Name of positions for floor barre?

by Rhonda
(United States)

What are the five ballet positions for floor barre?

Comments for Name of positions for floor barre?

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Apr 24, 2012
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Dear Rhonda,

As far as I know, there are indeed five codified ballet positions, but this convention applies for the classical barre and it is not commonly used for what people call 'floor barre'.

Floor barre has become a widespread expression for referring to exercises that are executed on the floor and that work your legs and body with similar purposes as those of the classical ballet barre.

Yet, 'floor barre' gathers an enormous amount of different exercises that vary from one teacher to another and it is not common to hear the mention of five standardized positions.

Still, the five classical positions are indeed executed in some floor barre workshops while sitting on the floor, so you could use the same sorting:

Five ballet positions

(Image from the book: Ginot, Isabelle – Michel, Marcelle. La danse au XXe siècle. Larousse, Paris, 2002, p.13.)

Above you can see the five ballet positions, in order, and with an outwards rotation of the legs. The same placement is also executed in a parallel position by many modern and postmodern teachers, using the same names.

Here's another good demonstration of the five ballet positions as they are currently used:

There are also widespread names for sitting positions in the floor, that are a legacy of the Martha Graham technique:

- First position: two legs flexed in a symmetric position, outwards rotation, point of feet touching the floor, heels up.

- Second position: two legs completely extended to the sides in a symmetric position.

- Third position: one leg extended to the side, the other leg flexed; the heel of the flexed leg is close to the ischium.

- Forth position: both legs are flexed but one is in outward rotation and the other is in inward rotation.

- Fifth position: same as first position but the heels are crossing, one above the other.

- Sixth position: two legs extended forward in a symmetric position.

The codes I mention above are really widespread so I guess you can adjust or adapt them in such a way that they fit the specific routine you want to describe.

I hope this answers your questions. Don't hesitate to write back within this same thread if you still have doubts.

Warm regards,


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