As a new dancer, one of the most important things you can learn is the language of dance. In ballet, in particular, all of the moves are in French, so memorizing the movements associated with specific dance terms is extremely important. Knowing the below terms will help you perform better in class and improve your understanding of the world of dance.
Most of these terms will be performed at the barre, but some are for centre practice.
Plié – a bending of the knees outward with the back held straight.
Relevé – to rise on the ball of one’s foot.
Tendu– to stretch and point one’s foot.
Rond de jambe – making a half circle along the ground with your foot pointed in tendu.
Arabesque – to raise on one leg in Relevé with one leg extended in the air behind at hip-level and arms raised at a diagonal.
Pirouette – a complete 365-degree turn in Relevé with one leg extended at hip level, alternating straight and bent at the knee.
Entrechat – a leap or jump in which a dancer alternates one foot in front of the other in mid-air.
Assemble – a small leap or jump in which a dancer brings together both feet in mid-air into 5th position.
Port de bras – the position of the arms in each move or ballet position.
Attitude – A position similar to arabesque, but the leg is bent at the knee instead of straight.
If you are interested in taking dance classes this spring or summer contact Dance Classics at 615-378-7152.
“Plié.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pli%C3%A9. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.
“Entrechat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrechat. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.
“Attitude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attitude. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.