In no particular order:
- Elephant Knees: The state of a pair of tights when you've had them on so long that they've stretched out and lost elasticity. The knees get all baggy and look like... elephant's knees, I guess.
- Rosin Box: The shallow wooden box in the corner of the studio (and off stage in the wings) filled with powdered rosin. We step in the box and rub the tips and soles in the rosin for extra traction if the floor is at all slippery, and the women sometimes dip their feet in the rosin before putting their pointe shoes on to be extra sure the heels won't slip off. The men sometimes rosin their hands so they're more secure on their partner's costume for partnering.
- Preset: If you've got a quick costume change or are using a prop of any sort in a particular ballet, it's the dancer's responsibility to make sure those things are set up where they need them to be before the show starts. That way, the dancer knows exactly where their things are and can't blame anyone else if they're not ready!
- Marathon Show (aka Triple Whammy or Quadruple Whammy): This is just what it sounds like--- a performance that is so long and hard it feels like you are running a marathon. During Nutcracker, it's common for some of the women to have three or four roles in one performance (party scene, snow, marzipan; or party, snow, Spanish, flowers), hence the triple or quad "whammy".
- Six o'clock Penche: A penche is a ballet step that is essentially an arabesque taken a lot further. From an arabesque, the dancer tips forward with their torso while raising their leg behind them in equal dimension. The line to strive for is to have your leg so high it's pointing straight at the ceiling. In this case, your two legs look like they're hands on a clock at six and twelve. Six o'clock!
More terms and definitions to come. If you've heard words or phrases and always wondered exactly what they meant, just ask!