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Dance Vocabulary

Intermediate Dance Vocab

chainés "chains, links" a series of rapid turns on relevé
chassé "to chase" a step in which one foot literallt chases the other foot out of its position done in a series
demi "half"
dégegé "to brush/disengage" to brush the foot along and off the floor to a pointed position; both legs are straight
en croix "shape of a cross" indicates that an exercise is executed to the front, side, and back
passé "to pass" to foot of the working leg is drawn up to, not rested on, the knee of the supporting leg
plié "to bend" a bending of the knee/knees
relevé "to rise" a raising of the body to the balls of the feet, pushing the energy down to rise
sickling when the dancer turns his/her foot in from the ankle, thereby breaking the straight line of the leg
tendu "to stretch" to stretch the foot along the floor in a pointed position; both legs are straight
grand plié "full bending of the knees" the bending movement should be gradual and knees should be in a demi plié before the heels rise. The knees must be over the toes and the weight of the body even when rising up the heels should press onto the floor.
arabesque a position of the body, supported on the leg is straight, and extended behind
attitude a position on one leg, when lifted in back, the knee of the working leg is bent at a 90 degree angle and well turned out, so that the knee is higher than the foot. When lifted in front, the foot is lifted higher than the knee.
développé "to develop" a movement in which the working leg is drawn up to the knee of the supporting leg (passé), and slowly extended to a straight position in the air and held with perfect control
cou-de-pied "on the neck of the foot" the working foot is placed on the part of the calf and the beginning of the ankle
frappé "to strike" the foot moves from a flexed cou-de-pied position, next to the ankle of the supporting leg and extends out to a straight position quickly and forcefully, and by doing so, hits the floor.
grand jete "big leap" a jump from one foot to the other, in which the working leg is brushed into the air and appears to have been thrown; the back leg is straight
pas de bourre "small stepping movement" a transfer of weight from foot to foot 3 times as a transition to another movement
pirouette "whirl or spin" a complete turn of the body on one foot (passé and relevé): en dedans - turning inward towards supporting leg, en dehors - turning outward towards bent leg
assemblé "assembled or joined together" a jump in which the working foot slides along the floor before being swept into the air. As the foot goes into the air the dancer pushes off the floor with the supporting legs/feet meet in the air and come to the ground.
grand battement "large beat" an exercise in which the working leg is raised from the hip into the air and brought down again, the accent on the downward movement
fondu "sinking down, melting" a term used to describe the lowering of the body made by bending the knee of the supporting leg
pas de chat "step of the cat" a jump sideways and, while still in the air, bend both legs up, one at a time, bringing the feet high as possible while keeping the knees apart
rond de jambe "round of the leg" a circular movement of the leg; both legs must be kept perfectly straight and all movement must come from the hip
sauté "to jump" start and land in plié, point toes in the air, land toe ball heel
spotting a fixing of the eyes as long as possible in one spot, used to prevent dizziness and enhance control during the execution of turns
foutté "whipping movement" the raised leg passes rapidly in front/behind the supporting leg while whipping the body around
saut de basque a jump in which the dancer turns in the air with the foot of the working leg drawn up to the knee or ankle of the supporting leg
Created by: Libbie_Alexander