The French Name for Ballet Shoes: A Guide to the Language of Dance

Discovering the enchanting world of ballet often sparks curiosity about different aspects of this refined art form. One question that frequently arises is, “What are ballet shoes called in French?” In this blog post, we will delve into the beauty of the French language and explore how dancers refer to their beloved footwear. Join us on this linguistic journey through le monde de la danse!

Vocabulary Matters: Ballet Shoes vs. Les Chaussons de Danse Classique

When it comes to referring to ballet shoes in French, you may encounter two common terms: “ballet shoes” themselves or “les chaussons de danse classique,” which translates as classical dance slippers. Both phrases are widely used, but let’s take a closer look at each one.

Ballet Shoes (Les Ballerines)

Traditionally, ballet shoes are referred to as “les ballerines” in French. This term directly emphasizes the connection between these delicate shoes and those who glide gracefully across stages around the world – les ballerinas.

However, it should be noted that while “les ballerines” can sometimes denote specifically pointe shoes (the ones with a hard toe box), it is more commonly employed as an umbrella term encompassing all types of ballet footwear.

Les Chaussons de Danse Classique (Classical Dance Slippers)

For a more precise description when discussing ballet footwear in France or Francophone communities, one would use the expression “les chaussons de danse classique.” The literal translation refers to classical dance slippers.

This alternative terminology highlights both the elegance and tradition associated with these essential tools for any aspiring dancer or seasoned professional alike.

Why Does the Terminology Matter?

Preserving Cultural Heritage

Understanding and using the correct terminology in any field not only shows respect for its cultural heritage but also fosters a deeper connection with it. By delving into the linguistic nuances of ballet, we honor its rich history and traditions.

Furthermore, using accurate vocabulary helps to maintain a sense of unity within the global dance community. Ballet is an international language that transcends borders, and consistent terminology ensures clear communication among artists worldwide.

Clarity in Communication

Whether you are an enthusiast discussing ballet with friends or a professional dancer seeking guidance from instructors or colleagues, precision in language is crucial. Using appropriate terms like “les ballerines” or “les chaussons de danse classique” avoids confusion and enhances effective communication within the dance sphere.


As we conclude our exploration of what ballet shoes are called in French, we have uncovered two commonly used phrases: “les ballerines” and “les chaussons de danse classique.” Both capture different facets of this exquisite art form while honoring its historical significance.

By embracing these linguistic nuances, we invite dancers and enthusiasts alike to immerse themselves more deeply into le monde de la danse – where passion meets grace on stages around the world.