Ballet terms

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When I'm in class I'm usually able to remember terms after the teacher says them and maybe demonstrates. It's when I go home that I start to forget them. I find terms very hard, mostly because they're usually in French and they usually start to sound the same.


Can I get some tips on how to remember terms or what some other students do to remember? I know I can't be the only one wih this problem, haha. Thanks!

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You might want to get Gail Grant's Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet. It doesn't cost much, and it's an excellent quick reference. You might also want to keep a ballet notebook in your dance bag so that you can write down unfamiliar terms and their definitions or descriptions right after class. That way you'll have more of a concrete reference if you need to ask your teacher for more details.


Gretchen Ward Warren's Classical Ballet Technique is another wonderful book with many very detailed photos showing exactly how steps are done. It's larger and costs more than Grant, but it's a very helpful visual aid.

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It may also help to find out what they mean in English. Many terms tell you what to do, if loosely, although with others, the connection is obscure.

Some examples of names that tell you what to do are:

Echappé sauté-escaping jump




More obscure, but still memorable would be:

Temps levé-time lifted

Temps lié-time linked

Battement balancé-balenced beating


I hope that helps!

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Thanks Hans and ascballerina, both of those posts really help.


I would be interested in getting Classical Ballet Technique even if it does cost more- but then it has pictures. After all I'm more of a visual learner, probably need pictures for an extra help. Any suggestions where to get it? Off a website or something? I'm pretty sure there isn't going to be any bookstores around here that sell it.


And I totally get what you're talking about ascballerina, some are more obvious than others.


Thanks again.

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It is available on Amazon. If you use the link at the bottom left of this page, Ballet Talk for Dancers will receive a small commission when you purchase the book. You may also be able to find it at Barnes & Noble in the "Performing Arts" section.

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You've very welcome. :) I'm glad I was able to help. Best of luck!

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FLASHCARDS. Thats what I do for terminology (we have tests). I also associate the word with what it means.For example:


Pas De Chat=step of the cat

Paww De Chat= kitty paw :)


Good Luck! The book also sounds like a great idea!

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Thanks Ossie, I'll add this to my possibilities. I make flashcards for school to remember stuff. I don't know why I never had for dance. We have exams too, but I don't think we actually have to write the words down or anything, just do them. Thanks again!

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