The Basics (sic)

The most basic ‘stance’ in ballet is called First Position. It is the basis and start of everything else that you do in ballet. When you describe it to someone, it sounds pretty simple. Stand with your heels together, feet turned out, head straight forward and hands held at waist height, fingers pointing into the centre of your body, with a slight bend of your arms. Okay, so this is MY description, and the way that I would describe it to someone who knew nothing about ballet. It’s not a text book description, but I think fits the bill.

I think that the complexity of this body position can be summed up in the following incredible illustration, as seen in


Copyright Dave King, A Ballet Education

This, I feel, illustrates how every single part of your body is involved in holding even the most simplest of ballet positions. When you first start out doing ballet, you become hyper-aware of every part of your body and how difficult it is to have command over every muscle of your body at the same time. It really is so different to anything else that I have done! I feel like I’m doing the ‘Jedi mind trick’ just to get my foot to bend one way or another. Like I’m willing it into position. Bend damn you, bend!!!