Literally translated, pas de chat means “step of the cat.”
The sideways traveling step mimics the movement of a leaping cat.
This is how to perform the pas de chat, broken down, step-by-step:
The dancer starts by putting his or her feet in a third or fifth position.
Demi-plié, bring the back leg up to retiré position. Step out to the side into a second position
Bring the other leg up to retiré position. Place foot devant back in third or fifth position ending in plié.
Now try it by leaping from one foot to the other. Both legs should be brought into retiré together, almost at the same time.
Variation – Italian pas de chat, or the grand pas de chat:
The front leg stretches out to a developpé and the back leg remains in retiré in the air.
Try this combination:
Glissade, glissade, glissade, pas de chat
Pas de bourree, sous sus
Repeat starting with the other foot.