Arts & Culture

Intro to Ballet: The Beginning Steps Part 2

For my last article of the year, I would like to write about more advanced ballet positions. First and foremost, it is very important to stretch and warm-up your muscles. A couple of crunches or jumping jacks should do the trick. Or simply run in place for five minutes. Before doing these exercises, it is important that you do stretches to open your hips and any other parts of your body that you think is necessary.

Tendú: This step is probably the most fundamental dance move next to the five positions covered in the last article. Every professional dancer had to learn this move in their first dance class. With these steps, I recommend holding onto a wall or piece of furniture to maintain your balance. The step requires you to stand tall in first position with your spine elongated and your stomach engaged. You may leave your arm down while first attempting these steps. The next step would be to push the bottom part of your foot against the floor. While doing this, you are to start slowly pointing your foot so that all of your toes are nice and elongated. Make sure your foot is turned out so that the soles of your feet can be seen from the front of you. Your foot should remain on the floor while doing this. Make sure your hips are square so you don’t form an uneven hip line. Lastly, when going back to first position make sure you lead your foot with your toes and then close into first position.

Front view of Tendú

Dégagé: This step is very similar to Tendú, but it has some slight differences. This step requires you to be in the same position as in Tendú. But instead of keeping your foot on the floor in the Tendú position, you will lift your foot off the floor so that your foot is elevated above the floor. I recommend practicing this move a couple of times in order to gain speed. Make sure you go through the Tendú before lifting your foot off of the ground. After lifting your foot off the ground, make sure you lower it into the Tendú position, then bring your toes in, and close into first position.

Coupé: This move is quite different from the other steps I just mentioned, but once practiced enough times, it is pretty easy. In order to do this step, I first recommend that you place your feet into fifth position. Then, with your front foot, push your heel up while maintaining turnout. Next, push your toes off the floor, and glide your toes up to your ankle bone. Make sure that your foot is turned out, and make sure your ankle is jutting out in the front while the toes are still connected to the ankle bone

These are all the steps that I will be sharing for this article. I highly recommend that you first master the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth positions in order to get use to moving the different parts of your body. Make sure to not strain yourself, and most importantly, have fun.






  1. Oh my goodness!!!! Wonderful job!!!! ???? I love the way that you explain this all – it’s really clear and easy to understand. ???? I’m a ballet dancer too…. I started when I was about 3 with tap/ballet combo classes and then decided to stick with ballet when they ended. 🙂 Honestly, it was probably the pointe shoes that grabbed my attention…. It’s funny, I never dreamed how painful they’d be back then….. Oh, what a dancer must go through for the sake of their art! ???? I love ballet, though…. 🙂 I can hardly wait till we get out of quarantine (I live in WA, U.S.) so that we can all start having classes in person again… XD Oh and @everyone, just a tip, if you decide to use to use a kitchen chair as a barre (like for the above exercises), you might want to put a big dictionary or something on the seat so that it won’t take you on a trip all around the room. ???? Just thought I’d put that out there….. ????

    • Wait… you do ballet??! Omigosh how did I not know that??!! Are you on pointe??!!! hahahahaa yea putting a dictionary on the chair is a great idea! I’ve just been using my kitchen counter for online classes cuz the chairs weren’t working PLUS we got a webcam????

      • How cool! I used to do ballet but stopped when I moved to the Cook Islands. They have no dance classes here lol.

        • @Kimberly (and Lilwen) Yes!!! 🙂 (Hopefully the spam/ban popup thingy won’t complain now…. xD I’m going to try to be very careful now, in any case. ????) I’ve been en pointe since last July. 🙂 So not that long…….. XD YES!!!! I was so frustrated before…. And we have a brick fireplace in our kitchen, so I’ve found that if I “brace” the legs of my chair against the edge of the hearth, it also helps…. ???? Yes, we’re using cameras too! I wasn’t really sure in the beginning how online ballet was really going to work, but I think that it’s actually been going quite well, considering my floor is made of an interesting plasticized tile or whatever you call that and there isn’t all too much space (more than some, I guess, though)… 😀

          Really?? 🙂 That’s wonderful!! ???? Oof…. Maybe you should see if you can find online ones now! ???? They actually work a lot better than they sound, honestly. XD I thought that it’d be a mess, and it was an adjustment, but you can actually do quite a bit if you have enough space. 🙂

  2. interesting…….