Everything You Need to Know About Beginner Ballet

Beginner Guides

Everything You Need to Know About Beginner Ballet

Casey Conway
January 23, 2024
Ready to start dancing?
Reach your dance goals on STEEZY with 1500+ online classes, programs, and more.
Get Started
Copied to clipboard

Caught the beginner ballet bug? It’s cool. Regardless of your age or experience level, you can start learning ballet as an adult today. Ballet is a great workout for your entire body, but it’s also great for ya brain! 

Here’s everything you need to know about beginning ballet as an adult.

Where do you find ballet classes for adults?

What’s that, you say? You’ve never taken a ballet class in your life? You don’t even know where to look for a class? No problem! You’ve got some great options. Let’s break ‘em down.

1. Local Studios

Many studios now offer adult-only dance classes for beginners. With a quick Google search, you’ll have a list of studios near you in no time. Check out the options and see what they offer. Most studios will offer adult classes that meet one to two times per week at most. This is a great way for beginner adult ballerinas to get started without feeling overwhelmed.

2. Online

In addition to in-person beginner adult ballet classes, many studios now offer online classes as well. Online dance classes are also a GREAT option if you don’t have a studio near you! You may find that the entire class is participating online, or that it’s a mixed environment where some students are online, and others are live in the studio.

Learning at home? Watch this: What You Need To Start Learning Ballet

Beginner Ballet Budget: How much do adult ballet classes cost?

The great thing about taking dance classes as an adult is that studios usually offer more flexibility. For example, the average cost of a single drop-in class typically ranges from $20-25 depending on your city. Drop-ins are a great option if you just wanna check things out first.

Some studios will offer punch cards, which is an awesome option to have if you fall in love with a class. With a punch card, you can pay for a set number of classes upfront and use them as you please. Since you’re buying more classes at one time, the studio will likely offer a discount. 

Online classes often work the same, but you’ll find that most of them are cheaper. You’re also saving time and gas if you’re not driving to a studio. 

Wanna learn ballet online right now? Awaken your inner ballet dancer in just 25 days on STEEZY Studio.  

Prep Work: How to prepare for your first adult ballet class

1. What to Wear

Don’t worry; you can skip the tights and leotards! Adult ballet classes don’t require much. Just make sure you wear comfortable clothing. You don’t want to feel restricted. As far as your feet go, you can find a pair of basic ballet shoes for around $50 online or in a local dance store. 

2. What to Bring

Be sure to take a water bottle with you as well. You may not break a huge sweat in your first class, but we gotta keep ya hydrated and healthy! 💪💦 Also, confidence. Don’t forget your confidence! This is a time to have fun and enjoy yourself.

3. What to Avoid

If you have long hair, consider pulling it back out of your face. Similarly, you should avoid wearing long necklaces, big earrings, or clunky rings. You don’t want to get distracted — or worse — hurt. 

Lastly, although it’s not a requirement, some basic ballet vocabulary can go a long way.

If you have the time to learn a few words before class, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident — no doubt.

Check it out: 10 Basic Terms You Need To Know To Start Learning Ballet 

Fancy Feet: Breaking Down Ballet Feet Positions You Need to Know

Good news! There are only five basic ballet feet positions you need to know. But before we jump into those, let’s talk about turnout.

Ballet turnout is a rotation of your leg at the hip joint. Naturally, this causes your feet and knees to turn out and away from the front of your body. Turnout is an important part of ballet technique because it enables you to extend your leg more when lifting it to the front or side.

Okay, now that we’ve covered turnout, let’s dive into first position. 

1. First Position

Place your heels together and turn your toes out. You’ll notice your knees naturally turn out as well. Congrats! You’re in first position.

Tip: Don’t stick your rear-end out. You want a nice straight line from head to toe.

2. Second Position

Leave one foot in place, and with the other, simply step out to the side. It doesn’t matter which side.  Your feet should be approximately 12 inches apart, and your heels remain in line with one another while your knees are still turned out. 

Tip: Just think of it as first position with some extra space.

3. Third Position

Now let’s shake things up. In third position, the heel of one of your feet (right or left — doesn’t matter) rests against the arched middle portion of your other foot. Both feet remain turned out and your weight should be evenly dispersed between them. 

Tip: No leaning to one side! 

4. Fourth Position

In fourth position, rather than your heel resting against the arched middle portion of your opposite foot, you are going to move it forward. It should sit roughly 12 inches in front of your other foot. 

Tip: Keep that turnout and continue to avoid leaning to one side.

5. Fifth Position 

Great news! Fifth position isn’t all that complicated. If you’re moving here from fourth position, take your front foot and scoot it back until your heel touches the big toe on your back foot. 

Tip: Squeeze those knees together! You don’t want a gap between them.

Alright, we’ve covered feet. But what about your arms? Ya can’t just leave them to dangle.

Amazing Arms: Breaking Down Ballet Arm Positions You Need to Know

1. First Position Arms

To hit first position, put your arms out in front of your body and make a natural bend at the elbows. Imagine you were holding a giant ball —so large that your fingers don’t quite touch.

Tip: Your elbows should be slightly higher than your hands.

2. Second Position Arms

Maintain the same shape as first position but move your arms out wider. Your arms should remain slightly rounded.

Tip: Don’t open those arms too far. No bear hugs here!

3. Third Position Arms

This one is a bit of a combo between first and second position. So, begin in second position and bring one arm back into first position. Ta-da! Third position.

Tip: Don’t forget to switch arms as you practice.

4. Fourth Position Arms

Start in second position again. But this time, instead of bringing your opposite arm up front into first, take it up above your head and just slightly in front of it.

Tip: Maintain a rounded shape for each arm.

5. Fifth Position Arms

Now, place both arms above — and just slightly in front of — your head. Boom! You got it.

Tip: Don’t scrunch your shoulders up.

Now that you know some ballet positions, how about some ballet choreography?

That’s it. You know some basic ballet vocab and you’ve practiced your ballet positions, so you’re all set. 🥳 But if you just can’t wait for your first class, we get it. If you need to get movin’ and groovin’ right now, check out all the online dance classes Steezy has to offer.