Basic Beginner Ballet Steps And Positions
To become skilled at ballet dancing takes many years of hard training, however with some practise most people can become very good at performing basic ballet steps and positions. These beginner techniques will provide the foundation for learning more advanced routines as skills are developed.
There are five basic starting positions in ballet:
The first has the feet facing in opposite directions with the heals touching. The line of the feet should be kept as straight as possible, as should the legs. The arms will be held in front of the body, bent at the elbows, and with the fingers nearly touching.
The second position is very similar to the first, except that the heels are now spaced apart. The space between them should be about the same as one foot’s length. The arms are held horizontally straight out to the sides.
In the third position one leg is placed in front of the other. The feet are positioned so that the heel of the front foot is touching about midway along the back foot. The front foot should be positioned as in the first two examples. On arm should be held the same way as in the first position, only directly above the head. The other will be held straight out to the side as in position two. In all of these cases the legs will be “turned out”, meaning that the hips will be pivoted to allow the inner thigh to face forwards.
In the fourth position once again the front foot is facing away from the body. In this position the back foot has taken a step back, so that the toes are now in line with the heel of the front foot. The arms are very similar to the previous position, except that the second arm is now bent, with the hand resting on the hip.
The fifth position is very similar, except that the feet are now touching, with toe to heel and heel to toe. Both arms are arched above the head and bent at the elbow to the point where the finger are almost touching.
Check out the video on positions of the feet.
Important Factors in Learning Ballet Steps
Before learning any ballet steps a beginner must know these positions, and also how to point their feet. This involves sitting on the floor and pulling the leg muscles very tight. The ball of the foot must then be pushed away and the toes extended forward. This will allow the foot to come to a controlled point.
Posture is also very important in performing all ballet steps and positions. Perfect ballet posture should always look extremely graceful. The legs should always be taught, and the back straight. This should look natural, and so the shoulders and the head must be relaxed. Correct posture will be crucial to the successful learning of any ballet routine.
With these fundamentals in place some basic ballet steps can be learned. A tendu is where the leg is extended out to the front with the toes pointed and touching the ground. The leg can also be slid out to the side and then to the back. A degage is very similar, only the foot will be lifted a few inches off the ground. Finally, a plie is
where the knees are bent to bring the body close to the floor, and the back is kept perfectly straight.
These are just a few examples of the many ballet moves which beginners can learn. As people become more confident and their skills develop they will learn increasingly more complicated moves. For beginners, however, it is advisable to take some time to master the most basic of ballet steps.