Get lost in dance, not translation.

​​Ballet Words & Definition:

 First position: 

The heels are together with the toes of each foot pointed out toward either side, with legs straight and turned out, following the position of the feet.

Second position: 

Legs are straight and the feet are turned out to each side like in first position, but the difference is that the heels do not touch and are instead about hip-width apart.

Third position: 

This position is rarely used, since it can be mistaken for a sloppy first or fifth position, but it is still important to learn. Begin in first position, and then slide the heel of one foot so it lines up with the middle of the other foot, keeping both feet pointing out in opposite directions.

Fourth position:

 Stand with one foot about a foot’s length in front of your other foot. Each foot should be pointing in an opposite direction, and the toes of the back foot should line up with the heel of the front foot.

Fifth position:

 This position is the most difficult one. It’s like fourth position, but there is no gap between your feet. The toes of each foot should be directly in front of the heel of the other foot, and make sure your legs are turned out and straight.


Arabesque is one of the most popular basic Ballet moves. It is a position supported on one leg, which can be straight or in demi-plié, with the other leg extended behind and at right angles to it, and the arms held in various positions creating the longest possible lines from the fingertips outward. It can be found in almost every classical and modern Ballet today.


It is a standing position on one leg with the other leg lifted in the front or the back with the knee bent at an angle of 90 degrees and well turned out so that the knee is higher than the foot. The supporting foot may be à terre, sur la pointe or sur la demi-pointe. The arm on the side of the raised leg is held over the head in a curved position while the other arm is extended to the side.


Means “beating”. There are two types of battements, grands battements and petits battements. It is when a dancer extends his/her leg to the front, back or side.


Rocking step. The weight is shifted from one foot to the other.


This is a move that is performed on your half-toe, whereby the first leg pulls the other leg in tightly - in very small and quick steps.


 Chased. A step in which one foot literally chases the other out of its position. (shaSay)


Means “Chains, links”. This is the most simple term for “turns”. The dancer performs a series of traveling turns by quick steps that involve alternating feet.


Means “Change of feet”. After a jump, the dancer will change feet in the air and alighting in the fifth position with the opposite foot in the front. They are done petit and grand.


Means “to chase”. It is where one foot extends out in front and then the back foot chases the front foot and very quickly the front foot shoots out again forward. They are usually done in series.


To escape - moving from 5th to 2nd position by sliding the feet to the ball of the foot - or as a jump.

Pas de chat

Means “Cat’s-step”. It is a step resembling how a cat jumps. First one foot jumps up and then the other one immediately follows into a jump as well. For a moment both legs in the air are in passés before coming down.


Means “Bent, bending”. One of the most famous moves in Ballet. It refers to the bending of the knee or knees with strong turn out from feet, knees and hips. They are typically done in 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th positions in classical ballet, both at the barre and center in classes.

Port de bras

Means “movement of the arms”. A movement or series of movements made by passing the arm or arms through various positions. Usually there are many exercises to help dancers master graceful arm movements. For example, if a ballerina moves her arms from first position to fifth position, that is considered a port de bras.


Means “rising”. It is the rising on the toes or the balls of feet (on point or demi pointe). Relevé may be done in the first, second, fourth or fifth position and many other positions. Releves can be done very quickly with sharp springs or with slow graceful style.

Ront de jambe

It is the circle of the leg. Ronds de jambe are used as an exercise at the bar and in the center. It is when the weight is on one leg and the working leg makes a circle inward or outward.


To extend the leg straight out from supporting leg with foot fully pointed - front, side or back.

Jazz Words & Definition:

Ball Change:

Syncopated weight shift onto the ball of the rear foot and back to the flat front foot


Step together step


A series of steps that move sideways with a side, back, side, front pattern


A scissor-like movement where one leg is in the air while the other leg kicks up to pass it


Movement of only one part of the body

Jazz walk:

Many varieties but generally a turned out low walk using shoulder opposition

Jazz square:

A crossed front-back-back-front four step move in the floor pattern of a square


A front/back, back/front step with hips swiveling in a figure 8

Tap Words & Definition:


Back Flap: 

This is a step that brushes back, steps then drops the heel.

 Simply a ball change.
Ball Beat: 

A basic dropping of the ball of the foot.
Ball Change:

 Alternately weight on the balls of the feet from each foot. This can be done in any direction.
Ball Tap: 

Just what it says, place the ball of your foot on the ground then tap down.


A full brush of the foot against the ground. This can be done in any direction. Basically, the you flex the knee then strike the ball of the foot against the floor then the leg raises in the other direction to follow through the movement.
Brush Step:

A brush with a step on the end of it which is the same as a “flap”.


This is the same as a “Buck” as described above. It’s a forward and forceful scuff of the floor with the heel that pushes forward about 3 inches.


A forward digging movement (into the floor) that can be done with the ball of the foot of the heel.
Dig Ball:

 A strike of the ball of the free foot forward in a forceful movement.
Dig Heel

A hard strike of the heel in any direction.


Jumping up with one foot then flexing your knee of your other foot as the moving leg springs up and lands on the original foot.


A hop and slide forward, similar to a Chug.

A heel movement executed in the same manner as a forward brush where the back edge of the heel strikes the floor in a swinging like movement.


A forward brush then a back in any direction done fast in a 16th note rhythm.

Stamp (or ”flat step”): 

Stepping on the flat of the foot, taking full weight.

Placing the foot firmly on the floor, taking weight (always executed on the ball of the foot unless otherwise noted).
Step Chug

A step forward on the ball (or flat) of the foot, usually followed by a Chug.
Step Brush, Heel Drop: 

Just what it says ;)
Step Pull (or “step, slide”): 

A step and slide back on the same foot.
Stomp (or “flat tap”): 

Striking the floor with the flat of the foot not taking weight.

Swivel (twist): 

1/4 or 1/2 turn done on the balls of the feet. The feet do not leave the floor.

Toe Back (or “toe tap”): 

To strike the point of the toe behind the standing foot then immediately raising the foot from the floor.
Toe Beat: 

Same as a Toe Tap but the toe remains on the floor

Toe Drop

A force of the ball of the foot to the floor starting from a heel balance.

Brush forward and heel dig forward with the other foot (starting with a heel balance)

Much ado about Cheer


Arm Motions: A set placement of the arms and hands used in a cheer, a stunt or a jump.

Blades: One way of holding the hands while executing an arm motion. Hands are held outstretched with fingers tightly together and thumbs tucked in at the sides. Fingers should not be curled up, but rather held as flatly as possible.

Bow-N-Arrow (Arms): One arm is placed in a "T" motion and the other is in a "T," but broken at the elbow and the fist is brought into the shoulder in buckets. (This can be done to either direction. If the right arm is in the "T," it is a right Bow-NArrow.)

Candle Sticks: Motion where you extend your arms out in front of you with your fists facing down.

Chant: A short cheer that is easy to remember and repeat and used to get the crowd excited and cheering along with the cheerleaders. Chants are repeated over and over until the crowd begins to die down. The chant is also referred to as a sideline.

  Clap: Done mostily in a cheer is when the four fingers of each hand are held tightly together and the hands are cupped to fit around each other, separating only between the thumb and pointer finger. The action is repeated & repeated.

  Clasp (also called a "clap"): The four fingers of each hand are held tightly together and the hands are cupped to fit around each other, separating only between the thumb and pointer finger. The "Clasp" should be held in close to the body (about 6 inches away) and below the chin with arms in table tops.

  Cheer: Longer than chants and contain a group of words or phrases that generate excitement and attention. Cheers are often choreographed with motions, jumping, stunting and tumbling and are used more for performance than crowd response.

Diagonal: One arm is placed in one-half of a "High V" and the other is in half of a "Low V." (This can be done either direction. It is a right "Diagonal" if the right arm is high and vice versa.)

  Facials: The smiles, winks and so on that a cheerleader gives the crowd or the judges.

  Fists: One way of holding the hands while executing an arm motion. Fingers are curled inward into tight fists and the thumbs are wrapped around the fingers on the outside of the fist. Wrists are tight so the fists do not break upward or downward.

K: Put your left arm up like a high v and your right arm across your body.

L: One arm is placed in a punch motion (overhead in candlesticks with palm facing inward) and the other is placed in onehalf of a "T" motion. ) to create an "L" effect. This can be done either direction. It is a right "L if the right arm is in the punch and vice versa.)

Low V: Both arms are locked out with hands in buckets and held at 5:00 and 7:00. This is done by placing the hands in a "T" and dropping them just slightly to form an upside-down "V" with the arms.

Spirit: Term used to describe the showing or appearance of happiness, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. To have those feelings toward a certain team, school, etc. - school spirit. "Show some spirit!"​

Split: A stretch of the legs performed by extending both legs, one in front, the other in back, parallel to the surface of the ground, and can be on the ground or in a stunt.

(Side split) A middle split is achieved by straddling the legs, one as far to the right and one as far to the left as possible, while seated or in a stunt.

Straddle: A position where the legs are straight out and apart, you are in a sitting postion.

T Motion: Both arms are held to the sides at shoulder level, parallel to the ground with hands in buckets.

Table Tops: The arms are held straight out in front of the body and bent upward at the elbows in 90 degree angles. The hands are in daggers. (The bottoms of the arms should appear flat, as though they are resting on a table.)

Touchdown: Both arms are held directly overhead, locked out and tight against the head. Hands are in candlesticks with palms facing each other. NOTE: a "Low Touchdown" is done by bringing the arms down in front so that the knuckles are facing the ground.


Front Hurdler: A jump that is executed by kicking one leg straight in front of the body, as high as possible, with toes pointed. The second leg is bent directly underneath the body with the knee facing down. Arms are in a touchdown motion.

Jump Approach: This is the first thing to learn when learning jumps because this is what gets your jumps started there are several different types like: The Whip,The Clasp and more.

Pike: A jump that is executed by bending the body in half, parallel to the floor, with both legs straight out and toes pointed. Arms are also straight out, matching the shape of the legs.

Prep: a.k.a. approach: The motion you use to prepare to do a jump. The most common are the whip approach and the power (or dip) approach.

Spread Eagle: a.k.a. "X" jump: This jump is performed with the arms in a high "V" and the legs are split with toes pointed, forming an "X" with the body. Unlike the toe touch, where the knees are facing up, in a spread eagle, the knees face forward. Repetitive "X" jumps are great for improving stamina and inner leg strength for improving other jumps.

Toe Touch: A jump that is executed with the arms in a "T" motion and the legs split to the sides and toes pointed. Knees are facing up and the jumper should aim for a "hyperextended" look with the legs. The back is straight and arms are placed behind the legs-they do not touch the toes, as the name implies.

Tuck: A jump that is executed by "tucking" the knees into the chest. The back is straight and the chest should not be brought to the knees. Toes are pointed and arms are in a high "V". Sometimes called jump builders, repetitive tuck jumps are great for building stamina and stomach strength to improve other jumps.


Back Bend: A tumbler spreads the legs shoulder width and put your hands straight up by your ears. Look up at your hands and bend your back, Look for the ground, and try to put your hands really close to your feet. Once they hit the ground, your there! This is a very important steppingstone skill

  Back Handspring: A tumbler jumps backwards onto the hands, followed by a quick push from the hands to the feet. Also know as flip-flop or flick-flack.

Bridge: This is often used as a limbering exercise for back and shoulder flexibility. The body is in a backward arch with hands and feet flat on the floor. The better bridges will show the shoulders directly above the hands or pushing past the hands if the tumbler has very flexible shoulders.

Cartwheel: A tumbler turns sideways from a standing position, to a handstand, and then back to a standing position. Also said to be a lateral handspring with arms and legs extended

Hand Stand: A straight body inverted position where the arms of the athlete are extended straight by the head and ears

Rebound: The move where a tumbler, after landing a tumbling move pushes up with the feet to prepare to do another tumbling move.

Round-off: The move where a tumbler turns sideways from a standing position, to a handstand, and then snaps the legs together and lands feet together in a standing position.

Walk over: A gymnastic feat in which the body is bent forward or backward from an upright position, the hands are placed on the floor, and the legs are arced one after the other over the hands to finish in a standing position.

Back Roll: A very basic flip on the ground, just tuck into a ball and roll backwards

Front Roll: A very basic flip on the ground, just tuck into a ball and roll forwards

Front Limber: Go into a handstand, then fall into a backbend



  Arabesque: A fully-extended stunt where the flyer stands on one straight leg and extends the unsupported leg straight behind her with toes pointed, while keeping the torso upright and arms in a "T." The arabesque is a variation of the Liberty.    

  Base: The person(s) in a stunt group who supports the flyer's weight and returns them safely to the ground after the stunt is over.

Bow-And-Arrow: (Stunt) Much like the heel-stretch, the bow-and-arrow is a fully-extended stunt where the flyer stands on one straight leg and holds the foot of her unsupported leg with her opposite hand in an extremely "stretched" position. The other arm is in half a "T" motion. The bow-and-arrow is a variation of the Liberty.

  Bracer: A person who assists in stabilizing a stunt by remaining in direct contact with a flyer or base. A bracer may be on the competition surface or in a stunt.

  Cupie: A fully-extended stunt where the flyer is held, with her feet together, in one hand (partner stunt) or simulated to look as so (group stunt) by the base(s). The cupie is a.k.a. an "awesome."

  Dismount: A way used to return to a floor position following a stunt or routine.

  Flyer: The person in a stunt who leaves the ground and is supported by her bases before being returned safely to the ground. Also called a "top".

 Front Spot: An extra person in a stunt group used to hold at the front and add stability and usually holds at the foot of the flyer or wrists of the side bases. The front spot is a.k.a a front base.

   Heel Stretch: A fully-extended stunt where the flyer stands on one straight leg and holds the foot of her unsupported leg with the same-side hand (on the outside of the foot). The leg should be slightly in front of the flyer’s body with the knee locked out and toes pointed. The other arm is in half a high "V." The heel stretch is a variation of the Liberty. 

 Hitch: When your leg is in a lib and then you bring it out to the side slightly bent at the knee.

 Liberty: An extended stunt where the flyer stands on one straight and raises the knee of her unsupported leg until the top of that leg is level and braces her foot against the knee of the straight leg. The arms are usually in a high "V" or a variation. (Abbreviated Lib).

  Needle: (Stunt) an inverted stunt position where the partner extends one leg vertically while pulling their body down to the supported leg. The head of the partner is below waist level.

Partner stunt: A two-person stunt utilizing a base and a flyer, where the base supports all of the flyer’s weight. (Usually coed).

 Pyramid: Two or more connected stunt groups built no more than two-and-one-half body lengths high. Also called a "mount."

 Roll Down: A dismount from a mount. You roll off the front.

Sassy: When you do a liberty and take the leg not based and cross it over the leg your libbing on and then put your hands on your hips.

Scale: A fully-extended stunt where a flyer stands on one straight leg and holds the unsupported leg extended in a side stretch with the knee facing forward. The other arm is in half a high "V" or a variation. The scale is a variation of the Liberty. 

Scorpion: A fully-extended stunt where the flyer stands on one leg and holds the foot of her unsupported leg behind her head (with both hands) in an extremely arched position. The scorpion is a variation of the liberty.

Shoulder Sit: A partner stunt where the flyer sits on her base's shoulders, mounting either from the front (a "toss") or from the back using the base's bent leg in a lunge (a "walk up" or "step up").

Sponge: From an elevator or a full extention stunt, the bases bring the flyer down to there hips so they are in the starting position and go back up for another stunt. Also called as smush.

Spotter: Any person (standing nearby a stunt) responsible for making sure the flyer does not hit the ground in case of a fall.

 Step and Lock: Basic mount into a stunt.

Stunt: In cheerleading, a trick involving one person (flyer) being supported by one or more people (bases) at least onehalf body length above the ground.

Stunt-group: Group of cheerleaders who execute a stunt. There must be a flyer and at least two bases supporting the flyer to be considered a "group."

Stunt-Single Base: A Stunt in which the flyer is supported by only One Base.

Thigh Stand: (Stunt) (requires minimun of 3 people) the 2 bases line their feet up and lunge sideways and the flyer stands in the leg pockets of the bent leg.

Tic-Toc: (stunt) is when the flyer switches from one braced leg to the leg that originally wasn't braced.