Dégagé is a classical ballet term meaning “disengage.”  A dégagé is when a dancer moves their leg off the floor from a position with a pointed foot and straight leg to the front, side or back.  It gets its name dégagé because the step is a movement, not a position, where a leg “disengages” from the other.

A dégagé is considered a basic step that is learned in a beginner’s class, but like many other basic steps, later used for more advanced steps by advanced students and professionals.  A good understanding of dégagé is very important for a strong technique in petit allegro.