Improve your retiré position

A focus class designed to help you improve your pirouettes through working on stability and balance in retiré and á la seconde positions.


  • 1 Class
  • Suitable for 12+

In this focus class, students will explore the structure of the retiré and à la seconde positions. The class will comprise six exercises, providing you with tips to maintain stability and balance, helping to progress to pirouettes.

What you will learn

  • Examine the structure of the retiré and a la seconde positions
  • Identify key muscles and forces to support the positions
  • Demonstrate improved stability and balance through the application of feedback.

Your Tutors

Larissa Bamber

Ballet Teacher

Larissa Bamber was born on the Wirral and joined The Royal Ballet School at the age of 11. She was awarded The Bagrit Award for the Most Promising Dancer by Dame Alicia Markova before joining The Royal Ballet.

Larissa performed an extensive array of The Royal Ballet’s repertoire from corps de ballet to principal roles during her professional career. While with the Company, she performed roles in ballets including Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

When Larissa retired from her performing career, she trained as a teacher with the RAD’s Professional Dancers Teachers Diploma, gaining a distinction, and was later awarded teacher status QTLS level 5 in 2012. Larissa has taught at several vocational ballet schools in the UK including The English National Ballet School where she trained and mentored the graduate year for 13 years. While at English National Ballet School, Larissa coordinated short courses and summer programmes, and was an Artistic Advisor of English National School Juniors working closely with the teachers on curriculum, overseeing the progress of the students, and giving teacher support and feedback.

She has choreographed and co-produced productions for English National Ballet School and Central School of Ballet Associates at The Britten Theatre, The Beck, The Royal Festival Hall, Bloomsbury, The Lyceum, The Peacock and The Unicorn Theatres.

Larissa was invited to join Images Ballet Company at London Studio Centre as Rehearsal Director before being appointed Artistic Director in 2021.

Larissa joined the faculty of The Royal Ballet School in September 2023 as a ballet teacher at White Lodge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

This class is recommended for students aged 12+ and reflects the training given to students aged 12-14 studying at The Royal Ballet School. The class is not suitable for beginner students, students with limited experience or students under 11 years old.

For this class, we recommend that:

  • Students are studying a syllabus delivered by a recognised classical dance awarding body, or if attending full-time vocational training, the method of training provided at their school
  • Students have a good knowledge and understanding of ballet vocabulary.

What do I need to participate?

These classes are designed so that they can be executed in a smaller space than a ballet studio. We ask that students/parents ensure that:

  • The student meets the technical standards required for the class
  • Any apparatus used for a barre is stable and safe
  • The floor is not slippery, uneven or hazardous
  • The area used for dancing is cleared of any items which could hinder the student’s ability to fully extend their arms and legs. There should be enough space for reasonable movement. If a student cannot fully execute an exercise, they should either adapt appropriately or not participate
  • The student is able to clearly hear the teacher’s verbal instruction, see the teacher’s practical delivery and hear the music
  • The student is appropriately dressed to safely execute a dance class. Soft ballet shoes should be worn for ballet, not pointe shoes. Bare feet, socks or suitable shoes should be worn for contemporary and Pilates
  • The student’s hair is suitably tied back
  • The student is fit and well in order to take part.

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