When your child starts taking ballet classes, they’ll learn a lot about form, style, and positions. There are several fundamentals to ballet, but the five positions are the most basic and essential for beginners. Children learn the foot placement of each position first, but they will also learn the placement of their legs, arms, and hands.

Learn more about each position below so you can help your child practice. Enroll your child in a ballet class today! Mountain Kids in Fort Collins offers ballet classes for children as young as three years old.

First Position

In first position, a child will form their feet in a “V” shape by placing their heels together and pointing their toes apart. The goal is to turn each foot out as far as possible to make the “V” wider. Your child will lower their arms in front of them until their fingers almost touch the tops of their legs. Their arms should be in the shape of parentheses — “( )” — in front of their belly.

Second Position

Second position begins with your child spreading their feet apart, keeping them angled out. Your child will then raise their arms out to their sides until they almost form a “T.” The arms shouldn’t stretch back, but instead be slightly rounded and in front of them.

Third Position

To form third position, your child will slide their right foot in until it is positioned slightly in front of the left foot and the right heel touches the inside of their left foot. They will hold one arm in first position again (like a parenthesis) and bring the other arm straight out to the side in second position.

Fourth Position

Your child will step their right foot forward to enter fourth position. The space between their feet should be about the width of their foot, and the heel of their front foot should line up with the toes of the back foot. With their arms in third position, they will raise the arm that’s curved in front of them up above their head. The other arm will stay in second position. Both arms should stay positioned slightly in front of their body, and the arm lifted above their head should remain curved.

Fifth Position

Fifth position of the feet will probably be the most difficult for your child to maintain. They will keep the right foot in front of the left and bring the feet back together while keeping them turned out from their body. The trick is to keep their feet turned out and their legs straight while in this position. Fifth position of the arms, however, is much easier. Your child will simply bring their arms from first position — curved out in front of them — up over their head, keeping their hands a several inches apart.

And those are the first five positions of ballet! Use these tips to help your child practice at home, and enroll them in a ballet class at Mountain Kids in Fort Collins so they can continue to learn more about this classic, beautiful form of dance.