Positions of the arms in ballet


"Don't forget your arms while dancing!" How often do you hear dance teachers shouting through the audience. Immediately the poor are corrected everywhere by the pupils. The arms remain a point that can be improved for many dancers. If you are at the barre and you are busy with your feet making petits battements or dégagés, you quickly forget that there are also two things on the side of your upper body that need to be included. And the poor are just so important. In the first place, they finish your movements. Second, you use them to keep your balance making everything easier.

Preparatory position

  • Arms low
  • Elbows slightly bent
  • Hands round
  • Palms turned towards body
  • The arms form an oval
  • The fingers are in line but do not touch each other

First position

The arms in the same position as in the preparation position, but now in front, at the level of the diaphragm.

Second position

The arms sideways. In the classic ballet the arms are around and the palms face forward. In gymnastics, the arms are often something right and palms pointing

5th position

The arms as in the preparation position and the 1st position, but now overhead. At the classical ballet slightly in front of the torso, so that you can see the little fingers without lifting your head. At the gymnastics are the arms above the head, so a straight line from the little fingers to the hip.

With arm postures and transitions from one to the other position, care should be taken to keep the arms nicely round, without much tension. 

Many exercises begin with "preparation" of the arms. 
Often the arms start in the preparatory position, go then to the 1st position and then to the 2nd position. Then begins the exercise.
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