Ballet is an art form that requires intense physical control and precision. It is also a complex language of movement, with each ballet step having a unique name.
One way to categorize these steps is by the body facings they create. There are five body facings in ballet, each one indicating the direction of the dancer’s front.
First Position: The first position is when a dancer stands with their feet parallel and pointed outward in opposite directions. This position forms a “V” shape with the legs and arms are held up in a curved “C” shape.
Second Position: The second position is when the feet open wider than in first position and the legs form a wider “V” shape. The arms are held above the head or out to the side, forming an oval shape around the body.
Third Position: Third position is when one foot slides forward and slightly to the side while keeping it parallel to the other foot, forming an “L” shape with the legs. The arms can be held in any position but typically they are held out to either side or above the head.
Fourth Position: Fourth position is also known as closed fourth, because it requires that both feet move into a closed stance, with toes touching and heels slightly apart. The arms can be held in any position but usually they mimic those of third position.
Fifth Position: Fifth position requires that both feet move farther apart than fourth position so that they form an inverted “V” shape on either side of the body. Again, arms can be held in any way but are usually placed like those of third or fourth positions.
These five body facings form the foundation for all other ballet steps and actions; understanding them will help bring clarity to any ballet movement for dancers of all levels!
Conclusion: In ballet, there are five basic body facings: first, second, third, fourth and fifth positions. Knowing these positions will help dancers gain clarity on all other steps as they progress through their ballet journey!