What Are the 7 Movements of Ballet?


The 7 movements of Ballet are the foundation of classical dance. From the arabesque to the pas de chat, these steps and poses make up the very core of ballet technique.

Ballet is an ancient form of dance that has been around since the 15th century and has evolved over time, with various schools and styles developing from it.

The seven movement categories of ballet are:

  • Plie, which is a bending of the knees, either in first or second position.
  • Releve, which is an elevation from plie to a demi-pointe or full pointe.
  • Developpe, which is a smooth, sweeping movement from plie to an extended leg position.
  • Echappe, which is a quick jump with one foot while maintaining balance with the other.
  • Grand Battement, which is a fast motion of one leg that extends and moves away from the body.
  • Pas de Chat, which is a jumping step that resembles a cat’s leap.
  • Arabesque, which is an extended leg held in the air behind the body while balancing on one leg.

These seven movements are essential for any dancer studying classical ballet technique. They serve as both foundational steps for more advanced pieces as well as building blocks for creating variations on older works.

Without them, dancers would not have access to such diverse repertoires and forms as contemporary ballet or jazz ballet.


The 7 movements of Ballet form the basis for many different styles and techniques in classical dance. From plies to arabesques, these steps provide dancers with the necessary tools to create unique works that can span a variety of genres. With these seven movements, ballet can continue to evolve and develop in new directions while still maintaining its foundation in classical technique.