The 5 Ballet Positions: Great Things Start and Finish Here

Every move in ballet begins and ends in the 5 positions. Great placement is precise placement. Because of that, it’s very important to to be aware of each muscles’ contributing function. We’ll get into muscle isolations shortly.


Check out both of these pictures. Pause right now and try working through each position. Place a mirror in front of you or have someone else help you with placement. It will be a challenge to master each position. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t feel natural at first.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” –Samuel Beckett

Parents: Play Simon Says, using the positions, with your younger kiddos. They love it. 

Body Isolations are extremely important in dance.

Try this, to help illustrate what I mean: Sit down in a chair, preferably something similar to a dining table chair. Try moving just the muscles on the top of your right thigh (your quadricep group). Now try you left calf (gastrocnemius). I know… I know, it’s harder than it seems, right? Once you’ve mastered that, try this challenge. Turn on your favorite song. Try keeping the rhythm of the beat by contracting just your right quadricep.

Each muscle group in the body can be isolated. Every dancer should be proficient in all muscle group isolations. This helps with body placement and will help you master the 5 positions. Next time you’re listening to the radio try catching the beat with a muscle group. Gluts are a great place to start too 😉 Let me know how that goes.

Watch for more posts on muscle isolations and body control. Please post comments and questions below. Have a great week!


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