Ballerina Swan and the Nutcracker

Teach your Family about these Awesome Ballet Terms

Ballet is a kind of dancing that uses music, costumes, scenery and light, fluid movement to tell a story.  Sophie and her friends at dance school perform all kinds of elegant moves during their performances! Below are some of the common dance moves and terms you might see at a ballet!

Download our ballet activity sheet to see if you can unscramble the words with your family!

Barre
A handrail used for support during exercises.

Epaulement 
Elegantly positioning the shoulders so that one is forward and the other is back with the head turned or inclined.

Grand Jete
A high jump from one foot to the other, this step looks like a split leap.

Pirouette
A turn of the body standing on the supporting leg while the working leg is in retire.

Plie
Bending the knees, often a warm-up exercise.

Port de Bras
A movement in which arms pass gracefully through several positions

Releve
A raising of the heels onto the pointes or demipointes.

Tendu
The working foot slides from the supporting leg without lifting the toe from the ground until the toe has reached a full pointe. Then it slides back.

Finale
The last dance or section of a ballet that sums up the entire story

Line
Describes the outline of a dancer’s complete body while performing steps or poses.

Turn Out
A rotation of the leg that comes from the hips, causing the knee and foot to turn outward, away from the body.

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Join Sophie the Swan on a brand new dance adventure this Winter at Theatre Row!

Break out the tutus and toe-shoes for Sophie the Swan’s latest adventure. A companion piece to the hit Ballerina Swan, this world premiere blends ballet and puppetry as Sophie prepares for her first holiday performance of “The Nutcracker.” Based on the book BALLERINA SWAN by Allegra Kent and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully.


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