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Learn the Five Ballet Positions

Learn the five ballet positionsLearn the five ballet positions

Everyone can perform ballet. If you learn the five ballet positions of the feet and arms, you will be well on your way to performing ballet yourself. So if you have always wanted to learn ballet or need a refresher course, you will find the basic five ballet positions here.

The positions of the feet should always stem from the thighs rotating in the hip sockets. This is called a “turned out” position. The feet should only “turn out” as far as the hip sockets will allow. The soles of the feet should be flat on the floor. The majority of your weight should always be over the ball of the feet.

The arm positions correspond with the feet positions. The names and positions differ slightly according to the school or method you have chosen to follow such as Vaganova, French, Cecchetti, etc. The arms should be soft, but held from the back. They should slope down from the shoulder to the elbow, to the wrist and then the fingertips. The hands should be rounded as if holding a small ball in the palm of your hand, the fingers relaxed.

Learn the five ballet positions

First position

First position of the legs and feet: With the legs “turned out” from the hip sockets, the heels are placed together and the toes are as far apart as your hip sockets will allow.

 

 

First Position of the arms: The arms are rounded in front of you at waist level as if you are holding a beach ball out in front of you.

Learn the five ballet positions

Second position

 

Second Position of the legs and feet: With the legs “turned out” from the hip sockets the heels are placed shoulder length apart (your own shoulders should fit between the heels) and the toes are pointing in opposite directions.

Second Position of the arms: The arms move out to either side of your body. They should be slightly in front of you keeping the elbows rounded slightly without letting them drop below your wrists. The palms should face out.

Learn the five ballet positions

Third position

Third Position of the legs and feet: This position is rarely used in classical ballet. It’s mainly used for very young beginners as a preparation for fifth position. Start standing on your left leg with the leg “turned out” (from the hip socket), then place your right heel in front of the arch of your left (turned out) foot. So your left leg should rotate (up in the hip socket) counter clockwise and the right leg should rotate (up in the hip socket) clockwise. This position should be executed with both the right foot in front and then the left.

Third Position of the arms: Depending on what foot is in front, one arm is rounded over your head with the palm facing down (as in fifth position) and the other arm is out to the side slightly rounded with the palm facing out (as in a second position). The arms usually work in opposition of the feet.

Learn the five ballet positions

Fourth position

Fourth Position of the legs and feet: With both legs “turned out” (from the hip socket) place your right foot directly in front of your left foot with a space between the two feet the length of your own foot. Keep your weight evenly distributed between both feet. This position should be executed with both the right foot in front and then the left.

 

Fourth Position of the arms: Depending on what foot is in front, one arm is rounded over your head with the palm facing down (as in Fifth position) and the other arm is rounded in front of you with the palm facing in toward your waist (as in first position). The arms usually work in opposition of the feet.

Learn the five ballet positions

Fifth position

Fifth Position of the legs and feet: Stand on your left leg “turned out” then place your “turned out” right foot directly in front of the left with no space in between them. Your feet should be toe to heel, heel to toe with your left leg rotating in the hip socket counterclockwise and your right leg rotating in the hip socket clockwise. This position should be executed with both the right foot in front and then the left.

Fifth Position of the arms: Both arms are rounded over your head, as if your head was a beach ball that you are holding. The fingertips should be close together without actually touching. The palms facing down.

Sixth Position of the legs and feet: This position is rarely used in classical ballet. Both feet are in a “turned in”, parallel position side by side with no space between the feet. The sixth position typically does not have an official corresponding arm position.

En Bas Position of the arms or low fifth: (This is the position that the arms start in. It is also a position that you move through to get to another position.) The arms are rounded low in front of you just in front of your hips. There should be space between your arms and your body (to make room for a tutu). The fingertips should be close together without actually touching, the palms facing each other.

Learn the five ballet positions!

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