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10 Most Important Ballet Terms


A pas jeté (pah zhuh-TAY) is such a familiar ballet term that it's usually called by its shorter name, jeté. Pas jeté means "throwing step" and usually refers to a jump or a leap. More specifically, it's a particular kind of jump in which the dancer jumps from one foot to the other. In the process, the working leg is brushed through the air so that it seems to have been thrown. As with so many techniques in ballet, there are a great variety of jetés.

In the grand jeté (large jeté), the dancer throws the working leg to form a 90-degree angle with the other leg as he or she makes a high leap.

Jetés may be performed in any direction. They can be combined with positions like arabesques and done with many other movements. Terms paired with jeté indicate what's going on: A jeté en avant grand, for example, means a large leap forward.