Dancer's Glossary

Arch- the part of the sole between the ball and the heel. You bend this part of your foot when you point your toes.
Ballet Slipper- A soft shoe made of leather or canvas worn by ballet students.
Box- The area of the pointe shoe which surrounds the toes and ball of the foot.
Bunion- A painful, inflamed swelling of the bursa at the first joint of the big toe.
Choreographer- One who composes or invents dances.
De-Shank- To remove the inside nails and shank from the pointe shoe, to make it nearly as flexible as a ballet slipper.
Demi-Plie- Half bend; bending the knees over the toes while keeping the feet flat and turned outward on the floor.
Demi-Pointe- Half pointe standing on the balls of the feet with the ankles fully stretched.
En Pointe- French term for on pointe or on your toes.
Instep- Upper surface of the arch of the foot.
Pirouette- A turn or spin while on one leg.
Pleats- The area under the box where the satin is pleated to fit under the sole.
Plie- Bending at the knees with the back held straight.
Pointe Shoe- A hard ballet slipper which enables the dancer to stand on their toes.
Shank- The hard sole of the shoe.
Tendon- The tough tissue that connects the muscle to the bone.
Achilles Tendon- The large tendon above the heel. The flexibility of this tendon is important while studying ballet.
Tendonitis- Inflamation of a tendon.
Vamp- The top of the box between the tip of the shoe and the drawstrings.