1st position of the arms
This is the gateway to all the other positions. You almost always go through 1st position to get to any other positions of the arms. This is a position in which both arms curve to form an oval in front of the body so that the little fingers are slightly above waist level or opposite the belly button. The fingers do not touch and the palms of the hands face into you, “Imagine you have a special message in the palm of your hand. Don’t let anyone see it!”
1st position of the feet
This basic position of the feet is formed with the legs turned equally outward from the hip joints and the body-weight equally distributed over the two feet. 1st position is a closed position so that the heels are touching and the toes are turned outwards and away from each other.
2nd position of the arms
This is a position in which the arms are held out to the side and are just in front of the body. They slightly slope curved and slope gently downwards from your shoulders to the tips of the fingers – Just enough to allow a small drop of water to trickle slowly down from the shoulder, down the arm and off the index finger. Keep the shoulders relaxed and support the elbows. The gentle curve of the arms make a C-shape with the centre of your palms facing each other.
2nd position of the feet
This is an open position where the dancer stands with the feet approximately shoulder width apart: i.e., about 1 ½ times the length of the feet.
3rd position of the arms
This is a position in which one arm is in 1st, opposite the belly button and the other arm is out to the side in 2nd position, 1 + 2 = 3!
3rd position of the feet
This is a closed position where the dancer stands with the feet together with one foot in front of the other, so that the heel of the font foot is placed at the middle of the back foot. Both legs are turned out equally from the tops of the hips with the body weight placed even over the two feet.
4th position of the arms
This is a position in which one arm is in 5th position above the head, and the other arm is out to the side in 2nd position. There is also a crossed 4th position, where one arm is in 5th position above the head, and the other arm is curved in front of the body in 1st position.
4th position of the feet
This is an open position where the dancer stands with one foot placed in front of 1st position and the other foot behind. From the degage (point to the front) you draw the toes back towards the heel to lower the foot flat to the ground.
5th position of the arms
A position in which both arms curve overhead to form an oval shape that frames the face. They are held slightly in front of the body with the hands just within your peripheral vision.
Shoulders relax down and away from the ears with use of the latissimus dorsi muscles to hold the shoulder blades flat on the back.
The neck is long with a lift and elongation through the spine.
The palms of the hands should be rotated towards you and not your audience.
5th position of the feet
We do not use this position in class as it takes a little more technique, strength and an experienced use of turnout to perfect. For your reference, this is a closed position where the dancer stands with the feet together, with one foot in front of the other, so the heel of the front foot is placed in line with the big toe-joint of the back foot.