Royal Academy of Dance Intermediate Ballet Vocabulary

 

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

 

 

Assemblés

Assemblé: “to gather; gathered”

 

Assemblé battu dessus

“gathered step; beaten; over”

An assemblé performed with the back foot sliding to 2nd and closing behind to beat without a change of feet in mid-air before landing with a change of feet (the working foot is now 5th devant).

 

Assemblé porté de côté dessus

“gathered step; travelling; in a sideways direction; over”

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

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

 

 

Attitudes

Attitude: “a pose or way of holding oneself”

 

Attitude derrière en croisé

“pose; behind; crossed”

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

 

 

Battements fondus

Battement fondu: “beating; melted”

 

Battement fondu devant, to 2nd and derrière at 45 degrees

 

 

Battements frappés

Battement frappé: “beating; hit or strike”

 

Battement frappé devant and derrière

“beating; hit; front and back”

 

Battement frappé fouetté to 2nd position

“beating; hit; whipped”

An inward whipping action of the lower leg. The working leg extends to 2nd at 45 degrees and the knee bends so that the fully stretched foot is brought sharply into contact with the supporting leg (either devant or derrière).

 

 

Battements jetés

Battement jeté: “beating; thrown”

 

A sharply thrown action of the working leg opening to 45 degrees and returning strongly to a closed position.

The foot slides along the floor as in battement tendu and the leg is thrown out in the required direction to a fully stretched position at 45 degrees. The leg returns firmly to a closed position, with strong use of the foot along the floor.

Used for developing strength and turnout, and important in the preparation of allegro steps.

 

Battement jeté to 2nd position

 

 

Battements tendus

Battement tendu: “beating; outstretched”

 

Battement tendu devant, to 2nd and derrière from 5th position in 1 count

 

 

Brisés

Brisé: “to break or shatter; broken”

 

A travelling, beaten step consisting of an outward brushing motion en fondu, a jump with the supporting leg beating against the working leg, and a landing en demi-plié or en fondu.

The combination of the sliding movement of the working leg and the push-off (demi-plié) from the supporting leg provides the force to spring up into the air, bringing the supporting leg up to the extended leg to beat before changing to land on one foot or two.

The travel occurs in the direction of the sliding movement.

 

Brisé dessus

Brisé dessus: “broken step; over”

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

As the demi-plié begins, the working leg slide towards 2nd position at glissé height.

The combination of the sliding movement and the push from the supporting leg provides the force to spring into the air, bringing the supporting leg up to the extended leg to beat derrière before changing to land in 5th position, with the working foot derrière.

The arms are usually held in 3rd position, with the arm corresponding to the working leg placed forward. The torso leans slightly over the front arm; the eyeline is out and over the centre of the forearm.

 

 

Chaînés

Chaîné: “chain step”

 

A type of turn that is often performed in series en diagonale.

The dancer begins with the foot dégagé devant, steps to the side along the line of dance making a half turn en dedans and steps in 1st position making a half turn en dehors to complete one full turn.

 

Single chaîné

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Chassés

Chassé: “chased; a chased step”

 

Chassé passé en avant (with ¼ turn)

“chased; passed; performed with a quarter turn”

A variation of a chassé in which the working foot passes forward to 4th position.

May be taken from a closed or open position (performed with a quarter turn).

From a closed position, the back foot stretches with the tip of the toe contacting the side of the base of the heel of the supporting foot and the floor. It then passes through 5th devant, beginning the demi-plié, and slides forward along the floor to finish in 4th opposite 5th position en demi-plié.

From an open position, the back foot slides forward through 1st position en demi-plié and tracks a diagonal line to finish 4th opposite 5th position en demi-plié.

 

 

Coupés

Coupé: “to cut; a cutting step”

 

Coupé dessous en tournant

“cutting step; under; turning”

A coupé under with a turn in the direction of the foot that is released.

(Male syllabus only)

 

 

Courus

Courus: “running steps”

 

Courus en tournant en demi-pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Détournés

Détourné: “to turn away”

 

A relevé on two feet with a turn.

 

Demi détourné en demi-pointe

 

Détourné with ¼ turn

 

 

Développés

Développé: “to unfold; an unfolding action of the leg”

 

Développé derrière

 

 

Echappés relevés

Echappé relevé: “escaped action; pulled up”

 

A relevé performed with the feet moving from a closed to an open position, and returning to a closed position.

 

Echappés relevé in 4th position en pointes

 

 

Echappés sautés

Echappé sauté: “escaped action; jumped”

 

A jump from a closed position (either 1st or 5th) to an open position (either 2nd or 4th).

 

Echappé sauté in 4th position

 

Grand echappé sauté battu fermé

A big echappé sauté embellished with a beat on the closing sauté.

(Male syllabus only)

 

 

Entrechats

Entrechat: “to interweave or braid”

 

A jump in which the feet cross and the legs beat rapidly, one against the other, in the air.

Variations are named according to the number of actions of each leg:

“quatre” (four) indicates a jump from two feet to two feet where each leg interweaves twice;

“cinq” (five) indicates a jump from two feet to one foot where each leg interweaves twice and one foot ends sur le cou-de-pied devant or derrière.

 

Entrechat quatre

“entrechat; four”

A jump in which the legs change to beat and return to land with the same leg devant.

There are four interweaving actions, two with each leg.

 

 

Fouettés

Fouetté: “to whip or beat; whipped; whipping action”

 

A turn of the body away from 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 Rotation.

 

Fouetté à terre

“whipped; on the ground”

A fully coordinated movement in which the body turns away from the extended leg with a pivoting action of the supporting leg.

 

Coupé fouetté raccourci en pointe

“cutting step; whipped step; shortened”

A step in which the dancer steps en pointe, cutting behind and replacing the supporting foot while strongly extending the working leg to 2nd en l’air at 45 degrees.

The step finishes en fondu, with the dancer sharply bringing the working foot to mid-calf.

(Female syllabus only)

 

Coupé fouetté raccourci sauté

“cutting step; whipped step; shortened; jumped”

The dancer steps on the whole foot, cutting behind and replacing the supporting foot.

The dancer then jumps into the air, strongly extending the working leg to 2nd en l’air at 45 degrees, and lands on the foot that pushed off, sharply bringing the working foot to mid-calf.

 

Fouetté of adage

“whipped; at ease”

A slow, smooth fouetté action.

In its most basic form, the dancer begins in 5th position with the working leg front, performs a dégagé to 2nd and pivots – making a quarter turn away from the working leg, which maintains its position to end derrière.

This type of fouetté may be done à terre or en l’air.

May be performed with a dégagé or a développé and performed starting with the leg devant and the body making up to a half turn.

 

 

Grands battements

Grand battement: “big; beating action”

 

Grand battement in 2nd arabesque

 

 

Jetés

Jeté: “to throw; a thrown action”

 

A jump taking off from one leg and landing on the other.

 

Jeté ordinaire en avant

(Male syllabus only)

 

 

Pas de basques

Pas de basque: “step of the Basque”

 

A step consisting of transferences of weight.

 

Pas de basque glissé en avant

“step of the Basque; sliding; forward”

A stylised pas de basque executed terre à terre with a gliding quality and travelling forward.

Starting en croisé, 5th devant, the step begins with a dégagé devant en fondu then continues with a circular movement en dehors.

The weight is transferred onto the extended leg en fondu, while turning towards the other downstage corner and bringing the freed leg to 1st with a fully pointed foot. The freed foot extends to dégagé devant and the weight is transferred forward onto a straight supporting leg to dégagé derrière before closing in 5th.

The arms complement the movement of the legs. From third position, the arms open to second position and track through bras bas, first and back to third position.

The eyes follow the movement of the opening arm, then follow the other arm as it moves from bras bas to 3rd.

 

Pas de basque sauté en avant and en arrière

“step of the Basque; jumped; forwards and backwards”

A stylised travelling pas de basque taken with a strong springing action.

Taken en avant (forward) or en arrière (backward).

 

 

Pas de bourrées

Pas de bourrée: “bourrée step”

 

Terre à terre steps (toes remain close to the ground) performed in a continuous movement in any direction, demanding quick, precise footwork.

 

Pas de bourrée piqué sur le cou-de-pied en pointes

“bourrée step; pricked; on the neck of the foot; en pointe”

(Female syllabus only)

 

Running pas de bourrée en avant

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Pirouettes

 

En dehors: double from demi-plié in 4th position

 

En dedans: double from 4th position en fondu

 

Posé pirouettes in series

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Pliés

 

Grand plié in 4th position

 

 

Posés

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

 

Posé coupé de côté en demi-pointe

“placed step; cutting step; sideways; on half-tiptoe”

The dancer steps sideways then transfers the weight onto the other leg en fondu, cutting in front or behind, replacing the supporting foot.

 

Posé coupé de côté en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

Posé de côté and en arrière to 5th en demi pointes

 

Posé passé en avant en demi-pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Poses of the body

 

Écarté devant

“to separate or move apart; spread apart; front”

A basic pose of the body, taken facing either downstage corner, with the downstage foot dégagé to 2nd. A strongly extended position from corner to corner.

The arms are in 4th position with the downstage arm raised and slightly opened, and the other arm placed slightly below 2nd position.

The head is turned and raised so that the eyeline is in front of and beyond the raised forearm.

 

 

Relevés

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

 

Relevé devant and derrière en pointe

Relevé devant: “pulled up; front” – the working leg lifts to retiré devant.

Relevé derrière: “pulled up; behind” – the working leg lifts to retiré derrière.

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Ronds de jambes

Rond de jambe: “circle of the leg”

 

Grand rond de jambe en dehors and en dedans

“big; circle of the leg; outwards and inwards”

A slow and sustained circling action of the leg en l’air, tracing a semicircle in the air.

Taken from 4th devant to 4th derrière (en dehors) and 4th derrière to 4th devant (en dedans).

 

Rond de jambe en l’air en dehors and en dedans, singles and doubles

“circle of the leg; in the air; outwards and inwards”

A circling action of the lower leg, performed commencing with the working leg in 2nd position at 45 degrees.

 

 

Rotation

Rotation: “rotation”

 

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

 

Rotation à terre

“rotation; on the ground”

A fully coordinated movement where the body turns toward the extended leg with a pivoting action of the supporting leg.

 

 

Sissonnes

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

 

A jump from two feet to one foot, often with a scissor-like action.

Sissonne fermée lands on one foot with the working leg immediately closing en demi-plié, whereas sissonne ouverte ends with the working leg sustaining its open position en fondu.

 

Sissonne fermée en avant

“sissonne; closed; forward”

 

Sissonne fermée en arrière

“sissonne; closed; backward”

 

Sissonne ouverte en avant

“sissonne; open; forward”

 

Sissonne ouverte en arrière

“sissonne; open; backward”

 

 

Temps levés

Temps levé: “time or beat; lifted”

 

Temps levé in attitude derrière

 

 

Temps liés

Temps lié: “time; linked”

 

Temps lié en avant and to 2nd position en pointe

(Female syllabus only)

 

 

Turns

 

Soutenu turn

Soutenu: “to support; hold up; sustain”

 

Barrel turn

(Male syllabus only)

 

 

Walks

 

Walks en demi-pointe in low parallel retiré

(Female syllabus only)

 

 


 

Intermediate: Free Enchaînement Vocabulary

 

All free enchâinements will contain at least two variations of one focal step, and a selection of appropriate linking steps from the list below or the list from Intermediate Foundation.

 

Focal steps

 

Pas de basque

  • Pas de basque sauté en avant and en arrière

 

Assemblé

  • Assemblé battu dessus
  • Assemblés devant, derrière, dessus and dessous
  • Assemblé porté de côté dessus

 

Sissonne

  • Sissonnes fermées de côté devant, derrière, dessus and dessous
  • Sissonnes fermées and ouvertes, en avant and en arrière

 

Linking steps

 

  • Pas de bourrées devant, derrière, dessus and dessous
  • Changement, changement battu, entrechat quatre, relevé in 5th position
  • Glissades devant, derrière, dessus and dessous
  • Temps levé (not in a series)
  • Petits assemblés devant and derrière
  • Coupé chassé pas de bourrée

 

 


 

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.