Who Defined the 5 Positions of the Feet in Ballet?


Ballet is a beautiful form of art that has been around for centuries. It combines elements of music, dance, and theater to create an intricate, graceful performance.

One of the most important concepts in ballet is the five positions of the feet. These positions are essential for creating movements and sequences in ballet, as they provide a starting point and foundation for every step.

The five positions of the feet in ballet were first defined by Pierre Beauchamp in the 17th century. Beauchamp was a French dancer and choreographer who worked at the court of Louis XIV.

He was one of the first to codify ballet steps into specific positions, paving the way for modern ballet technique.

Beauchamp’s five positions are still used today as a basis for all classical ballet steps. They consist of first position (heels together with toes pointing outward), second position (heels slightly apart), third position (feet together with heel slightly ahead of toes), fourth position (one foot ahead of the other with heel slightly apart from toes), and fifth position (feet turned out from each other).

These five positions provide dancers with a starting point to create their own steps and movements within a choreographed piece. They allow dancers to move gracefully while maintaining proper technique and form, ultimately creating an aesthetically pleasing performance.


Pierre Beauchamp is credited with defining the five essential positions of the feet that are used in ballet today. His codification of these steps laid down a foundation upon which modern day classical ballet technique can be built upon.