French Terms

French Dance Terms

Plies To bend both knees
Demi Half
Tendus Stretch
Battement Beating
Glisses Glide
En croix In the shape of a cross
Epaulements Use of shoulders
Grand battement Large Beats
Fondus Bend or melt
Grands Large
A terre On the ground
Devant In front
Derriere Behind
Dégagé Point
A la seconde In second position
Développes To unfold
Retires To withdraw
Ronds de jambe Circle the leg
Enchainements Steps joined together
Demi détournes Half a turn
Emboites Dove tailing
Balances de cote To balance to the side
Jètes To throw your weight from one foot to the other
Pas de chat Step of the cat
Demi détournes Half a turn
En l’air In the air
De cote To the side
Relevés To withdraw
Passé To pass
En avant Forward
En arrière Backward
Over & under To the front
To the back
Assembles over Gather together. Swish with the back foot and finish with it in front
Assembles under Gather together. Swish with the front foot and finish with it at the back
Glissades over Gliding step. Start with the back foot and finish with it in front
Glissades devant Gliding step. Start with the front foot and finish with it in front
Changement
Change feet
Échappés Escape feet
Entrechat Beat back front
Entrechat quatre Four Beats
Ferme Closed
Ouvert Open
Ports de bras Carriage of the arms
Demi bras Half arms
Bras bas Low arms
Attitude Pos. in dance
Arabesque Pos. in dance
Petit développe Small développe
Sautés Jumps
Soubresaut Jumps in third
Pirouettes To turn
En dehors Outwards
En dedans Inwards
Pas de bourrée en arrière Running steps backward
Pas de bourrée en avant Running steps forward
Pas de bourrée under Running steps, behind side front
Pas de bourrée over Running steps, front side behind
Pas de bourre courus Small running steps
Chasse passé Slide past foot
Chasses Slide
Pose temps lève Step and hop
Pose Step
En face Face to face
En ouvert An open Pos.
En croise In the shape of a cross
Rotation Rotate the leg in the hip.
Fouette d’adage Turn the body away from the leg
Assemble soutenus Gather the feet together and turn
Petit retire Small withdrawing movement
Frappes To strike or knock
Glissades under Gliding step. Start with the front foot and finish with it in back
Glissades derrière Gliding step. Start with the back foot and finish with it at the back