The Eight Positions of Ballet: A Comprehensive Guide

Ballet, an elegant and graceful form of dance, has captivated audiences for centuries. It requires immense skill and precision, with dancers mastering a set of fundamental positions. In this blog post, we will delve into the eight positions of ballet – their names, descriptions, and significance in this beautiful art form.

1. First Position

First position serves as the foundation for all other ballet movements. To assume this position:
– Stand tall with your heels together.
– Your toes should be turned outwards to create a straight line from heel to toe.
– Keep your arms rounded gently in front of you.

2. Second Position

Second position expands upon first position while maintaining turnout:
– Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart.
– Extend both arms to the sides at shoulder height or slightly below.
– Your head should stay lifted and aligned with your spine.

3. Third Position

Third position is a more relaxed version of fifth position:
– Begin by standing tall in first position.
– Move one foot forward so that its heel touches the middle arch (or instep) of the opposite foot.
– Arms can be held softly rounded or placed on hips.

4. Fourth Position

Fourth position emphasizes balance and stability:
– Start in third position but move one foot further away from the other until there is space equivalent to one foot’s length between them.
– Both feet maintain turnout and are firmly planted on the floor.
– Arms can extend gracefully like wings or remain at waist level as desired.

5. Fifth Position

Fifth position embodies elegance and strength:
– Begin in first position but bring one foot forward so that its heel aligns tightly against the big toe of the opposite foot.
– Both feet maintain turnout, with toes touching to form a straight line.
– Arms can be held in various positions, such as rounded in front or lifted gracefully.

6. Sixth Position

Sixth position is rarely used in classical ballet technique but can be seen in contemporary styles:
– Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
– Cross one foot over the other so that they overlap, maintaining turnout and staying aligned from heel to toe.
– Arms may rest comfortably at sides or extend creatively.

7. Seventh Position

Seventh position combines elements of fifth and third positions:
– Begin by standing tall and placing one foot slightly behind the other, around two inches apart.
– Both feet should maintain turnout while keeping contact with each other’s heels.
– Arms can elegantly frame your body or remain softly extended forward.

8. Eighth Position

Eighth position is an extension of fourth position with crossed arms:
Stand tall in fourth position (one foot in front) with both arms raised overhead and crossed at wrist level or higher.


Mastering the eight positions of ballet is crucial for any aspiring dancer. These fundamental stances lay the groundwork for proper alignment, balance, and fluidity throughout every dance routine. While it takes practice to execute these positions flawlessly, their elegance and beauty exemplify why ballet continues to captivate audiences worldwide. So put on your dancing shoes, embrace these eight positions, and let yourself soar through this enchanting art form!