Body Positions

There are 9 basic directions of the body in Classical Ballet, 8 in the Cecchetti Method. These directions refer to the position of the legs and torso in relation to the audience.  The arms may be placed in various positions.

À la quatrième derrière – “To the fourth back”.  Torso facing directly front, working foot pointing to the back fourth position.

À la quatrième devant – “To the fourth front”.  Torso facing directly front, working foot pointing to the front fourth position.

À la seconde – “To the second”.  Torso facing directly front, working foot pointing towards the second position (side).

Croisé derrière – “Crossed to the back”.  Working foot pointing directly to the back, while the body is angled to about 1/8 rotation away from the audience (left or right corner).

Croisé devant – “Crossed to the front”.  Working foot pointing directly to the front, while the body is angled to about 1/8 rotation away from the audience (left or right corner).

Ecarté derrière – “Spread to the back”. Body is facing to the front corner (left or right) and the working leg is in the second position. The corner that the body is facing must be the working leg, or the position becomes ecarté devant.

Ecarté devant – “Spread to the front”.  Body is facing to the front corner (left or right) and the working leg is in the second position. The corner that the body is facing must be the standing leg, or the position becomes ecarté derrière.

Effacé derrière – Body is facing to the front corner (left or right) and the working leg is pointed towards the back. The corner that the body is facing must be the standing leg, or the position becomes croisé derrière.

Effacé devant – Body is facing to the front corner (left or right) and the working leg is pointed towards the front. The corner that the body is facing must be the working leg, or the position becomes croisé devant.