in classical ballet, any of the formalized actions of a dancer that follow specific rules regarding the positions of the arms, feet, and body. Ballet choreography is based on combinations of these fundamental movements. Some movements, like the plié and battement, are training exercises designed to give strength and flexibility to the entire body while helping the dancer acquire perfect posture, or “placement,” with the weight lightly balanced over the centre of gravityand the legs turned out from the hip sockets. Other movements are steps in a ballet. These may be jumping or leaping steps (pas d’élévation), like the entrechat (a jump beginning and ending in the fifth position, during which the feet are rapidly crossed) or the jeté (a jump in which the weight is transferred from one foot to the other); or they may be turns (tours), such as the pirouette (a turn on one foot) and the tour en l’air (a complete single, double, or triple, turn in the air).
Ballet is a formalized form of dance with its origins in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries. Ballet spread from Italy to France with the help of Catherine de' Medici, where ballet developed even further under her aristocratic influence.
The etymology of the word "ballet" reflects its history. The word ballet comes from French and was borrowed into English around the 17th century. The French word in turn has its origins in Italian balletto, a diminutive of ballo (dance). Ballet ultimately traces back to Italian ballare, meaning "to dance".