Proper Alignment for Ballet

Body alignment is simply good posture. Proper alignment is the foundation for all ballet technique. For the dancer, body alignment consistently joins together the head, torso, arms and legs into a organized whole, while moving through space or holding a pose.

The body is like a set of building blocks. If one block is out of alignment it will affect everything above or below. Other body parts will compensate which may eventually cause injuries. All major joints; toes, ankles, knees, hips and wrists, elbows shoulders and spine will be affected for improper body alignment.

To locate proper alignment, stand in parallel first position then turn out to classical first position: 

  • Your head centered on top of your spine
  • Your eyes should be focused forward and slightly upward as if your are looking into the balcony seats in a theater
  • Your neck stretches upward from your shoulders
  • Your shoulders are down, level and relaxed
  • Your ribs are relaxed and it is in a neutral position between expansion or contractionYour abdominal muscles engage, lift and press in toward your spinal column
  • Your hips are level and legs outwardly rotate deep within your hip sockets
  • Your pelvis is centered under your shoulders
  • Your tailbone drops downward
  • Your knees lift and stretch but are not hyper extended
  • Your ankles and insteps lifted

 Be sure that all five toes remain on the floor. Your weight distributed properly within your foot triangle, which is maintaining your weight from the first through the fifth toes and through to your heel. Keeping all firmly planted on the floor

While standing in classical first position, you should visualize a straight line drawn down the front of your body from the center of the head through, the chest and the center of the hips and down between the heels.

Looking at your body fromm the side you should visualize a straight line drawn down the side of your body, from the front of you ear through your shoulder joint, hip joint, and knee and falling in front of your ankle bone

As you stand in alignment, your arms hang slightly in front of your body with your elbows lifted outward and away from your body. Your arms should be slightly rounded with the top of your arm facing upward and your palms  facing your thighs. .

Proper body alignment is a primary ballet principle in which all other ballet principles depend upon. Practice proper alignment during your normal day. Stand and walk  properly aligned always and you will feel better for it.

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