Traveling Steps in Ballet

by Jeff Cunningham
In traveling ballet steps, the dancer steps or leaps to another point on the stage.

In traveling ballet steps, the dancer steps or leaps to another point on the stage.

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Ballet is an elegant art of performance dance practiced since the 15th century. It is a highly technical art with a large vocabulary of different forms, positions and steps. A special kind of step in ballet is a group of movements called "travelling steps," executed by the dancer while moving from one stage location to another, as directed by choreography.


Glissade means, "to glide," done by starting from fifth position, then gliding the working foot in the desired direction with your front knee bent as you shift your weight. At this moment of transition, you should fully stretch your legs. To end, close the trailing foot toward the lead foot.

Pas de chat

In the pas de chat, or "step-of-the-cat," bring one foot up along your leg to the knee, and then transfer your weight to the other leg with a spring in the air, landing with your feet in fifth position.


The chasse is a "chasing step," in which one foot literally chases the other foot out of its position. You can do a series of this step.


The jete is another jump from one foot to the other in which the working leg brushes into the air and appears to have been thrown. You may perform this in any direction.

Pas de Bourree

Execute the pas-de-bourrée on the balls of the feet or on pointe, bending both legs. Then skim smoothly across the floor, or transfer your weight from one foot to the other three times as you transition into another movement. In either case, finish with bent knees.

About the Author

Jeff Cunningham has written on science and technology since 2007. He has co-authored volumes on science education and offered commentary on spaceflight on the Google Lunar X Prize blog. Cunningham has a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida.

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