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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Can't remember ballet terms?


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Hello :happy: I will be starting more serious ballet classes soon, and the one thing I'm really nervous about is remembering the terms. I struggle most with remembering and understanding directional terms (efface, devant, enface, croise, ecarte), and I want to be able to know them for when the teacher calls on me (and also when I start auditioning!). We occasionally talked about these terms in my other classes, but I didn't really understand it. Does anybody have tips to remembering new terms and can explain directional terms to me?


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Musicaldancer, I'm sorry to hear that you have not been taught the terms. It is so easy to learn them if you are taught them when you learn the movement or direction or position. Since you need to catch up, I would recommend getting the Gail Grant "Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet", which is easily available in major book stores or online through Amazon. It is not expensive at all. If you can afford a more expensive book, Gretchen Ward Warren's "Classical Ballet Technique" is really great. It is a bigger book, with photographic illustrations.


There is also an online dictionary with dancers demonstrating the steps on the ABT website.

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Thank you for this helpful advice! I went to a ballet class yesterday and I did alright, but I should still definitely read these books! The ballet school I'm going to has a library and I found "Classical Ballet Technique" there and went through it a little (now I can read it on my breaks between classes!). I will also look for the other book next time I have classes. I appreciate your great recommendations, both books seem very helpful!

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