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Direction of 2nd position

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Today in class my teacher (my supportive teacher!) told me that when doing moves with my leg in 2nd position, I should match the degree of turnout to what I have on the floor, rather than trying for 180 degrees. This is to help me keep my hips straight, as by trying for 180 I am tending to turn my hips.


My question is: my turnout is about 50 degrees for each leg. So when I tendu along the floor the angle should be 50 degrees. What do I do when doing a barre exercise where I have to go from 1st position to 2nd position? If I tendu at 50 degrees, my 2nd position is going to end up at a funny angle to the barre!!!


I hope that this makes sense!

Thanks, Wembley

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Your teacher is correct. First position is called first position because it reveals the amount of rotation/turnout you have. Second position and all the others are set from there. And of course, you're not blindly just tendu-ing away at a funny angle. but you're working your hip rotators to open the hips up and get things closer to 90 degrees in each leg.

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Hi Wembley,


My teacher has us, after the outside foot tendus to second, adjust the inside foot so that you have a good proper second. THen, when it's time to change positions again, adjust the inside foot once more before coming into fourth (or fifth etc).


However, I know what you mean, I've also been in classes where no instructions on this adjustment were ever given, although the students were instructed to work within their natural degree of turnout for tendu. (Your teacher may think that you already know this perhaps?)

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Guest kristinene

Hi wembley,


I have the same problem, and I've had instructors who made the problem worse (insisting that I tendu directly side...not good for me!). But you are lucky - sounds like you have a great instructor! I'd just ask what he/she prefers.



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Guest AmyLiz008

Hi wembley!


My teacher just went over this a couple of weeks ago. I sat in on the beginner class because it reinforces good habits and corrects bad ones. He had us stand at the bar in fifth position right foot front. Then he laid a cane on the floor against the front facing edge of our front foot. The line that the cane made was our tendu to second. Then repeated with right foot back, and laid the cane against the back facing edge of the back foot. He had us practice the tendu second correctly a few times before removing the cane from the floor. He told us that when he says tendu second (at the beginning of plie exercises because we do second position first), he really means open to second, because tendu second would make us lop-sided... he just says tendu second out of habit. When we do tendu exercises, he wanted us to use our natural second. Same with degage and grande battement. I've noticed my grande battement is higher now that I do them in my natural second. Hope that helps.



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AmyLiz, just out of curiousity, how do you do a grande battement witout using natural à la seconde?

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