The Arabesque (in Arabic fashion) is similar to the attitude. (See below.) Yet the knees are not bent. The back leg may either touch the floor in tendu (arabesque par terre), or be extended off the floor. Arabesque à demi hauteur is a 45 degree angle arabesque. The arabesque à la hauteur is a 90 degree angle arabesque. The arabesque penchée is a magnificent arabesque where the body leans forward to counterbalance the back leg which is positioned 135 to 180 degrees from the supporting leg. Beautiful variations of arm and leg positions may be executed for these ballet moves.
Assemblé - A movement where the working foot slides along the ground and goes into the air while the supporting foot propels from the floor. Together they assemble in the air and land in fifth position, simultaneously. An example of such: Start in fifth position. Plié and slide your back foot into the air while the front foot pushes off the floor and goes behind. Maintain a nice air position with pointed toes. Land with both feet in fifth position. Plié.
An Attitude finds the dancer posing like the statue of Mercury - the messenger god. Stand on one leg. The supporting foot may be en pointe, demi-pointe or flat. Lift the working leg to the back and bend the knee to a near 90 degree angle with the knee higher than the foot - the knee being well turned out. Raise the arm on the working leg side over the head and curve. Extend the other arm à la seconde. Attitudes may be performed with the working leg to the front, side or behind.
Changement is French for change. The elongated phrase is changement de pieds (change of feet). Begin in fifth position. Spring into the air with toes pointed and land in fifth with the feet in opposite positions.
Chaînés (chains) - These ballet steps are quick turns along a line or circle, performed en pointe or demi-pointe. To balance, keep your center muscles tight and spot with your eyes.
Fouetté - A French word meaning whipped or windblown describes an action where the leg is whipped around the body. The famous fouetté rond de jambe en tournant (whipped circle of the leg turning) begins for a moment on a flat foot The supporting knee is bent as the working leg is whipped around to the side at hip level and is then pulled in to touch the supporting knee while the performer rises on the supporting foot.
Glissade translates to the word slide. Glissade is a movement to venture across the floor. Demi-plié in fifth position. The working foot then glides along the floor with the other foot pushing away until the dancer is in the air with pointed toes. The working foot finds the floor with a fondu - the other foot sliding into fifth position again in demi-plié.
Jeté is a leap in ballet from one foot to the other giving the illusion of the leg being thrown - hence the French adjective. Of the various jeté jumps, the grande jeté will be presented. To match the magnificence of this grande jeté, one must have strength in the legs and feet. Begin with a position such as a glissade for momentum then push off the floor extending both legs, culminating in dramatic 90 degree angles. A pretty position is portrayed with the arms in fourth.
The Pirouette (spin or twirl) is a turn in ballet where alignment is key. The body must resemble a straight line in its lifted position for a balanced spin. Pirouettes can be performed in given positions such as à la seconde. Here the angular velocity is decreased when the leg is extended. Thus, the dancer will spin slower. The pirouette can be done in fourth or fifth position. Fourth position is easier to perform. There is less force needed because the distance betweeen the legs are farther apart. Begin in fourth position. Extend your arm to the front, opposite of the front leg. Extend the other arm to the side. Plié with one or both legs. Spring to demi-pointe or pointe on the supporting leg, and turn with the working leg in retiré position (raised to side with a bent knee and toe pointed next to supporting knee.) The arms are brought into first position. Whirl the head to finish the rotation first, spotting its completion. End the movement in fourth as gracefully as begun.