In this weeks blog we would like to give some pointers for the ballet novice. There are five basic positions for you feet that are used in ballet. These basic positions are one of the first things taught in a beginner’s ballet class but are essential to the technique of classical ballet as practically every step begins and ends in one of the five basic positions.
Possibly the easiest of the basic ballet positions is “first position”. A position of the feet where a dancer is standing with their heels together and toes facing equally out to either side. For a beginner, it’s best just to think of the heels as needing to touch, but for more advanced dancers, no more than 2 inches should be between the heels. Unless in a plié, the legs are straight. The feet and legs should also be equally turned out.
Continuing with our ballet positions, we come to second position which is very similar to first, just with the feet about hip distance apart. The same ideas as first position are true for second, where you want to have the feet and legs equally turned out. Its important not to have your second position too wide that its not useful, or too narrow that it looks closer to a first position.
Third position is very rarely done, though it still has a spot as one of the five basic ballet positions. The reason it is not commonly used beyond a beginner level is that a third position can very easily look like a misplaced first or fifth position. To do third position, simply start in first position, then move the heel of one of your feet to the middle of the other. Your legs should remain straight with the feet and legs turned out equally.
Fourth position is a very important position for different types of pirouettes. To stand in fourth position, place one foot in front of the other, about a foot’s distance apart. By now, you can also guess that the legs and feet should be equally turned out away from the center of the body. Like second position, its important to remember not to have too wide of a fourth position that its not useful, or too narrow that it is confused with a “wide” fifth position. There are different thoughts on how crossed your feet should be, but you can never go wrong with lining the heel of the front foot with the toes of the back.
The most difficult of all the basic ballet positions is fifth position. To do fifth position in ballet, stand with your feet close together, one in front of the other and turned out away from the body. The real difficulty of fifth position is maintaining straight legs and proper turnout, then being able to use this position to do jumps and turns.
If you or your child would like to begin your ballet journey, give us a call! 402-515-9639