If you’ve never taken ballet lessons before, you can become confused by the terminology used to describe the intricate moves ballet dancers perform. Castle Rock Dance Academy is the best dance studio for kids located in beautiful Castle Rock, Colorado. We offer a variety of dance classes for kids, including ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, and hip hop. Our mission is to promote a love of dance in your child, as well as an overall sense of well-being and health and wellness. We strive to instill life’s values in their children as they learn hard work, discipline, and practice will lead to great accomplishments. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some common ballet terms you may hear your child say, so you won’t be completely left in the dark. Contact us today to get started on kids’ dance lessons!


  • Arabesque. An arabesque is where one leg is extended behind the body with a straight knee. This is one of the most common ballet moves you’ll see when you watch your child perform. It is one of the most beautiful and graceful as well, requiring a certain degree of balance and skill. This move can be performed flat-footed as a beginner, but will eventually be performed on the toes.
  • Cabriole. Meaning “to caper” in French, this is a classic ballet move you’ll see frequently performed. It’s where the ballet dancer jumps off one leg into the air and then brings the other leg up. The bottom leg then meets the other leg and beats it. The ballet dancer continues to rise in this move until gravity brings him or her down. This is an intermediate to advanced jumping move.
  • Chasse. This is one ballet term that looks like what the word means in English. In fact, it means “to chase” in French. This is where the second foot chases the first one as it moves across the floor. It looks like a scramble but is much more beautiful than that.
  • Pirouette. A pirouette is what a turn is called in ballet. This is a relatively basic ballet move that can involve multiple rotations. The lead leg is bent with the foot at knee level. This move usually alternates between flat feet and then onto the toes as the rotations are executed.
  • Plie. Perhaps the most famous ballet move amongst lay people, a plie is similar to a bow. It’s a bent stance, and there are various types of plies in ballet. A grand-plie is where the knees are bent deeply with the body brought over the foot. A demi-plie is where the knees are slightly bent. All plies can be done in all five ballet positions, which refer to how the feet are positioned. They are numbered from first through fifth and came about as an easy way for the instructor to tell the ballet student how to place their feet.
  • Tour jete. A tour jete is one of the easier leaps to perform in ballet and is just plain fun. It’s a movement where the ballet dancer leaps off one foot, half turns in the air, and lands on the other foot. Kids love this move, and once learned, adds much variety to dance routines.


Castle Rock Dance Academy is more than a dance school for kids; we’re a family and a community. We work hard in class and encourage kids to work hard outside of class in order to grow into who they want to be. Dance inherently instills discipline, a skill all kids will need in the world they will step into. Contact us today for the best ballet classes for kids!