What Does Fouette Mean in Ballet?


Fouette is a French term with origins from the mid-17th century that is used in classical ballet. The term translates to “whip” and it is used to describe a specific type of turn.

It is a movement that starts with a single turn, and then continues with one or more turns on one foot while the other foot is repeatedly brushing off of the floor. The fouette turn can be done in any direction and can be done en dehors (outside leg) or en dedans (inside leg).

A fouette requires extreme control and balance, as the dancer must maintain their balance while whipping their leg out and back in repeatedly. It takes strength, agility, and grace to perform this move correctly. The fouette typically starts with the dancer striking their working leg outward in a passé position and then bringing it back in to second position before leaping into the air again.

The fouette also has several variations. For example, there is a double fouette which consists of two revolutions before coming out of the turn, as well as a triple fouette where three revolutions are done before coming out of the turn. There are also some variations that involve changing directions while turning.

Fouettes are usually performed in strings of multiple turns during certain pieces of choreography or adages to show strength, speed, and control. They require more energy than other turns which makes them more difficult for dancers to master.

Fouettes are an important part of ballet technique because they demonstrate skill and artistry on stage. Many dancers strive to master this difficult yet beautiful move for their performances in order to show off their technical ability as well as their musicality and style.

Conclusion: Fouettes are an essential part of classical ballet technique that require skill, grace, strength, agility, speed, control and artistry from dancers to be performed correctly. They are usually done in strings of multiple turns during certain pieces of choreography or adages which demonstrates how difficult it can be for dancers to master this move but how impressive it looks when they do so successfully on stage.