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Guest Medora

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Guest Medora

Hello everyone. I have a question about arms. I am trying to make my port te bras more beautiful. I am having trouble saying what I want to achieve, so please just bear with me. I want my arms to gain that "mature look," to have freedom of movement, to be loose, but for them to look beautiful. Well I am sure as dancers you know what I am talking about, those "mature" port te bras that professionals have. I have been told that the arms are soft and never stop moving. Well it depends on the dance I guess, that wouldn't be the case for Don Quixote, but I am trying to achieve soft beautiful arms. The problem is that my arms look stringy, gangly, not beautiful, do you know what I mean?

I am working in front of a mirror on butterfly arms. Bringing the arm up is good, but its bringing it back down that is the problem. I watch every video of professionals I can get my hands on and am trying to imitate them, as well as pictures, and I imitate my teacher. They all seem to have this quality about them. My teacher says I need to develop a "style." I agree. I know that there is no magic answer except lots of practice, but any suggestions on making my arms look nice? It's really hard for me because a lot of times they either look too soft and weak, or when I staighten them they go hyperextended, and that doesn't look very nice! :)

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i can only say what i know, i hope it helps...

always keep teh upper arm suported, initiate movements with the upper arm. relax, dont tense up, it will make you look more gangly, plus unsure, which conveys immaturity. the arms are long but not straight and never hyperextended. wrists are also long, never broken or flexed. keep your shoulders placed, down and back, in port de bras. if you are needed to open or twist your shoulders for a position, keep the relationship between them the same, with consideration to your arms. pull teh shoulder blades down your back to lengthen your neck, which allows more space between your arms and your neck. speak with your arms. simple gestures of teh head, arms, and hands can say so much, including 'i dont know what im doing.' mostly, just relax and let everything fall into place. it will come with age, but i understand your frustration. keep working, and good luck to you!

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Firstoff, the shoulders must not tense and rise. Secondoff, there is a turnout of the upper arm from the shoulder joint, while the forearm counter-rotates so as to angle the hand is at about 45-60º from flat horizontal, depending on the method being taught. When you use your arms, think that they have an additional joint between your elbow and your wrist and try to think of "leading" with that part of your arm.

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Port de bras is not initiated from the upper arms. It comes from the back muscles. The entire upper body is involved in port de bras. The head is involved in the port de bras. The arms should appear rounded, not angular. Even straight lines are not straight to the point of hyperextension of the elbows. MOVE the arms, don't PUT them anywhere.

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Thanks Mr. Mel, your coment about the turnout in the upper arm helps me think about using my back correctly, something I've always had trouble with.


When I'm working in class it helps me to think of never dropping my elbows. I know your elbows should never be the highest point on your arm the way that might sound, but I just think this to help me to not have droopy arms.


Hope that made soem sense! ;)

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Ms. Leigh-sorry about that, our teacher always says 'upper arms,' even though he really means the back of the upper arm, the breadth of it, which basically is the back. :P

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Guest Balletstar13

i used to have the same problem i think you shouldn't be stiff

you should be flexible and keep practicing.You will turn out into a beautiful ballerina and dancer.You'll see for yourself.

Balletstar13:) :( ;)

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