Ballet Positions
The Essential Basics of Ballet

Ballet positions are elegant, classy and beautiful. The five most important positions are part of every ballet class and carried with you throughout your ballet dancing life.

Every position in ballet has a specific placement for the body, so when you are practicing the ballet steps, you must stick to the rules to help you improve. The positions frame the movement for dancers and allow your dancing to look like the professionals!

The positions have to be very precise in order to compliment your dancing.

The skill of a ballet dancer is to show these positions with precision, whilst still being fluid and elegant.

When you see an amazing dancer that catches your eye, it is often because they give energy and clarity to each position.


You can get superb books, DVD's and posters reminding you of all the main positions in classical ballet. If you have any queries or want to know how to improve your positions, then look at the bottom of this Ballet Positions Page‏.

The Five Positions

The five positions are taught from your very first ballet class. You will begin the ballet class with plies in first position and continue each exercise progressing to fifth position.

Through the barre and centre work, you will most definitely pass through one of the main five positions -

ballet positions
    1st Position


    2nd Position


    3rd Position


    4th Position


    5th Position


Back to Basics

The five positions are practiced at the ballet barre and center, as well as all the basic ballet combinations you do in class. Once established, they will give your dancing a clean and classical manner as well as stability in more challenging ballet moves.

Many of my teachers always said 'go back to basics'. It is a very true piece of advice, especially when you find a movement particularly difficult, you can go back and pinpoint the basic positions to further accomplish the move.

Dancing is definitely 'wowed' for it's perfect technique. One of the secrets is to maintain the five positions, even though they might be seen as 'basic'. The five positions are the fundamental skill to perfecting your ballet technique. 


Secret Skill to Ballet Positions

ballet positions

The technique of ballet has everything to do with detail. Every little counts as a dancer and the positions are the key. From maintaining a turned out fourth position before turning for a pirouette, to landing in a jump to a perfect fifth position, it all makes a difference to your dancing.

The basic positions and techniques of ballet have been around for hundreds of years. When it is time for you to progress into more challenging ballet dance steps, it takes a lot of practice!

Dancers have to be very flexible and there's a lot ballet stretching involved, so positions like arabesque or penchée come more naturally to trained dancers who have been practicing for a long time.

You should aim to execute ballet moves with ease and elegance, whilst still holding onto the basic positions. Once you begin to grasp these basics, the steps will feel more natural and you can move onwards with more confidence!


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