Arabesque- When looking at this position profile, you are supported on one leg (in demi-plié or not) with the other directly behind you, as high as you can with correct placement. You hold arms in various positions, based on the type of ballet you study or the way it is requested. They way you place your leg and arms is supposed to create the longest possible line from fingertips to the toes.
Plié- This movement is one of the most basic, starting and ending many of the steps done in ballet. It is usually done at the beginning of barre to warm up your muscles, tendons, and joints,
preventing injuries. It is done in two ways: grand plié, full bending of the knees, and demi-plié, half way bending of the knees. The movement is gradual and the goal (in grand pliés) is to have your heels be the last to leave the floor and the first to touch on the way back up. In demi-plié, your heels don't leave floor, as well in both movements in second position of the feet.
Saut De Chat- This is the classic leap where ballet dancers jump and go through a full split in the air. It is in the category of grand allegro, or big jumps. You développé the first leg and bring the other leg up afterwards, landing on the first leg that left the floor. You pass through plié in the start, as well as the end for momentum.
Grand Jeté- This is considered to be in the grand allegro category, or big jumps. It is similar to a saut de chat, or leap, but is more of an up-and-over feeling. You brush the front leg, followed by the second leg that is straight, and land on the first leg. The goal is create a rainbow motion, while still aiming towards a full split. It is often land in arabesque. Because you don't start in a plié, you have to brush the front leg, pushing through the floor, with force to get you into the air.
Anatomy of a Pointe Shoe:
The basic terminology - courtesy of www.chicagodancesupply.com
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