Batman Tandoo? You mean Battement Tendu!

Ever wanted to write, better pronounce, or better understand a term in ballet? Then you must grab yourself a copy of Gail Grant’s Technical Manual & Dictionary of Classical Ballet. This small book is an absolute must-have for anyone interested ballet professionally or for college.

Considered in the dance world to unquestionably be the best reference for ballet terms, this little tome is fairly inexpensive (just about $10 in the listing on Amazon) and is simply an A-Z reference for virtually every ballet term used or in use.

Part of what makes the Gail Grant Dictionary such a standby is its inclusion and cross-reference of terminology across ballet techniques. For instance, if you go to a summer intensive and hear the word raccourci, looking it up in Grant’s Dictionary would tell you that it is as a term of the French School. The definition then cross-references you to the Russian term retiré, so you will learn the interchangeability of the terms. (I’m sure you know that ballet originated in France and was exported to other countries where it further evolved. Thus the development of varying techniques from the Italians, the Danes, the Russians, the Americans and the Cubans. These have all made their way to the United States. With so many techniques here, it is common to hear different terms from different teachers, even within the same school.) You would also learn that it means shortened – referring to the bend at the knee which “shortens” the leg – because this position is actually a variation on a développé a lá seconde!

If you are looking for books to support your training and develop you into a knowledgeable dancer, Gail Grant’s Dictionary just can’t be beat. There are quite a few other books that are invaluable for dancers, but you’ll find that this one stands firm at the top of the list for professional dancers, serious students and seasoned teachers.

College Bound Ballerina

You’re in high school, you love dancing, but you want to have a solid back-up plan in case you can’t make it your career. The CBT commends you on your smart thinking, especially in this economy!

If you want to dance in college, where do you start? If only there was one place where you could check out dance programs side by side to compare what they have to offer … especially when it comes to scholarships. Well, there is! Click over to for an easy to use and comprehensive searchable database of college dance programs.

Have your cake and eat it, too – dancing in college can help make both you and your parents very happy: You can double major to get that business degree your parents want you to have and dance yourself to a BFA (that’s a Bachelor of Fine Arts, kiddos) so you don’t have to give up your passion. And in the words of Mr. Balanchine: “If you work really hard and say your prayers” – you might just land a scholarship to boot. Won’t that please the parents?