I don’t know about you, but some of my tween students have a big disconnect when it comes to ballet vocabulary. They often say things like, “that turn thingy.” Argh! It’s one of my biggest pet-peeves as a teacher. I can’t believe they’ve taking ballet for so many years and still trip over a simple term like a tour. I’m even more shocked when I write the term on the board and they still have know ideas what it says. How do I battle this habit? With games of course!

Believe me, I don’t want my students to get in the habit of playing games in class. So, I typically plan a vocabulary game on the last class of each month. The results are amazing! My classes have really responded to these games. I can see how in powered they become when they know the answers. Even better, some of them have even corrected me!

Below is a list of games and directions I play in my classes. Check them out and share your ideas too! If you play them in class, share your photos on Instagram…  hash tag #balletvocabgame

Ballet Chance DanceMatch Up

Materials:  As set of index cards with ballet terms and a matching set of index cards with the translation.


  1. Place one set of index cards in a circle on the floor.
  2. Pass out the other set to the students.
  3. Have the students find their match.
  4. Pick up the correct matches.
  5. Discuss with the group and have them work together to correct the mismatched terms.


Identify the Step

Materials:  Post-it notes with ballet terms written on them


  1. Place a post-it with a ballet term on each students back
  2. Have the students walk around reading each others terms and performing the step to one another.
  3. The Post-it wearers must correctly name the step that is on their back.


Ballet Chance Dance

Materials: Several small pieces of paper with terms written on them and folded.


  1. Split students into a groups of 2 or 3.
  2. Have them randomly select a few of the folded terms.
  3. Unfold papers and make and memorize a short combination of the steps they selected.
  4. After 5 minutes or so have them gather to the front of the room.
  5. Then have each group perform their combination.
  6. At the end of the combination have the viewing students name the steps that were in the combination.


Happy Learning!