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Ballet Positions


When you begin ballet, it can be a confusing situation because you will hear a lot of ballet terms that you may have to understand. When you first start ballet, you will start with barre exercises and learning the first five ballet positions. As you progress, you will find that doing your exercise will be easy because you will understand what they mean.


The Ballet Positions 


ballet positions


There are five ballet positions that you will learn in your beginning ballet class. You will notice that all of the positions start from first position, and are then modified for each of the other positions. Here are the five positions and what they mean:


First Position (Premiere)


This is the first position you will learn in your ballet course. You will put your heels and knees together and your legs are turned out away from your hips. Your feet will be positioned to make a V shape. When you look down your feel should be in a 180 degree angle from your body. You must keep your stomach in, stand up straight with your spine straight.


Second Position (Second)


This position is similar to your first position, but your arms are straight out from both your sides and they are rounded slightly.


Third Position (Troisième)


This position means that you will keep your legs turned away from your hips and you cross one leg in front of the other; they will touch each other in the middle. You will also move the corresponding arm out. As an example, if you start with your right foot out in front, you will raise your right arm above your head in a semicircle. You will then take your left arm and take it out to the side.


Forth  Position (Quatrième) 

In this position, you will keep the same first position and then place one foot in front of the other one with one foot forward and the other foot directly behind it; you will have about 12 inches or so between your feet. Again, you're going to raise the corresponding arm above your head in a semicircle.


Fifth Position (Cinquième) 


Keep the fourth position and then place one foot in front of the other with the heel of your front foot against the first joint of your other foot (at the big toe). Lift your arms overhead and move them in a soft circle shape.


An excellent video that shows the different positions in the Plie. There are many videos at Expert Video that can help you see what you need to do. Here is the link:  Expert Video.


Once you understand the different positions, you can practice them during your barre exercises. Teachers will teach you how to do one of the first moves called the Plie (to bend) and you will progress to other moves. Most of your positions will be done in front of the barre to begin so that you can see whether you are doing them correctly; if not, you can adjust your body easily.