What does Pas de bourrée translate to?

beating steps

Pas de bourrée is a classical ballet term meaning “beating steps.”  A Pas de bourrée has many forms that mostly relate to the direction the dancer is moving or if the legs are bending or staying straight.  It gets its defintion because a dancer doing a pas de bourrée will have his or her legs coming together for a moment before opening again.

Pas de bourrée is a beginner step that is still done at every skill level of ballet technique and on the stage in ballets and variations.  It is a very common preparatory step for pirouettes and jumps with a tombé added before it, making it tombé pas de bourrée.  In ballet class, pas de bourrée is most commonly done in center for pirouette, petite allegro and grande allegro combinations.