Nancy Larsen Dance Studio, Westlake, Ohio 440-871-0633

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We are located at 23800 Center Ridge Road, Westlake. We are just west of Clague Road. We are on the North side of the street, across from Auto Nation Ford.

Encourage your child, especially in the beginning stages. It takes time to read or write, it also takes time to learn dance steps. Each child learns at at their own pace.


Ballet Terms:
definitions courtesy of:

Adagio - Any dance to slow music; also, part of the classical pas de deux in ballet.In classical ballet the pas de deux (duet) consists of four sections: an opening adagio in which the man supports the woman in turns and balances, followed by a solo variation for each of them, and concluded by a fast coda in which they again dance together.

air, en l' - (ballet) a step done off the ground -- for instance, rond de jambe en l'air.

allegro - A dance with a fast or moderate tempo. That part of a ballet class comprised of fast turning or jumping, especially beaten steps; usually follows the adagio.

allonge - (ballet) an elongated line; in particular, the horizontal line of an arabesque with one arm stretched front and the other back.

Amalgamation - A combination of two or more patterns or movements.

arabesque - a position in which the dancer stands on one leg, straight or bent, with the other extended to the back at 90 degrees.

assemble - a jump from one to both feet, usually landing in fifth position.

attitude - a pose in which one leg is raised in back or in front with knee bent, usually with one arm raised.

balance - A step that rocks from one foot to the other, usually in 3/4 time.

ballerina - female dancer. Prima ballerina, or first dancer, is usually used for one who dances leading roles.

ballet - classical theatrical dancing based on the danse d'ecole, the rules and vocabulary that were codified around 1700 in France.

ballet blanc - A ballet in which the women wear white tutus, such as the second and fourth acts of Swan Lake.

ballet d'action - a ballet with a plot, usually tragic.

ballet de cour, le (court ballet) - spectacles for entertainment, usually with allegorical or mythological themes, performed by the aristocracy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, combining music, recitatives, and mime.

ballon - the ability of a dancer to remain suspended in air during a jump; elasticity in jumping.

barre - the wooden bar that runs around the wall of the ballet studio at waist height, and which the dancer holds onto during the first part of class - usually referred to as the barre. It helps the dancer find or adjust his/her balance.

bas, en - low, as in placement of arms.

basic movement - a characteristic figure that remains constant.

battement - a beating movement of the legs.

bourree, pas de - a series of small, fast steps executed with the feet very close together.

brise - a jump off one foot that is "broken" by a beating of the legs in the air.

cabriole - In ballet, a leap in which the lower leg beats against the upper one at an angle, before the dancer lands again on the lower leg.

cambre - In ballet, a bend from the waist to the side or to the back.

chasse - A sliding step in which one foot "chases" and displaces the other.

chat, pas de - Catlike leap in which one foot follows the other into the air, knees bent; the landing is in the fifth position.

Choreography - A creation or compilation of steps, patterns and movements which make up a dance or a dance routine.

coda - In ballet, the third and final part of the classical pas de deux.

Continuity Movement - The continuous passing of the feet from one step to the next.

contraction - A basic movement in the technique of Martha Graham, based on breath inhalation and exhalation.

corps de ballet - The members of a ballet company who do not perform solo.

croisee - In ballet, a position with the body at an oblique angle and the working leg crossing the line of the body.

dance - a series of rhythmic and patterned bodily movements usually performed to music.

danseur noble - A male dancer who performs the "princely" roles of the classical ballet, such as the Prince in Swan Lake.

degage - Shifting weight from one foot to the other.

demi-caractere - A style of dancing that has elements of character dancing but remains within the classical technique.

developpe - An unfolding of the leg in the air.

Drop - A theatrical type of movement in which the follower’s body weight is partially or completely supported by the leader while at least one part of the follower’s body remains in contact with the floor.

ecarte - A position with one leg extended at an oblique angle while the body is also at an oblique angle.

efface - A position of the body at an oblique angle and partly hidden.

elevation - The ability to jump high into the air and give the appearance of remaining suspended at the apex of the jump.

enrosque - a twist

entrechat - A ballet movement in which the dancer repeatedly crosses his or her legs in the air.

epaulement - The position of the torso from the waist up.

etoile - Literally "star." The highest rank a dancer may hold in the Paris Opera.

ferme - A closed position of the feet.

Fifth position - One foot in front of the other, parallel, with heel in front foot touching toe of back foot.

first position - feet in a straight line, heels touching.

five positions - The basic positions of the feet. First position: feet in a straight line, heels touching. Second position: feet in a straight line, heels apart. Third position: one foot in front of the other, parallel to it, with heel of front foot in hollow instep of back foot. Fourth position: one foot in front of the other, parallel, but apart. Fifth position: One foot in front of the other, parallel, with heel in front foot touching toe of back foot.

Flatfoot - Flatfoot dancing is largely based on a low-to-the-floor style that emphasizes intricate rhythms and creative percussive dancing.

fondu - A lowering of the body by bending the knee.

fouette - Literally "whipped." A turning step, usually done in a series, in which the working leg whips out to the side in and then into the knee as the dancer turns on the supporting leg, rising onto the point at each revolution.

fouette en tournant - A spectacular movement in which the dancer propels himself or herself around a supporting leg with rapid circular movements of the other leg while remaining in a fixed spot.

Fourth position - one foot in front of the other, parallel, but apart.

Galop - Hungary seems to take credit as the birthplace of the Galop. It was an old time dance, often introduced at the Country dances or following a Volte and Contra Danse as a contrast to their slow and somewhat monotonous steps. In 2/4 time, it was a springy step with a glissade and a chasse.

Glissade - A gliding step which usually connects two steps.

haut, en - A position of the arms above the head.

Hoofer - A term used for a dancer of the 1920's, and later not just any dancer, but became specifically to refer to a tap dancer.

Jete - A leap from one leg to the other in which one leg is thrown to the side, front, or back. Grand jete: a large leap forward.

Leotard - A one-piece garment covering the entire torso, with or without sleeves, worn with tights for practice or in many contemporary ballets, as a stage costume. Originally designed by the French acrobat Jules Leotard (1830-1870) who also invented the flying trapeze.

Line - The length and stretch of the body from head to toe.

Line of Dance - The counterclockwise course followed by dancers progressing around a room.

Ocho - a figure "eight".

Ouvert - In ballet, an open position of the feet.

Par Terre - Steps performed on the floor. It is the opposite of en l'air.

Pas de Deux - A dance for two, usually a woman and a man. In its traditional form, it begins with an entree and adagio, followed by solo variations for each dancer, and a coda.

Penche - In ballet, leaning forward.

Phrasing - The fitting of dance figures to the rhythm and/or melody of the music. Phrasing may be adjusted in certain dances by the use of lead-in steps to bring the dancers in on a different beat.

Pique - Stepping directly onto the point of a foot.

Pirouette - A complete turn of the body executed on one leg; the working leg is placed with the foot drawn up to the ankle or knee of the supporting leg.

Plie - A bending of the knees in any of the five positions. Demi plie: a half bending of the knees, with heels on the floor. Grand plie: a full bending of the knees.

Plie - A bending. The first exercises done in every class to loosen muscles, the foundation of the dancers’ technique.

Point - A position on the tip of the toes. Demi-point: a position on the balls of the feet.

Pointe - The tip of the toe. Women, and infrequently men, dance sur les pointes (on point) in blocked shoes. This is often referred to as "full point." "Half point" and "three quarter point" are used when the dancer stands with the toes spread flat on the floor and the rest of the foot raised from the metatarsal joint.

Poise - in smooth dancing, the stretch of the woman’s body upwards and outwards and leftwards into the man’s right arm to achieve balance and connection with his frame, as well as to project outwards to the audience.

Port de Bras - In ballet, the positions of the arms.

Port de Bras - Literally "carriage of the arms." Used in this sense, and also to denote exercise designed to develop the upper part of the body. There are positions of the arms just as there are positions of the feet -- the numbering of them varies according to the method of training.

Positions (ballet) - There are five basic positions for the feet in which all steps in classic ballet begin and end, with corresponding positions of the arms. It is assumed that in all these positions the legs are turned out from the pelvis. First position: heels touching, feet in a straight line; second position: feet apart in a straight line; third position: one foot in front of the other, the heel against the instep; fourth position: feet apart, one in front of the other, either opposite first, or opposite fifth; fifth position: one foot in front of the other, the heel against the joint of the big toe. (Ballroom dancers describe feet positions same way).

Premier Danseur - Principal male dancer.

Promenade - In ballet, a slow turn of the body on the whole foot.

Releve - In ballet, a rising with a spring movement to point or demi-point.

Reverence - A ballet bow or curtsy in which one foot is pointed in front and the body leans forward.

Rhythm - The regular occurrence of accented beats that shape the character of music or dance.

Ronde de Jambe - Literally "circle of the leg." May be performed on the ground or in the air, inwards or outwards, jumping or turning.

Rosin - A by-product of turpentine, used by dancers in powdered form on their shoes to prevent slipping.

Second position - feet in a straight line, heels apart.

Spotting - A fixing of the eyes on one spot as long as possible during turns to avoid dizziness and to keep one's orientation.

Third position - one foot in front of the other, parallel to it, with heel of front foot in hollow instep of back foot.

Tights (ballet) - A close-fitting garment covering the dancer's body from waist to feet, worn both in class and on the stage.

Timing - dancing on time with the music.

Tour en l'air - A turn in the air, executed as the dancer jumps with the body held vertically straight. Males perform single, double or triple tours.

Truckin - A form of shuffling along while shaking the index finger Popular in 1937.

Variation - Any solo performance in a ballet.


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Nancy Larsen Dance Studio, LLC
23800 Center Ridge Road
Westlake, Ohio 44145
Phone: 440-871-0633
Text: 216-410-4434