What Are the 5 Positions in Ballet?


Ballet is one of the most popular forms of dance, and its five positions are a fundamental part of learning the art. Each position of the feet creates a distinct line and shape, and mastering these positions allows dancers to create beautiful movement and expression. As a dancer progresses in their ballet training, they will continually refine their alignment in the five positions.

First Position

The first position is the foundation for all other ballet positions. The feet are turned out from the hips so that each foot is pointed away from the body, with heels touching and toes pointing outward.

The feet should be close together, but not touching. This position requires strong turnout from the hips, as well as strength and control in the legs.

Second Position

Second position is essentially an extended version of first position. The feet are still turned out from the hips, however they are farther apart than first position—the width of one foot between them. This wider stance requires more control and balance than first position.

Third Position

Third position is a combination of first and second positions. One foot remains in front with toes pointed outward, while the back foot has its heel touching or almost touching the arch of the front foot with toes pointing outward.

This combination creates a triangle shape between both feet.

Fourth Position

Fourth position consists of two feet angled away from each other—the same angle as first or second positions—with one foot directly behind or slightly beside the other foot so that there is a space between them equivalent to one foot’s length. It is important to maintain turnout in fourth position just like any other ballet step.

Fifth Position

The fifth and final ballet position places one foot directly in front of or beside the other so that both heels touch; toes should point outwards at an angle (45°). Although this may feel different than first or second positions due to its close proximity, it still requires turnout from the hips.


What Are The Five Positions In Ballet?

The five positions in ballet are First Position, Second Position, Third Position, Fourth Position, and Fifth Position. Each requires strong turnout from the hips as well as strength and control in order to create beautiful lines and shapes while dancing. As you progress through your ballet training you will continue to refine your alignment in each of these five basic ballet positions.