Quiz: How Well Do You Know Ballet Terminology?
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How Well Do You Know Ballet Terminology?
by John Miller
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In the 1400s, the Renaissance swept through Europe and fueled the rise of ballet. Since then, ballet has become an extremely technical form of dance that’s popular all over the world. With its graceful and athletic moves, both female and male dancers labor for years of their lives, yearning to perfect their form. In the meantime, they must also master the language of ballet, which is mostly based on French terminology. In this quiz, swoop into the “pas de chat” (step of the cat) and let’s see if you really know your ballet terms!

Are you on the same level as Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn? They were virtuoso performers who took the world by storm with their technical precision and dancing prowess. You can bet they knew exactly what the “pas de cheval” and “petit saut” were before they ever took the stage. Do you know the finer points of the pirouette? Or do you confuse this common move with the poisson?

In ballet, “port de bras” is extremely important, as it refers to the way dancers move their arms to various positions. And to make it even more confusing, port de bras is different from place to place all over the world, so beginning dancers may take alternate approaches to this concept. Do you really think you can parse the details of ballet’s glossary?

Let’s see your best revoltade and royale in this ballet terminology quiz! Maybe you’ll prove to be a protégé worth of the stage … or perhaps you’ll fall flat on your face!

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