Ballet positions


There are 5 basic ballet positions that will improve your posture and your hip and leg flexibility and in the longer run help you towards being able to easily carry out the exercises en pointé. If you're to do them do all 5 of them one by one in a slow sequence and at least 25 repeats or preferably 50 repeats. It's important that they are done exactly as show below!

First position

Turn your toes out to the side with your heels touching. You must turn your whole leg out at the hip, not just your foot. At first you may not be able to turn out very far. You will improve after some hard work and be able to do all the turnouts below beyond a turnout position.

Second position

Turn your toes out on the same line as first position, but stand with your feet apart. The space between your heels should be about the lenght of one of your feet. Place the whole of both feet on the floor. Don't roll forwards and put too much weight on your big toes.

Third position

Cross one foot halfway in front of the other. Don't forget it is not just your feet that must work. Keep your legs turned out and your body lifted. Your weight should be balanced evenly on both legs.

Fourth position

This is the most difficult position, because it's hard to maintain your turnout. Place one foot exactly in front of the other with a space between them.

Fifth position

Your feet should be turned out, fully crossed, and touching each other firmly.


Changing between positions

A good example showing how to change between the positions is the one shown above. As you can see it should preferably be done with a pointe between each position when possible.


The turnout

Of most importance is "learning" the concept of "turnout." I have learned that it is a thing of your mind, telling your muscles literally what to do. It is a process of imagining your thigh and hip muscles 'turning out'. You will place your hands on the front of your hips and thighs and push gently around to the outside thighs, and then to the back, meanwhile concentrating and telling your muscles to follow. It takes a lot of time, and concentration, but I have found that it has worked for me. I can feel those very muscles strengthening. I am hoping before long that it will become an unconscious process, in which you won't have to think about it, and it will just happen.