What Is Coupe in Ballet?


Coupe in ballet is a movement when one leg moves from a bent position to an extended position. It is often used as a transition between two steps.

Coupe is typically performed on one leg, but can also be done with both legs at the same time. The feet are pointed and the toes are kept close together throughout the movement.

The coupe is an important part of ballet technique. It can be used to add variety and nuance to steps, or to travel quickly in a diagonal line or circle around the stage. It also helps with balance and can be used as a preparation for jumps or other more complex movements.

The word “coupe” comes from the French verb “couper”, which means “to cut”. This references the sudden shift from a bent leg to an extended leg, which looks like it’s being “cut” out of the air. The movement should be sharp and controlled.

Coupe requires strength and flexibility in the hip muscles as well as coordination between arms and legs. It is important to keep the body aligned while performing coupe so as not to strain any muscles or joints.


In conclusion, coupe in ballet is an important movement that requires strength, flexibility, and coordination. It helps add variety and nuance to steps, provides balance while transitioning between steps, and prepares dancers for jumps or other complex movements. By understanding how coupe works it will help dancers perfect their technique and perform more gracefully.