Updated: Oct 31
The pas de chat step which literally translates to ‘step of the cat’ gets it’s name from the cat like movement it makes when performed on stage or during class. This step travels in a slanted direction usually with the arms in third position and can be performed in a petit retiré or grand retiré position. Common mistakes when performing this step include curving the lower back in the plié and forgetting the second retiré position before you close to your plié in fifth position. It’s also important that the arms are held throughout so that the legs are able to move freely.
1. Standing in fifth position left leg in front* croisé facing downstage left prepare the arms first to third position
2. Plié ensuring that the back is straight extending the lumbar spine to avoid a curve in the lower back
3. The right leg comes to a retiré derrière position with the left leg in a plié
4. Spring up into the air and for a brief moment both legs are bent in the air (see diagram)
5.The left leg then comes to retire devant with the right leg in a plié
6.The left leg closes to the front and both legs are now in a plié
7.Stretch the legs so that you are standing in fifth position en face with the left leg in front
*This exercise can also be executed with the right leg in front facing croisé downstage right
At Balletic we follow the bbodance ballet syllabus which in turn uses the ‘Gail Grant Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet‘ for all of it‘s terminology. Diagrams may be different to what you are used to based on the school of ballet that you follow.