Raccourci is a classical ballet term meaning “shortened.” It is the same as the ballet term retiré and most commonly used in the French School of ballet.
In raccourci, a dancer has his or her working leg in the air at second position, ideally at 90 degrees, with the knee bent so the foot’s toes are attached in front and slightly above the knee of the supporting leg. Raccourci, or retiré, is extremely common in ballet and other forms of dance. It is possibly most commonly seen in pirouettes, both en dedans and en dehors.
Raccourci derrière means “shortened to the back” and describes when a dancer has their leg in a la seconde, with the knee bent, but with the pointed toes placed directly behind the knee of the supporting leg.
If you are taking a ballet class, you will almost always hear the teacher use the term retiré, unless of course you are taking from a french trained teacher, in which case you may hear raccourci!