What Is an Entrechat in Ballet?


An entrechat is a fundamental move in ballet that combines beats and jumps. It consists of a series of quick, alternating small jumps where the feet cross over each other in mid-air. Entrechats are often done with the dancer’s arms out at their sides or held in the fifth position.

In an entrechat, each jump is performed with a beat. The first beat is when both feet leave the floor and cross over each other, while the second beat occurs when they land after crossing. This must be done as quickly as possible, so that it appears as one smooth move. As dancers progress, they can add more beats to increase the difficulty of the move.

Entrechats can be done in multiple directions: forward and backward, or side-to-side. They may also be done with turns to make them even more intricate and challenging. Dancers must have strong legs and core muscles to properly execute an entrechat, as well as good coordination and balance.

Entrechats are one of the foundations of classical ballet technique. They provide a great way for dancers to demonstrate their agility and skill in combination with gracefulness and musicality. Entrechats are often seen in performances, particularly during solos or pas de deux (dance for two). When executed correctly, they can add an impressive flair to any dance routine.


An entrechat is an essential element of ballet technique that combines quick beats and jumps. It requires strength, coordination, balance and musicality to properly execute an entrechat. Entrechats are often seen during performances to demonstrate agility and skill, adding a graceful flair to any routine.