Ballet is an art form of movement, grace and beauty. It has been enjoyed for centuries, with its roots dating back to the Italian Renaissance.
The basic steps or positions of ballet are essential to the dancer’s repertoire, and form the foundation for all the steps and movements that follow. Knowing the five basic ballet positions is paramount to mastering the fundamentals of ballet.
The five basic ballet positions are composed of different arm and leg formations. Each position has a corresponding French name that is used in classical ballet classes worldwide.
The first position is called “firste” in French, which translates to “first” in English. This position involves both arms lifting above the head with the palms facing each other, while both legs are bent at a right angle with toes pointed outward.
The second position requires both arms to be extended out to the side at shoulder height with palms facing downwards. Both feet should be placed together with toes pointed outward. This position is referred to as “seconde” in French.
The third position requires both arms held above head level with palms facing each other. Both legs should be crossed at a right angle with toes pointed outward. This is known as “troisieme” in French.
The fourth position requires one arm held above head level with palm facing inward while the other arm is extended out at shoulder height with palm facing downward. One leg should be extended forward while the other leg remains flexed behind it, both feet pointing outward. This fourth position is called “quatrieme” in French.
The fifth and final position, also known as “cinquieme” in French, requires one arm held above head level with palm facing inward while the other arm is extended out at shoulder height with palm facing downward.
These five basic positions form a crucial part of any classical ballet class or choreography sequence, so mastering them will help any budding ballerina achieve greater success in their dancing endeavors.
Conclusion: The five basic ballet positions are essential for any aspiring ballerina or dancer looking to master the fundamentals of classical ballet technique – first (or firste), second (or seconde), third (or troisieme), fourth (or quatrieme) and fifth (or cinquieme). Learning and perfecting these five positions provides dancers an invaluable foundation upon which they can build more complex sequences and steps.