Ballet Dance Moves – Getting The Basics

Ballet is a wonderful art form that allows you to express yourself through movement.   Here are some ballet dance moves for you to try for yourself. We will start with the basics, as this is the foundation of your technique, and having a good technique enables you to look graceful when you perform more complex steps.

I recommend you seek the aid of a good teacher to help you with these movements. Teaching yourself off of YouTube rarely works well, and you could develop some bad habits.

First, you will need to get acquainted with the basic arm positions and the basic foot positions.  These two links will take you through some basic ballet moves and positions.  These positions are the basis for all your ballet steps and you will always start and end a step with one of the positions of the feet.

You should practice your ballet positions daily with the help of a bar to aid you with your balance.  Imagine that the bar is your partner in dancing.  Rest your fingers lightly on the top and try not to press too hard.  You should aim to get used to balancing on your own without the aid of the bar.

ballet dance moves
Fingers should rest lightly on top of the bar. Do not grip as seen in the picture.

Before you move into the center, you need to make sure that your body is thoroughly warmed up.

Barre work should include plies (knee bends), tendus (pointing the feet by sliding them along the floor with pressure), ronde jambe (circling the foot on the floor, working the turnout in your hips), and some grande battements (swishing the leg as high as you can to the front, side and back and lowering with control).

If you do the above bar exercises with control and thought, you will be slowly training the muscles in your body to work in the correct way and creating the muscle memory required to do ballet.

Once you get into the center, there are many interesting ballet dance moves that you can work on.

Petit Jete

Here is just a taste of some of the simpler ones to try.

The thing to practice here is making sure that the whole foot goes through the floor on the swish and on the landing the back leg is placed with the big toe behind the ankle.  The knees face outwards and when you land the heel of the supporting must come in contact with the floor.


The various different ballet societies have slightly different ways to perform glissades.  The RAD keeps the toes in contact with the floor at all times.  Other societies prefer a small jump with the toes momentarily leaving the floor.  The action is basically the same with the body well lifted, especially at the height of the glissade.  Make sure to point both feet – the one extending out and the one coming in to close.

Pas de Chat

This is also known as the step of a cat.  It is a fun step to try and you can watch a very entertaining video below.

Grande Jete

This is one of the most popular ballet steps.  It is basically a leap where the dancer attempts to do a split in the air.

Trust that you enjoy trying out these ballet dance moves.  Remember it is always best to go for formal ballet lessons so that you don’t develop any bad habits.  You will need an expert eye to ensure your posture and form are correct.

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