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Ballet Talk for Dancers

5th position?


dobby

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Hi, we have worked a long time in 3rd position in class and now my teacher thinks it´s time for us to begin do some exercises in the fifth position

I don´t know what´s the difference between 3rd and 5th position :shrug: they look a lot a like but in the books the 5th position looks really advance :wink:

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Do not panic about 5th. Ballet, of the 21st century (choreographically speaking), does not exist without it. It is not particularly advanced, just a lot of work as far as movement goes.

 

5th position differs in various schools of teaching. Which method of study are you pursuing? :)

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IF you are already standing in a well turned out third position, basically all you need to do to attain a good fifth position is to cross the feet more little by little until one day there you are with toes aligned to heels! (on both sides!) The real problem with using fifth however, as opposed to 3rd, is that actually it is not enough just to cross the feet more, you have to hold the whole leg in a good turned out position especially with the tops of the thighs, otherwise you can damage your knees. This takes a lot of strength. Also if the pelvis is not held in the right position then the thighs drop in and the knees too and usually this is accompanied with feet rolling inwards. I know there are some methods which use 5th straight away, I prefer to use them later and like your teacher start with third, until the student is able to hold the turn-out properly. Some students never get the strength to hold a correct 5th, because of the shape of their legs. As far as I know a 5th is a 5th whichever teaching "school" you follow and in my humble opinion it IS an advanced position because of the difficulty of holding it correctly.

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Is the whole class going to go from 3rd to 5th at the same time?? That seems odd as it really does depend a lot on turnout. I have classes where some students are in 3rd, some are in 5th, I always say 'stand in 3rd' or whatever and those that have been told to use 5th do so automatically.

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I used to be able to do a correct 5th, but now I'm older and 20 pounds heavier I just can't do it anymore.

Therefore, normally I do something between 3rd and 5th, because I then can use my full turnout.

But some time ago I had a teacher who insisted on me doing 5th, because the crossing of the legs is such an important feeling in jumps etc. Problem is that when my heel touches my toe I just can't turn out my legs.

 

What do you think, should I turn out in "almost 5th" or barely turnout in "5th"?

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irishprincess

Jetrouve, I am so with you! I'd rather do a correct "false" position than a really bad for me "real" position.....(I know....fourty ballet instructors just shuddered...sorry....) My fifth is awful! I will admit it fully.....but the studio I started in started me in fifth.....to be honest, I don't think I've ever done third at the barre......now I'm starting to wonder if it would help me.....

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I think one should always be working towards getting the 5th.

 

In order to work in crossed positions, you must first have proper ballet stance/placement with your ribcage lifted up equally in back and in front off of your pelvis, and all the other things in alignment etc. If that is in place, then it sounds like many of you could use some inner thigh strengthening exercises.

 

Try this with a partner:

One person stands with their legs apart approximately in 2nd position. The other person sits on the floor in front of them close enough to be able to place the center of their calves on the outside of the stander's legs, right at the outside center of the stander's lower leg.

 

The stander remains standing, and roots themselves to the floor. The sitter takes both hands of the stander, pulls their belly button back to their spine, turns their legs out with feet flexed, and lifts their legs to the position described above.

 

Now, the sitter squeezes in on the stander's legs trying to move the stander's legs, while the stander works at not allowing that to happen. Continue squeezing until the inner thigh begins to burn and shake, and release. Wait for 30 seconds; repeat.

 

Now reverse it with the sitter placing their shins inside the stander's legs trying to push their legs apart.

 

The sitter always must remain in a rotated position with their legs, feet flexed, and belly button pulled in.

 

Then reverse roles!

 

You should identify your inner thigh muscles in a way you never have before!!! B)

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You should identify your inner thigh muscles in a way you never have before!!! B)

 

 

LOL, I like that, I know they are there it is uncovering them from years of neglect and cellulite that is the problem!

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Do you really think it is an inner thigh problem?

Cause when I'm trying to force myself to 5th (flat foot) my hips hurt, it feels like the hip joints would like to jump out of their sockets. Or, to take pressure off, I have to move my pelvis. In releve/ sousou (sp?) I can turn out my 5th and almost completely cross it without any troubles.

 

In the mean time, I'm working on the inner thighs, never hurts to add an extra excersise to the curiculum ;-).

Thank you for that one!

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My teacher keeps telling me to rotate from the hips while in my 5th, but I just don't understand how to. Also, I feel that I can't straighted my knees and keep my butt in when I am in my 5th. She tries to explain, but I still can't get it right. How do I do it????

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Victoria Leigh

macleb, this is a different topic, and you need to ask that question on the YD 13-16 forum. This is the Adult Students Forum.

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Do you really think it is an inner thigh problem?

Cause when I'm trying to force myself to 5th (flat foot) my hips hurt, it feels like the hip joints would like to jump out of their sockets. Or, to take pressure off, I have to move my pelvis. In releve/ sousou (sp?) I can turn out my 5th and almost completely cross it without any troubles.

 

It depends....

Did you read what I said about proper ballet placement? There is a Sticky that has a more detailed explanation at the top of this forum.

 

How do your hips feel when you sit on the floor, bottoms of your feet together (diamond position), with your upper body lifted off, stomach muscles engaged, and hips relaxed?

 

Can you do the same position except laying down on your back? How distant are your knees from the floor when you do these 2 things?

 

My hunch, without seeing you, is that it's a matter of control since it sounds like you used to be able to be in correct 5th. Now if you'd never been able to be in 5th, then it might be something else.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I read the sticky, and that's what I meant by having to move the pelvis; stick my but out and not having a correct placement anymore.

 

My hips feel fine by sitting in the positions described, my knees don't touch the floor, but aren't that far away either. When I lay down on my back (legs stretched and up, feet flexed) and practise the positions, fifth doesn't hurt in the hips, it just isn't quite there... I mean, when heel is to toe I'm not completely turned out, and not as much turned out as in first. But I guess that is normal.

 

Actually I'm happy that you think it's a strength/ control thing, cause I was afraid that my legs were just to big!

 

Thanks for your help, and sorry for the late reply.

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Jetrouve, could it be you are having a similar problem to me, age has wrought changes on my body one of them being deposits of fat on my thighs making it difficult to close them AND have my feet where they are supposed to be. I have noticed that the further into the semester we get the better my fifth position is getting AND the looser my pants are fitting in the hips and thighs.

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