A list of Ballet Terms You Must Know to Excel in Your Ballet Class

Ballet Movements
Adagio– French/Italian -slowly, at ease- It is used to describe the slow movements of a dance which are performed with fluidity and grace. One of the most common forms of ballet exercise as well.
Allegro –Italian- happy- This term is used to describe the fast brisk movements of the dancer. It is sometimes used to refer to all kinds of jumps and is also part of basic ballet exercises.
Assemble – French- assembled- This involves the dancer starting a jump-off on one foot and finishing the landing on two feet.
Balance – French- balanced- It is a three-step dance movement that has the first foot stepping out in a knee-bent formation. The other foot comes to the front or back, touches without transferring weight, and then returns to the beginning foot.
Changement – French-change- it means changing the foot after a jump.
Croise – French- crossed- It means a movement such that the legs appear crossed to the audience.
Emboite – French- fitted together- It refers to a movement where the dancer is jumping from one foot to the other with the foot pointed towards the floor and changing legs each jump.
Jete – French- throwing- It means a type of jump where the dancer extends one leg then jumps off the floor with the other.
Pirouette – French- spin- The most common term, it means a basic turn that can include multiple rotations with the dancer turning around on one leg with the other leg off the ground.
Sissonne – French- scissors- It is essentially the reverse of assembling as the dancer begins the jump on two feet and lands on one foot at the end.

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