In these expertly produced on-demand online tutorials, you’ll learn the ballet basics, with an emphasis on developing the correct technique, whilst enjoying yourself.
In a series of easy-to-navigate chapters, Maeve McGreevy, your ballet instructor, will take you through the basic classical terminology and essential body positions. Each lesson will build on the exercises and movements of the last. You can replay each one and practice as many times as you like.
The course begins with a guided warm up. At the end Maeve will give you cool down exercises to make sure you are looking after your body, so make sure you go through these each time you dip into the rest of the material. Ballet Basics covers both barre and centre movements. By the time you’ve completed the chapters, you’ll be able to dance your way through a simple sequence, also included in the course
No special equipment is required, so don’t worry if you haven’t got all the ballet paraphernalia. All you need is a basic chair and some comfortable clothes you can move in. As for your feet, just a pair of socks or simple soft ballet shoes is all you need!
And if you’re still thinking “Ballet? Me?” Read this for 5 Reasons to Try Ballet Today.
FAQs - Ballet Basics
How late is too late to start learning ballet?
Simply put, never. It is never too late to start learning ballet. This classical dance may be something that top professionals start at a very early age, but it’s a technique that can benefit every age and body-type. Don’t be put off by a creaky hip or a ‘big’ birthday coming up – there is so much to gain from this precise, conscious embodiment – there is freedom of expression and fun to be found at the barre!
What are the basic positions in ballet?
You may already know that ballet terminology is taken from the French language. These are the seven basic movements:
- Plier (to bend) Étendre (to stretch)
- Relever (to rise)
- Glisser (to slide or glide)
- Sauter (to jump)
- Élancer (to dart)
- Tourner (to turn)
You also have the five basic positions:
First Position: Standing with heels together and toes facing out to either side. The feet and legs are equally turned out.
Second Position: Similar to first position, but with the feet about hip distance apart.
Third Position: To get to third position, you’d start in first and move the heel of one foot out to the middle of the other. Legs are straight, with feet and legs turned out equally.
Fourth Position: One foot in front of the other, about a foot’s distance apart, lining up the heel of the front foot with the toes of the back foot.
Fifth Position: The feet are close together, one in front of the other and turned out, away from the body.
What do I have to wear for ballet?
Nothing fancy (unless you fancy it) – you just want something comfortable that you can move freely in – joggers, leggings, pyjamas… And you might want to have a layer or two handy, to keep you nice and toasty as you warm up and cool down.
What can I use instead of a ballet barre at home?
Your make-shift ballet barre wants to be more or less elbow height – you can use a counter-top or a table, but most people just use a simple chair to begin with.