The positions of the feet within ballet is an important part of basic ballet technique which defines typical standard positions of feet on the dance floor. There are essentially five main positions in modern ballet, referred to as the first through third positions. These positions are known as points A through Z. In order for a dancer to move from point A to point Z, they must first move from point B to point A and then to point C. This process can be illustrated using the image of a circle. Starting at point A, one would circle clockwise to continue moving clockwise until they reached point B, where they would turn and begin the move all over again.
While ballet positions are based on circular movements, there are many other factors to consider when defining a particular ballet position. For example, one ballet position is known as the off arm position, which is performed by separating the hands on either side of the body by positioning them so that the tips of both hands are slightly visible. The dancer then holds one hand in front of the body with the small of the palm facing away from the dancer. The other is known as the open hand position, which is done the same with the opposite palms. The closed position is known as the half-arm position, which is considered the simplest position in ballet. Regardless of which particular ballet position is used, it is necessary for a dancer to have good balance and control, as well as a strong base to support their bodies.
When a ballet dancer moves from point A to point B, they must first shift their weight to one foot before putting their arms in the starting position. As they come back to point A, they must then shift their weight to the other foot, but keep their arms in the starting position. Ballet students who have good ballet muscle memory and develop their muscle strength will be able to easily transition from one position to another without thinking about it, but those who do not have this ability may find it very difficult to move from one point to another. Good ballet instructors can help dancers improve their muscle memory and flexibility by carefully guiding them through each exercise and helping them practice the proper ballet positions on a daily basis.