Good Ballet posture is vital to the success of the dance.
The quickest thing that will give away the newbie is poor posture.
And the fastest thing that will make you look and feel like a Ballet dancer is to make some minor but important posture adjustments.
But also, of course, if your Ballet posture is poor, when you dance the steps, not only with they not look right, but you run the risk of injury, too.
This is because adopting the proper posture is designed to protect the joints and muscles, by ensuring they are positioned in a way that gives them maximum strength and range.
So it's not just about how you look, it's also about how well you will be able to dance.
Get used to taking just a moment to think about where you are standing.
Where is your weight? You should be perfectly balanced.
Are your shoulders pulled down? With your neck elongated?
Are you using your leg muscles to pull up from the floor?
And just how far out is your bottom sticking???
Don't be put off by how many things you need to think about all at once.
You'll get to know exactly where you should be standing and will get used to the feel of good Ballet posture over time.
It will come naturally if you keep practising and also take just a second to check your standing position in between exercises.
Just follow the guide below on what NOT to do and what you'll be left with is this...
Good Ballet Posture
This is what you are aiming for.
The head relaxed and tilted slightly to the side, the neck and spine elongated. The legs taut. Feet comfortably turned out and arms smooth and graceful.
Bad Arm Position
This is the classic mistake made by practically every newbie we've ever seen. Teachers call it the 'Dead Bird'. Any time you need to hold your arms out in 2nd Position (whether on the barre or in the center of the studio) try to always roll your elbows around towards the back of the room. That will give your arms a nice smooth look.
Bad Shoulder Position
When your teacher tells you to pull up, this is not what they have in mind... Pull up through your leg muscles. Elongate your spine and float your head up towards the ceiling. But please! Leave your shoulders DOWN! You are a Ballet dancer, not a toy soldier.
Bad Rear End Position
Tuck it under!
What more is there to say?
Bad Slump Position
Don't tuck your bottom under so much that you end up like this, though...
Bad Feet Position
And one just for the feet. A common problem for newbie dancers is that they try to turn out their feet too much to begin with. The result is that the big toe has to take a lot of pressure so the foot starts to roll forward and the knees sag. To start out with, don't try to widen your turn out any more than is comfortable. All of your toes should be in contact with the floor.
Got all that? Fantastic. You'll get the chance to try this with our online class further on in the guide or you can jump to the video clip now.
Next, we show you how to put what you've learnt about Ballet posture to good use as you try your very first Ballet steps...