In classical dance, ‘port de bras’ refers to any movement or carriage of the arms. In all forms of dance, developing a strong and controlled port de bras is crucial for creating clean lines and moving gracefully.

Here are 5 things to remind yourself when you’re working on your port de bras:

Activate Your Core

In order to have a fluid and controlled port de bras, you must engage your abdominals. Keeping a solid core will help you lengthen your spine, free your breath, and maintain control of all your limbs.

Move From Your Back

It is crucial to remember that any port de bras should initiate from the back, not the arms themselves. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together by engaging your lats. From there, you should feel your scapulas lead your arms as they move through the port de bras sequence.

Stabilise Your Shoulders

As you continue your port de bras, you’ll want to remind yourself to stabilise your shoulders so they don’t shoot up toward your ears. It is natural that your shoulders will move and rise with the flow of the port de bras, but you want to avoid allowing your shoulders to float.Think “shoulders strong and neck long.”

Be Specific With Your Shapes

A beautiful port de bras should be smooth and flowing, but you’ll want to remind yourself to be clear and specific with the shapes you’re making throughout. In class, watch your teacher carefully and do your best to absorb the details of the port de bras sequence, taking note of the specific pathway from one shape to the next.

Relax Your Hands

Keeping your abs, back, shoulders, and arms engaged for port de bras requires practice and focus, especially because it is all meant to look natural and easy. The biggest thing to remind yourself in order to keep that ease of motion is to relax your hands. Let go of any tension in the fingers and allow your hands to move naturally at the end of the port de bras line.

Ready to learn more about your port de bras? Enrol for a class at BoPPA today!