Frappé is a classical ballet term meaning “struck.” A frappé is a step almost always done at the barre as an exercise to improve quick and precise movement of the legs feet. To do a frappé, the dancer usually starts with the outside leg in a flexed, turned out position lifted off the floor with the heel placed slightly above the ankle bone of the standing leg. The dancer then extends her leg and points her foot, towards the floor and out, causing the “strike” on the floor. The strike on the floor is exactly how the step got its name, since frappé actually means “struck” or “to strike.”
The term is also used to describe a whole set of steps at the barre, usually called a “frappé combination,” that is usually done as one of the last exercises at barre after a dancer’s muscles have become warm.