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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Long Arms


marigold

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I found a helpful and amusing Sticky about long arms and would have posted a question there, but can't. I was looking for advice on helping DD fill out her very long arms. Instead of acquiring much shape, they just seemed to decide to keep growing! Is there anything she can do to give them more shape, besides putting on weight, which isn't easy for her to do? Learning to use them well is one challenge, but this is another! :thumbsup:

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Marigold, I was like that. Long, skinny and very angular arms. They still are. :) However, I did eventually learn, with a lot of help from my teachers and a lot of work on port de bras, to control them and move them so that they would flow, and to find the way to make the positions look better. That, along with eventually growing into them somewhat, and the legs too, it did come together. :thumbsup:

 

What I find with my students is that if I can get them to put in the extra time, all they need is a very small amount of space, some music, and a mirror. This can be done at home. It is, however, important that the training they are receiving teaches them HOW to motivate the movement of the arms from the torso, and not to "put" the arms and hands into positions.

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Thank you, Ms. Leigh. Aside from the port de bras work, do you have any suggestions for filling those arms out? Her siblings are suggesting the gym! :thumbsup:

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I would discuss that with her teacher.

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  • 3 months later...

Back again to my same thread! I am wondering how to help add body fat to arms for my DD - (since I can't give her mine! LOL) :innocent: What can I possibly give her during non-stop rehearsal and class days? Now 5'8", my DD's long legs are longer and her long arms are longer since I wrote in last. She has muscle now in her legs that give them some shape... but those long delicate arms from the audience go on and on! It's always a wakeup call to see her from the audience at a dress rehearsal, as opposed to the usual closer up view through the studio door. She's learning to use her arms better and I'm told more core strength will also improve that. But I am wondering if they will ever be more shapely and look more like the other dancers around her. Hoping this would not be considered a deficit in an audition or in a competition. Should we be looking for certain SIs that target port de bras at the late age of 15/16 and are they still interested in working with this if the rest of the technique they see is good? Are long "octopus" arms forgiven if used well? :)

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To see what beauty can be found in long, long arms, simply google "Maurya Kerr" and take a look at her breathtaking images. . . .

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Yes, Maurya Kerr certainly is a beautiful example. I am well aware this is an asset! I just see so many at my DD's age whose limbs are more filled out and therefore show their maturity by now. When your DD is keeping that coltish look year after year, you start to wonder. I know I love watching her lines and it's truly a blessing for a ballet dancer. Maybe I just have to be patient. In the meantime, I'm always wondering how we can add some padding. I know she is aware of it and self-critical, but not too worried, so I downplay it when she brings it up and remind her that she's lucky to have such proportions. And all I can do is say "Finish your ... (breakfast/lunch/dinner!" ). She has a healthy attitude and appetite, but gets full fast and rarely finishes her plate, an inherited tendency. And her tummy is too small to hold much food, anyway. It's easier for her to fill out with muscles, but seemingly impossible with body fat. And, of course, these are long muscles, not bulky! So do we just keep giving it time and age?

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Dear marigold, my DD has been told by some teachers at different schools that she has long arms, too. I'm not sure that they were presented as an asset, unless one learns to control them, as Miss Leigh suggested. As for filling out, all normal girls who eat healthily, even those who initially have had a coltish look, seem to have achieved the mature look that you desire for your DD. We have never seen anyone who eventually did not mature, unless they were deliberately causing it to be delayed, and, due to that topic being forbidden here, I can't discuss that further. The coltish look eventually turns into lovely, long lines, we have observed, so your DD has a bright future, from the sounds of your posts. If she sincerely wishes to achieve that look sooner, I can suggest eating a banana a day; a pediatrician recommended this to someone that we know who had the "coltish" look.

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Thank you, pointeprovider. Sounds like you are familiar with this! A banana a day...I'll add it to my list. :D Happy Thanksgiving, by the way!

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Marigold, I probably should add that the doctor's advice regarding a banana each day was for desired weight gain for the girl, but I don't know that I would have my DD eat a whole banana each day, or maybe not every day, due to concerns over potassium levels. I am not a medical person, so maybe the medical moderators could advise, but too much of anything always worries me. In any case, your DD sounds lovely and will turn out to be lovely in the end, however she is meant to look in her dance career. She is lucky to have a mom who cares about her physique and health and appreciates her for the dancer and daughter that she is. Physical attributes can change, but moms still love their children for who they are, and if she knows that she has that in having you for a mom, she can be truly thankful tomorrow and always. Happy Thanksgiving!

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My daughter also has been described as "coltish" with long arms and legs by her teachers in the past. She is now 17, and although she is still very tiny, there is now a womanly softness to her limbs that wasn't there a year or two ago. She was quite a late bloomer (a family trait), which I think was the biggest reason for her lankiness. She has always had a voracious appetite. The lunches I pack for her each day are twice the size of what my husband takes, hahaha, and she still arrives home each evening "starved"!

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