How to do ballet dance moves for beginners

10 Things to Know Before Starting Adult Beginner Ballet

Growing up, I was always drawn to the Ballet art form.

I would put on a leotard and tutu and dream of what it might feel like to perform the ultimate feats of elegance & grace. 

And I know I’m not alone. 

But when you’re a grown adult who still wants to learn Ballet, it might feel like your time has passed.

Fear not –– you can start learning Ballet at any time in your life!

You just need to start by knowing these 10 things below. 👇

1. Ballet’s Past & Present

When you think of Ballet, what comes to mind?

Classical music, buns, tutus, old traditions, and French words, right?

Ballet is an old tradition –– it originated in 15th Century Italy before making its way to France where it was exclusively practiced by French courtiers and royals.

Given its history, it makes sense to want to learn Ballet to feel more sophisticated & refined!

But keep in mind that Ballet, like any art form, is evolving.  

Through social media platforms, affordable performance venues, and an increasing number of adult-friendly Ballet programs available on platforms like STEEZY Studio, Ballet is becoming more inclusive every day.

Speaking of which...

2. It’s Not Only for “Certain Girls”

Did you know that some football players take Ballet classes to improve their agility, posture, and movement? 

Or that Tupac Shakur danced as the Mouse King in Baltimore School for the Arts’ performance of The Nutcracker?

Or that there are skilled Ballerinas of every shape and size?

While Ballet was once restricted to a specific set of rich, white performers, anyone can be a Ballet dancer.

You don’t need to be feminine nor female, thin nor “soft” –– in fact, if you’ve ever met a Ballet dancer in person, you’ll notice that they have larger muscles than the average WWE fighter!

Harper Watters - STEEZY Ballet Instructor

Whatever your race, gender, sexuality, or background, remember this:

If you’re learning Ballet, you are a Ballet dancer. Period.

3. How to Determine Your Ballet Goals

Ok –– so you’re a Ballet dancer. 

But what type of Ballet dancer do you want to be? 

Before you look for a class, ask yourself:

Are you trying to find an outlet for creativity? Are you trying to find a fun new hobby? Are you trying to find a new way to exercise your body? 

If you want to expand your creativity, focus on the artistic aspect of Ballet by learning variations –– dramatic solo dances that allow the dancer to tell a story. 

For example, in the famous Kitri variation from Don Quixote, the main character is a feisty Spanish princess who’s chosen to marry someone against her father’s wishes.

You can connect with this character and play up the story by choosing a wedding-themed costume, using a Spanish fan as a prop, or experimenting with flirtatious facial expressions!

Try out all of these artistic choices in the Kitri class on the last day of STEEZY's "Intro to Ballet" program!

If you’re dancing to improve your fitness, focus on repetition & engaging your muscles as you train.

Once you have a few steps down, you can even practice them to your favorite upbeat songs in order to get your heart rate up.

Just want to have fun? Focus on finding a set of moves you really enjoy doing, and make those the core of your weekly training. 

If pliés aren’t your favorite, but you love doing tendus… you can ten-do those all day!

Check out this article to learn more about goal-setting: How to Set and Achieve Your Dance Goals

4. How to Choose the Right Ballet Class For You

There are many different types of Ballet classes out there, so it’s important to find a class that’s tailored to your goals.

Private Lessons


  1. You’ll get undivided attention and feedback, which will help you master techniques and level up quickly.
  2. Your instructor can tailor the classes to your specific needs –– great for dancers with limited mobility, space, or time.


  1. Private lessons tend to be expensive.
  2. You may miss out on the social aspect of dancing. Learning with others can be rewarding and motivating!
  3. You’ll have to vet your instructor on your own. With services like Zoom, anyone can offer Ballet lessons online fairly easily, so you’ll need to spend some time searching for a great instructor and ensuring that they’re qualified.

In-Studio Classes


  1. In-studio classes allow you to get real-time feedback from your instructor.
  2. You can learn alongside other people and make new dance friends!


  1. Many classes marked “beginner” still expect students to have a little bit of basic knowledge and skill. They will not explain Ballet terms or break moves down completely.
  2. In-studio classes can also be expensive! Remember, you’re paying for not only the class, but for the entire studio to keep their lights on.  
  3. These classes can be tough to find if you live in a smaller city or town. A lot of studios still prioritize kids-only classes, so you may have to travel outside of your city to find an appropriate studio that offers Ballet classes for adults.

Online Ballet Classes


  1. Recorded classes give you the opportunity to take your time and train on your own schedule. 
  2. You never have to worry about falling behind, looking awkward, or being the only adult in class.
  3. Online Ballet classes can be much more affordable –– for example, you can take unlimited programs & classes on STEEZY for $99 per year, whereas most live classes cost $15-$20 each.
  4. You can get a nice balance of private learning & socializing by joining your learning platform’s Online Community.


  1. Even though each class will feel like a 1:1 private lesson, you may have to look to social media, such as STEEZY’s Facebook community, to get continual support from others who are sharing the learning experience.

Interested in training at home? Learn more about STEEZY Studio’s “Intro to Ballet” program below:

Related Article: Famous American Ballet Schools You Should Know

5. Ballet Requires Determination

Once you find the perfect class, it’s important to adopt the proper mindset for your Ballet training.

Go into each class with a small, actionable goal, such as mastering a single move, or being able to stretch a little further than yesterday.

Remind yourself throughout each training session that learning these things takes time and repeated practice!

You may feel like you’re a slower learner or not as limber as you used to be, and that’s ok –– as long as you’re practicing, you’re making progress.

6. You Don’t Need a Pink Tutu

Professional Ballet dancers don’t always train in tutus. Neither should you!

Your clothes should hug your figure so you can see the lines you’re creating with your body, and they should be comfortable enough to sweat in.

If you’re just starting your dance wardrobe, opt for a leotard paired with shorts or leggings, as you can find these pieces in a wide range of sizes and colors.

For example, STEEZY’s “Intro to Ballet” instructor, Brittany Cavaco, has a Ballet apparel collection with SoDanca that features inclusive sizing and comfy materials.

Tap here to see what we mean:

And if you don’t feel confident in a leotard yet, just start with athletic wear that allows you to move freely and see your body well! 

7. You DO Need the Right Shoes

Ballet shoes on the other hand, are a little more important for safely practicing ballet movements. 

Ballet requires a lot of smooth, gliding movements across the floor, but you’ll also need just enough grip to keep you from slipping.

Opt for a pair of Ballet slippers rather than pointe shoes – they’re soft & easy for beginners to wear.

You can get a pair for around $20-25 through online retailers like SoDanca as well!

8. How to Prep Your Dance Space

If you choose to learn Ballet at home, you'll need a 6x6 square foot space for practice. 

For barre, you need even less space because you're working on 1 side of your body at a time. 

When you're doing turns or variations, you might need a little more room or adjust your range of motion.

You should also avoid carpeted areas as the resistance of the carpet can cause knee and ankle injuries.

If you don’t have hard, smooth floors inside your home, set up space in your garage or purchase affordable dance floor mats on amazon.

Watch this video for more info:

Lastly, you don’t need a barre – anything sturdy that’s slightly above your hip height is perfect.  

Many Ballet dancers use a chair, shelf, table, or windowsill. If your chair isn’t as sturdy, lean it against a wall so you’re properly supported.

9. How to Dance Ballet Safely 

Remember, Ballet is physically demanding!

It’s important to treat your body well, so you can follow along with your classes safely.

Make sure to eat balanced meals on class days, and hydrate before and after you train. 

If your class does not include stretches, warm ups, and cool downs, be sure to supplement your training session appropriately.

And, of course, learn at your own pace. 

Yes, you can expect to sweat, feel sore, and be challenged. 

But listen to your body carefully! 

If you feel like a move is outside of your ability, don’t feel pressured to learn it right away. 

10. You’re Here to Have Fun

Try not to hyper-focus on perfection. This will make you forget why you started in the first place!

After each lesson, check in with yourself by asking:

What did I enjoy about my class? What made me feel excited? Proud?

You’re likely dancing because you love to dance. Make sure that you’re preserving and growing this love, not turning it into another chore or source of stress and insecurity. Dance is for you.


We hope this helped you start your Ballet journey! 

And if you’re still looking for the perfect beginner class, head on over to STEEZY Studio.

With a free 1-week trial, you can begin our “Intro to Ballet” program & start learning the basics, step-by-step, in the comfort of home.

See you in class!

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Ballet positions for beginners — Ballet Fusion

If you’re new to ballet, haven’t been for a while or thinking about starting a class, some of the positions and terms used by your teacher might have you a bit baffled.

We’ve listed some of the basic ballet positions with descriptions to get you started.

Just remember, don’t let the terms or positions intimidate you. Adult classes are generally very friendly and relaxed and your teacher will always demonstrate a position and sometimes translate into more simple descriptive language. If in doubt, ask. Teachers love to be asked questions and if you’re unsure, someone else in the class will be too so you’ll be doing them a favour by speaking up!

Basic Ballet Positions - The Feet

Let’s start with the feet. There are five basic positions worth remembering.

You might only use two or three in your first classes and adult beginners are never expected to put their feet in any positions that hurt or cause joint pain so be aware of how your hips, knees and ankles feel as you try these.

Top tip: When you look at a ballet dancer in one of these positions, it looks like they are turning their feet out from their ankles. Actually, the turn-out comes from the hips. Focus on turning out from your hips to take pressure off your knee and ankle joints.  


Stand up straight with heels together and toes pointed outwards towards the corners or outer edges of the room. Only turn your hips and legs out as much as is comfortable.


Stand up straight with feet hip-width apart, legs turned out from the hips. Toes pointing towards the corners or outer edges of the room.


Keeping feet turned out, cross one foot in front of the other - joining your heel to the middle front or arch of the other foot. 


Start in third position and slide one foot forward creating a space of about 5 to 10in or so between your feet. Be careful of this one as it can twist or pull knee and ankle joints. If you feel any discomfort, turn your toes in towards the front more or don’t do the position.


Like third position but the feet are crossed more, with the heel of one foot joining the other foot closer towards the big toe joint or ‘bunion bone’ as it’s often referred to. 

Top tip: You might hear your ballet teacher say ‘Be careful not to roll your feet’. This means don’t let your feet roll forwards when turned out in any of the positions above. The best way to prevent this is to imagine you have a malteser under the inner arch of each foot. Don’t squash the malteser, keep your ankle muscles lifted to push your outer foot into the floor and keep your inner arches from rolling forward. Not sure what we mean? Go and grab a packet of maltesers. Just don’t blame us when you eat the rest of the packet. And don’t try it on cream carpet.

Basic Ballet Positions - Arms

The arms can be one of the most beautiful and expressive elements of a ballet so enjoy using your arms to feel the music and flow through positions.

Keep a straight body as you practice these positions but during exercises or dances, you might use them while you’re bending or moving your body.

Bra bas

This is the resting or preparatory position for arms in ballet. We often start and finish in bra bas. Standing up straight, let your arms hang down by your side then bring your hands in to almost meet at hip level, letting your elbows bend slightly. Arms should be gently rounded with shoulders relaxed.


From bra bas, lift your arms so that both hands are now in front of your belly button. Keep arms extended with a gentle bend at the elbow - just like you’re carrying a beach ball low down on your belly.


From first position, open the hands to bring your arms out to the side. Keep that gentle bend in your elbows and let your palms face forward without drooping. Arms should be just in front of your shoulder line - like you’re ready to give someone a hug.


Bring both arms up and your hands high above your head. Keep that gentle bend at the elbows. Don’t let the fingers touch and keep palms pointing down or slightly inwards. The trick with this one is to keep your shoulders down and as relaxed as possible to elongate your neck and prevent hunching or tension.

There are lots more positions so keep an eye on our blog posts for more in this series.

Our adult ballet fitness classes are held weekly in London and Teignmouth, Devon. Checkout our adult ballet classes and timetable links for more info.

Ballet Fusionballet, dance, fitness


7 ballet movements that will tone the whole body - Woman Delice

The fact that ballet has long ceased to be just a high art and has become something like a fashionable fetish is no news to anyone. Something "ballet" - whether in shoes, in flowers or in silhouettes - is present on the fashion catwalks every season, and the prima stars of the top theaters are not inferior in popularity to football players. We have already written about the popularity of ballet as a fitness, but today we want to talk about this topic again: in the end, why not let some great sports into your life? Moreover, in terms of physical activity, bar training (training at the ballet barre) is in no way inferior to the promoted intensive programs.

7 ballet movements

Today, in almost every big city there are ballet studios for those who want to try this most graceful sport, and no special training is required - you will be taught everything on the spot. The level of difficulty varies: the initial workouts are focused on stretching, endurance and coordination, in more advanced groups they already pay attention to artistry. But whatever your level, ballet fitness differs from ordinary shaping or other group classes in one thing: a special aesthetics. And even if your forms are far from ballet, the smoothness of movements and graceful postures during training seriously change the sense of self.

And if you're still wondering whether to call your nearest studio, here are examples of exercises from the Bar Training program, posted on her blog by American Ballet Theater dancer and part-time ballet fitness studio co-owner Katie Boren. Kati writes that this complex helps her and her students quickly tone the whole body, and she loves to do these simple (haha) exercises in her favorite sweatpants with a hole in the butt every day, at home, in the theater or in the studio .

Ready? 7 ballet movements that tone the muscles of the whole body:


Where without plie! This movement, at first glance, elementary, tones the muscles of the shoulder girdle, body, priests and legs. Turn the legs into the “first position” (as far as possible), keep the body straight with the abdominal muscles. Slowly lower yourself into a plié, try not to take your heels off the floor for as long as possible (it's very difficult, we tried it here!). Straighten your legs, return to the starting position. Do not forget about the hands - ii, time!

Single Leg Relevé

This simple rise tones and strengthens the rear surface of the hips and caviar:

Stretching with a tape of

This is an equilibrium and stretching of the leg muscles. The tape is threaded through the arm, which lies on the barre and is fixed with the heel, after which tilts are performed with the legs taken back and up:

Stretching at the barre

Another classic exercise that works out a huge number of different muscles. The main thing is to keep the body so that the slope comes from the lower back, and the body does not arch to the side:


This is an advanced movement, and before you start it you need to master pointe shoes (a topic for ballet fans - pointe shoes are very rarely done in ordinary fitness groups, as it is quite traumatic). But beautiful, of course:

Classic split

And the side stretch is another classic ballet move. Don't forget plastic surgery!

9. yourself a ballerina?

Full body ballet training

December 21, 2016 Sports and fitness

This set of exercises from ballet dancer and trainer Mary Helen Bowers will work your arms and legs, strengthen your abs and improve your posture. You will not need anything but a rug and the desire to make your body perfect.

Mary Helen Bowers

Choreographer, trainer. She has worked with stars such as Liv Tyler and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Preparing Natalie Portman for the lead role in the feature film Black Swan.

Exercise No. 1

Perform body lifts very smoothly, without jerking. Do not rise too high and do not lie completely on the floor. The abdominal muscles must constantly be in tension. Hands work in parallel with the body. Don't try to pull yourself up with your neck. If you feel like it's hard for you, don't go too low.

Do four sets of eight reps.

Exercise No. 2

Stretch your arms forward and make springy movements. The amplitude should be small. The press is constantly tense.

Do four sets of eight reps.

Exercise No. 3

Starting position - legs bent at the knees, feet rest on the floor, the body is raised above the floor. When performing side crunches, first lift the body, then lower it down and simultaneously turn to the side. Return to the starting position and do the same with the turn to the other side. The press is in constant tension. Keep your hands in front of you. Do not stretch your neck while lifting.

Do four sets of eight reps.

Exercise No. 4

Sitting on the floor, tilt your body back a little and rest your hands on the floor. Raise your legs, tighten your abs and start turning invisible pedals, alternately pulling your knees to your chest. When one knee is pulled up to the chest, the second leg straightens and goes down, but does not touch the floor. The lower one leg goes down and the closer the knee of the second leg is pulled up to the chest, the greater the load.

Do four sets of eight reps.

You can also try a more difficult version - without relying on your hands.

Exercise No. 5

Lie on your back. The legs are bent at the knees and rest on the floor with socks at a distance of the foot from the buttocks. The arms are extended along the body. The abdomen is drawn in. Raise your pelvis off the floor as high as you can and straighten your right leg. Then bend it again and lower the pelvis down.

Perform four sets of eight reps per leg and move on to the next exercise.

Exercise No. 6

Raise your pelvis off the floor with a straight leg and begin to spring in this position (four sets of eight reps).

Then do exercise number 5 on the other leg and finish with springs.

Exercise No. 7

Sit on the mat with your feet together. Slightly tilt the body back and rest your hands on the floor, turn your palms forward.

Learn more