Positions of the feet.

There are five basic positions of the feet. We start off with first, second, and fifth. and then move on to fourth and third. 1-first So, we take all this slow. There are links below in the explanations that will take you to the wonderful ballet dictionary in the America Ballet Theatre's website. There is no rush. Start in first.  Première is the French word for first, but we just call 1st position "First". The heels are comfortably together, with the toes comfortably Turned-out. The Russian School of ballet forces turn out with young dancers. At Dance Island we think this is probably not a good idea. 2-Second   Then slowly have your keiki slide one foot out to the side, apart, slowly from first where the heels are together until the feet are as wide as your child's shoulders. This is second position, à la seconde. 5-FifthNow, here's the big leap for our little ones. Slide the heel of the right foot slowly back in toward the left foot. Keep sliding the heel of the right foot back in slowly slowly slowly until the heel is in line with the toe joint of the left foot that is not moving. Have your child observe that their toes on both feet are pointing out, away from each other, away from the mid-line of the body. The right toe is pointing right and left toe is pointing left.     Try it next, sliding the left heel in front of the right foot. After practicing for a while, see if your child can just jump into and out of fifth.  These jumps will later lead to Assemblé, Changement, Échappé, Entrechat, and all kinds of other fun "stuff".   Fourth position, or Quatrième, is like fifth, Cinquiéme, with the front foot out in front of the back foot.   Third, or Troisiéme, is like fifth, except that the front foot only crosses over the the middle of the back foot. There are other position of the feet that we use in Dance Island classes: Sixth position (standing with both feet parallel), Seventh position is used in pointe class (standing with feet parallel in 4th) B Plus (pointe tendue derrière with the working knee bent and both knees are touching and the big toe rests on the ground) But all that can wait until later. We mostly use just five positions now. (Though in the eighteenth century, at the time of Jean-Georges Noverre, there were not five but ten positions for the feet in classical ballet!)    
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