Royal Academy of Dance Advanced Foundation Ballet Vocabulary

 

In addition to the vocabulary listed for Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate, dancers studying the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced Foundation syllabus are expected to attain knowledge of the following:

 

 

Arabesques

Arabesque: “an ornament or style made of an intricate pattern of interlaced lines; a dance pose”

 

2nd arabesque en fondu

 

 

Assemblés

Assemblé: “to gather; gathered”

 

Assemblés en avant and en arrière

“to gather; gathered; forward and backward”

En avant: the front foot slides out and closes in front.

En arrière: the back foot slides out and closes at the back.

This step travels (forward/backward).

 

Assemblé de côté dessus

“to gather; gathered; in a sideways direction; over”

An assemblé in which the working foot starts behind, slides to 2nd, and closes 5th devant.

The legs aim to join at the height of the jump and may be slightly toward the working side.

This step travels sideways in the direction of the working leg.

 

Assemblé de côté dessous

“to gather; gathered; in a sideways direction; under”

An assemblé in which the working foot starts in front, slides to 2nd, and closes 5th derrière.

The legs aim to join at the height of the jump and may be slightly toward the working side.

This step travels sideways in the direction of the working leg.

 

 

Attitudes

Attitude: “a pose or way of holding oneself”

 

Attitude derrière en ouvert

“pose; behind; open”

A basic attitude, taken facing either downstage corner. The dancer stands on the upstage leg with the downstage leg behind the body, held en l’air with the thigh at 90 degrees and the knee at an angle slightly under 90 degrees (less bent than in attitude derrière en croisé). The arms are in 4th position with the downstage arm raised.

 

 

Ballonnés

Ballonné: “to blow up like a balloon; inflated; a light jump on one leg”

 

A jump from one leg landing on the same leg, combined with an outward extension and inward bending action of the working leg. At the height of the jump both legs are fully stretched.

Performed sur place with the working leg extending devant, à la seconde or derrière.

Can also be travelled in the direction of the extended working leg en avant, de côté or en arrière.

Also called ballonnée simple.

 

Ballonnés composés en avant, en arrière and de côté

“light jump on one foot; compound; forward, backward and sideways”

Composite step consisting of a ballonné, a quick extension leading into a step, and a close.

May be performed en avant, en arrière or de côté.

Usually performed to one bar of 3/4 music, such as a polonaise or mazurka.

 

Ballonnées simples en avant, en arrière, de côté and à la seconde

“light jump on one foot; simple; forward, backward, sideways and to 2nd (the side)”

A ballonné may be travelled (forward; backward; sideways) or executed sur place (à la seconde – the leg extends to the side but the jump does not travel).

 

 

Battements fondus

Battement fondu: “beating; melted”

 

Battement fondu en demi-pointe

 

Brisés

Brisé: “to break or shatter”

 

Brisé dessous

“broken step; under”

A brisé travelling sideways in which the working leg begins and ends 5th devant.

 

 

Coupés

Coupé: “to cut; a cutting step”

 

Coupé dessous en tournant chassé en avant

“cutting step; under; turning; chased step; forward”

A composite step consisting of a coupé dessous and a simultaneous turn in the direction of the foot that is released, followed by a chassé en avant.

May be performed in series.

(Male syllabus only)

 

 

Emboîtés

Emboîté: “to fit together; a light step characterised by the passing of the feet, one in front of the other”

 

Emboîté en pointe

An action performed as part of a series of precise, quick transfers of weight under the body line.

The dancer begins in 5th position en pointes with the working leg behind. Staying en pointes throughout, she extends one leg to 2nd just off the floor, then closes 5th position with a change of feet.

Usually performed in series en avant, alternating legs, with the working leg always closing in 5th devant.

Called déboîté when performed en arrière.

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Entrechats

Entrechat: “to interweave or braid”

 

Entrechats trois devant

“entrechat; three; front”

A jump in which the legs perform three actions.

The dancer begins in 5th position, jumps into the air, beats without a change of feet and then performs a change of feet (leg actions 1 and 2). Finally, the dancer places the front foot sur le cou-de-pied devant (leg action 3) as they land on the other foot.

 

Entrechats trois derrière

“entrechat; three; back”

A jump in which the legs perform three actions.

The dancer begins in 5th position, jumps into the air, beats without a change of feet and then performs a change of feet (leg actions 1 and 2). Finally, the dancer places the back foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière (leg action 3) as they land on the other foot.

 

Entrechats cinq devant

“entrechat; five; front”

A jump in which the legs perform five actions.

The dancer begins in 5th position, jumps into the air, beats with a change of feet (leg actions 1 and 2) and then performs another change of feet (leg actions 3 and 4). Finally, the dancer places the front foot sur le cou-de-pied devant (leg action 5) as they land on the other foot.

 

Entrechats cinq derrière

“entrechat; five; back”

A jump in which the legs perform five actions.

The dancer begins in 5th position, jumps into the air, beats with a change of feet (leg actions 1 and 2) and then performs another change of feet (leg actions 3 and 4). Finally, the dancer places the back foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière (leg action 5) as they land on the other foot.

 

 

Failli

Failli: “to narrowly miss something; a narrowly missed action”

 

A composite step consisting of a sissonne showing the 5th position en l’air, and a chassé passé en avant.

The dancer starts in 5th position, jumps into the air holding the 5th position, separates the legs while travelling slightly forward, and lands on the front leg with the back leg en arabesque.

The dancer then slides the back leg through 1st position en demi-plié and continues forward to finish dégagé derrière on a straight supporting leg.

Usually performed starting and ending en croisé.

 

 

Glissades

Glissade: “to glide; sliding”

 

Glissades en avant and en arrière

 

 

Jetés

Jeté: “to throw; a thrown action”

 

Grand jeté en tournant

“big; thrown; turning”

A large leap that turns.

 

Jeté ordinaire derrière de côté

“thrown; ordinary; behind; in a sideways direction”

A jump from one foot to the other, travelling to the side, landing with the freed foot touching the base of the calf.

 

 

Mazurka

Mazurka: “a lively Polish dance in triple time”

 

Mazurkas tend to have three definite accents in the bar, while waltzes have a pronounced accent on the first beat.

 

Mazurka step

(Male syllabus only)

 

 

Pas de bourrées

Pas de bourrée: “bourrée step”

 

Pas de bourrée en avant and en arrière

 

Pas de bourrée dessus and dessous en tournant

 

Pas de bourrées piqué dessous en tournant en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Petits battements

Petit battement: “small; beating action”

 

Petits battements serrés

“small; beating action; in series”

Petit battements performed through the music, with alternating closings (devant and derrière).

 

 

Piqués

Piqué: “to prick or stab; pricking action”

 

An action performed with a sharp, quick quality.

Outside the RAD this term refers to a sharp step en pointe.

 

Battements piqués en croix

“beaten; pricking action; in the form of a cross; crosswise”

Small lifts of the leg to glissé height in the sequence: devant, to 2nd, derrière, to 2nd.

 

Grands battements piqués

 

 

Port de bras

Port de bras: “a carriage of the arms”

 

Circular port de bras towards barre

 

Port de bras with forward and back bend in 4th en fondu

 

 

Pirouettes

 

En dehors: doubles finished in 4th position en fondu

 

En dehors: singles en pointe closing in 5th position

(Female syllabus only)

 

En dehors: singles with posés en demi-pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

En dedans: double with fouetté

(Female syllabus only)

 

En dedans: singles en pointe without fouetté

(Female syllabus only)

 

En dedans: singles with posés en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

En dehors: doubles with posés

(Male syllabus only)

 

En dedans: doubles with fouetté

(Male syllabus only)

 

 

Pivots

Pivot: “swivelling action”

 

Pivots en dedans in attitude

 

Pivots en dehors in 2nd position

 

 

Posés

Posé: “to set or place; placed; a placed step”

 

Posés en avant and en arrière en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

Posés en avant with développé passé devant en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

Posés en avant in arabesque and en arrière in attitude

(Female syllabus only)

 

Posés en avant in arabesque and attitude en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

Posés en arrière to retirés devant en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Relevés

Relevé: “to pull up; raise; lift; or push up; a lifted or lifting action.”

 

Relevés 1 to 1 en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

Relevés in attitude devant en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

Relevés with développé to 2nd en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Ronds de jambes

Rond de jambe: “circle of the leg”

 

Ronds de jambe jeté en dehors and en dedans

“circle of the leg; thrown; outward and inward”

A thrown rond de jambe action, with the highest point reached as the working leg passes through 2nd position en l’air.

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Rotation

Rotation: “Rotation”

 

A turn of the body toward the extended leg, which often maintains its position in space.

May be performed with the working leg à terre or en l’air, with the supporting leg pivoting flat or en demi-pointe or performing a rise, relevé or sauté.

The opposite action is called a Fouetté.

 

Rotation en l’air

 

 

Sissonnes

Sissonne: Thought to originate from “ciseau” – “scissors”

 

Sissonne doubleé

“sissonne; doubled”

A composite step consisting of a sissonne ouverte, a coupé and an assemblé.

As a result of the momentum generated in the sissonne, the assemblé dessus (over) or dessous (under) may travel slightly.

 

Sissonne doublée dessus

“sissonne; doubled; over”

 

Sissonne doublée dessous

“sissonne; doubled; under”

 

Sissonne doublée en avant

“sissonne; doubled; forward”

 

Sissonne doublée en arrière

“sissonne; doubled; backward”

 

 

Soutenus

Soutenu: “to support; hold up; sustain; a sustained action.”

 

Petits soutenus en tournant en demi-pointe and en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

Soutenus en tournant en dehors en demi-pointe and en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

Posé assemblé soutenu en tournant en dedans en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Temps de cuisse

Temps de cuisse: “time; of the thigh”

 

A composite step consisting of a quick petit retiré (French temps de cuisse), or a quick battement glissé to 2nd (Italian temps de cuisse), followed by a sissonne fermée de côté closing on the beat.

 

French temps de cuisse dessus

“time; of the thigh; over”

A temps de cuisse consisting of a petit retiré passé devant and a sissonne fermée de côté devant.

The dancer starts in 5th position en demi-plié with the working leg derrière. They lift the foot through petit retiré and close 5th devant en demi-plié. The dancer continues the movement by jumping from two feet to travel sideways away from the front leg, which extends to 2nd, landing on the other leg and immediately closing the extended leg 5th devant en demi-plié.

 

French temps de cuisse dessous

“time; of the thigh; under”

A temps de cuisse consisting of a petit retiré passé derriè and a sissonne fermée de côté derrière.

The dancer starts in 5th position en demi-plié with the working leg devant. They lift the foot through petit retiré and close 5th derrière en demi-plié. The dancer continues the movement by jumping from two feet to travel sideways away from the front leg, which extends to 2nd, landing on the other leg and immediately closing the extended leg 5th derrière en demi-plié.

 

 

Tour en l’air

Tour en l’air: “turn; in the air”

 

A complete turn in the air, usually beginning from 5th and ending in the opposite 5th (changement en tournant).

 

Double tour en l’air

(Male syllabus only)

 

 


 

Advanced Foundation: Free Enchaînement Vocabulary

 

Focal steps

Focal steps listed for previous levels will not be used.

 

Ballonné composé

  • Ballonné composé en avant
  • Ballonné composé en arrière
  • Ballonné composé de côté

 

Ballonnée simple

  • Ballonnée simple en avant
  • Ballonnée simple en arrière
  • Ballonnée simple de côté
  • Ballonnée simple à la seconde

 

Sissonne doublée

  • Sissonne doublée dessus
  • Sissonne doublée dessous
  • Sissonne doublée en avant
  • Sissonne doublée en arrière

 

Assemblé

  • Assemblé en avant
  • Assemblé en arrière
  • Assemblé de côté dessus and dessous
  • Assemblé battu dessus and dessous

 

Linking steps

In addition to the linking steps listed for Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate, dancers should have knowledge of:

 

  • Coupé dessus and dessous
  • Entrechat trois and cinq devant and derrière
  • Failli
  • French temps de cuisse dessus and dessous
  • Glissades en avant and en arrière
  • Pas de bourrées en avant, en arrière, and en tournant dessus and dessous
  • Soubresaut
  • Temps levés

 

 


 

Bibliography

 

This resource was created for revision purposes and is intended as a helpful guide.

It was compiled using the following Royal Academy of Dance publications:

 

Royal Academy of Dance (2021) Specifications. Available at: https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/exams/specifications-and-syllabus-updates/ (Accessed: 5 December 2021).

Royal Academy of Dance (2015) The Foundations of Classical Ballet Technique. Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises.

Royal Academy of Dance (2002) The Progressions of Classical Ballet Technique. Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises.

Ryman, Rhonda (2007) Dictionary of Classical Ballet. 3rd edition. Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises.

 

 


 

 

Georgina Butler is an editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher.