Chassé: a classical ballet term meaning “to chase.”
Chassé is considered a basic step and is commonly seen throughout ballet and other forms of dance. It is a step in which one foot literally chases the other foot out of its position, and done in a series.
In the Cecchetti method, a chassé is a glide into an open position and is finished in demi-plié. This movement can be executed in all directions, resulting in seven chassés: (1) Fourth effacé en avant (2) Fourth croisé en avant (3) Seconde (4) Fourth effacé en arrière (5) Fourth croisé en arrière (6) Passé en avant (7) Passé en arrière
Fifth position R foot front, Demi-plié on both feet and, keeping the weight equally distributed, slide the R foot, keeping the knee bent, to the second or fourth position. Straighten the knees with the L foot pointe tendue. The step may be finished by holding the open position or closing the extended foot to the fifth position. In the execution of a chassé passé, the working foot’s heel must be fully raised until the foot is arched. A chassé passé en avant is a forward movement starting with the back foot and finishing in the fourth position front. In contrast, a chassé passé en arrière begins with the front foot and travels back into the fourth position.
When a dancer is doing a chassé, they have one foot extended forward, while the back foot then “chases” and meets up with the front for a quick moment before the front foot shoots forward again, all while traveling forward. They are often done one after the other in a series, but not always. The step is called chassébecause the back foot literally looks like it is chasing after the front.
Chassé back or chassé derrière is also possible, where simply the back leg and foot are extended behind the dancer, and the front foot and leg must now chase the back. The dancer would then, of course, be moving backward.
- Movement Explanations:
- Start in demi plié in Fifth position.
- Slide into a demi plié in Fourth position.
- Back to Fifth position.
- Slide into a demi plié in Second position.
- Straighten your legs.
- Close to Fifth position.
- Movement Techniques:
- keep the weight equally distributed.
- Let your heel lead the movement.
- Do not detach the heel during movement.