Decoding the Language of Progressing Ballet Technique: A Glossary of Essential Terms

Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) has revolutionized ballet training, providing dancers with a comprehensive method to improve strength, alignment, and technique. As you delve into the world of PBT, you’ll encounter a unique set of terms and terminology specific to this training approach. In this blog post, we’ll decode the language of Progressing Ballet Technique and familiarize ourselves with the essential terms that will guide us on our journey to ballet excellence.

  1. Activation: Activation refers to engaging specific muscle groups to create stability and control in a particular movement. It involves consciously contracting and strengthening the muscles necessary for proper alignment and execution of ballet techniques.
  2. Imagery: Imagery in PBT involves using vivid mental pictures or visualizations to enhance technique and movement quality. Through imagery, dancers can connect with the desired physical sensation or alignment, facilitating better execution of the movement.
  3. Prop: Props are tools used in PBT to assist with the execution of exercises and provide feedback to the dancer. Common props used in PBT include resistance bands, Pilates balls, and foam rollers. These props aid in muscle activation, alignment, and creating resistance for strengthening exercises.
  4. Resistance: Resistance refers to the force exerted against the muscles during PBT exercises. Resistance can be provided by props such as resistance bands or balls, creating an additional challenge that strengthens and conditions the muscles used in ballet techniques.
  5. Stability: Stability is a key aspect of PBT, referring to the ability to maintain control and balance during movements. It involves engaging the core and deep stabilizing muscles to support the body’s alignment and prevent excessive movement or wobbling.
  6. Alignment: Alignment refers to the correct positioning of the body in relation to a particular movement or posture. In PBT, emphasis is placed on aligning the spine, pelvis, and limbs in proper anatomical positioning to achieve optimal technique and reduce the risk of injury.
  7. Core Activation: Core activation involves engaging the muscles of the abdomen, back, and pelvis to create a stable and strong center. A strong core is essential for maintaining balance, control, and proper alignment in ballet movements.
  8. Muscle Isolation: Muscle isolation refers to the ability to activate and control specific muscles independently from surrounding muscles. PBT exercises often focus on isolating particular muscle groups to enhance their strength and coordination for precise movements.
  9. Proximal Stability: Proximal stability refers to the stability and control of the central part of the body, such as the pelvis and torso, which allows for controlled movement of the extremities. It involves engaging the deep stabilizing muscles to create a solid foundation for movement.
  10. Tactile Cueing: Tactile cueing involves the use of physical touch or pressure from an instructor or prop to provide feedback and guidance to the dancer. It helps in creating a kinesthetic awareness of correct alignment and muscle engagement.


As you embark on your journey into the world of Progressing Ballet Technique, understanding the language and terminology specific to PBT is essential. This glossary of terms will serve as a valuable reference, helping you navigate the intricacies of PBT and unlock the full potential of your ballet training. So, immerse yourself in the language of PBT, embrace the concepts and techniques, and let the terminology guide you toward a stronger, more aligned, and technically refined ballet practice.

If you would like to try PBT, you have several opportunities here at Thrive Yoga and Wellness! These classes are included in our regular group classes so you can enjoy them along with your Yoga and Mat Pilates classes! If you would like to get started, we recommend that you take advantage of our two-week introductory package. It allows you to experience all our group classes for a great discount!