10 Most Important Ballet Terms



When most people think of ballet, they often envision the graceful profile of a dancer standing on one leg. The other leg is extended behind the body, at a right angle to the supporting leg. The dancer's arms are elegantly stretched out to make the body look as long as possible. This move is known as the arabesque (a-ra-BESK), a graceful pose that gets its name from a Moorish ornament [source: ABT].

The supporting leg may also be demi-plié, but the dancer's shoulders must be kept square. Arabesques are often used to end a succession of steps. There are a host of variations upon the basic technique.

Keep reading for a little attitude adjustment.