as occurs in a balancé; each step instead passes the last. (Wikipedia)