Technique Tips: Perfecting Your Port de Bras

Hi Ballet Beauties!

We're excited to introduce, Technique Tips with our Ballet Beautiful NYC Master Trainers - a new series designed to help you master classical ballet technique and improve your form to achieve the best results in every Ballet Beautiful workout! We will be taking you through different must-know foundational steps and movements to help maximize your training and results.

First Up: Perfecting Your Port de Bras with Ballet Beautiful NYC Master Trainer Stephen. 

Stephen has been dancing ballet since the age of seven. Looking back, Stephen now realizes that in his early years, he was only mimicking the Port de Bras position without understanding the purpose of the movement. When he realized that by working on his form, he could gain more freedom of movement and strength, he began his quest to perfect his own Port de Bras. To Stephen, ballet feels physically and artistically freeing. He believes that by using a clean, technically correct Port de Bras, you can reveal to your audience the heart and soul of your dance. To help each of you gain freedom in your dance expression, Stephen shares with us below how you too can Perfect Your Port de Bras! 


"I am so excited to jump into this new series with you all! I am passionate about ballet and I want to share my knowledge and passion with all of you! Let's get started!

In French, Port de Bras means the carriage of your arms. The definition can be misleading when thinking about movement and where it begins. Once I realized that the movement did not start with moving my arms, but rather by bringing my shoulder blades together and down first, followed by moving my hands, I was able to find a movement that felt freeing and I looked less stiff. Now you try!"

First, with your shoulder blades together and down, hold your arms in first position. Think of your elbows lifting up with your palms to the sky.

Next, when moving from first position to second, think of your hands and fingers coming closer to you and then sending a piece of yourself away.

Improper Form

I like to think about how I can be more generous with movement. Remember, your ideal joints for movement shouldn’t lock up while in motion. Your movement should look like tall blades of grass blowing gracefully in the wind.

Proper Form

Now Try moving from first position to fifth position. Don’t let your arms take over causing you to disengage your shoulder blades!

Improper Form

It helps to think of your hands coming a little bit closer to your body with the help of soft elbows rather than keeping the elbows stiff and moving the whole shape away from your body. The goal is to feel completely connected with your body. Keep your shoulder blades in place to keep a beautiful round shape, while thinking of moving your hands and fingers.

Proper Form


With these helpful tips, you will soon feel freedom in your movement and connection with your body to achieve the perfect Port de Bras.

I'd love to see the progress you've made by joining one of my Online Live Group Classes! Have a beautiful workout!