ABC of ballet: arm positions
Watch Romany Pajdak, Royal Ballet First Artist, demonstrate arm positions.
Ballet uses strictly defined positions through which most arm movements travel. There are five basic positions: first, second, third, fourth, fifth.
- First position: Both arms are held out in front of the body at approximately 80 degrees, maintaining rounded elbows and an oval shape, sloping down a little from the shoulders.
- Second position: Both arms are held out to the sides to form a strong horizontal, but with a slight slope downwards from shoulders to wrist.
- Third position: One arm is held forward in first position, the other is held to the side in second position.
- Fourth position: One arm is held to the side in second position, the other is raised up, slightly in front of the head.
- Fifth position: Both arms are raised up high almost vertically, but held slightly forward of the head.
ABC of ballet: One of a series of posts explaining useful ballet terms.