We all come across dance students that lack the strength and flexibility to sustain a proper port de bras position. Whether it be the non-engagement of the shoulders and back, not pulling up, the drooping elbows or the sole initiation from the arms, there are simple exercises which can help develop the surrounding muscles and build both strength and flexibility in conjunction with proper technical training and observation.
It doesn’t have to be difficult or take too long and dancers can do these on their own as well. The more repetition and comprehension of their anatomy, the quicker they will see results and understand that a strong back is not only aesthetically beautiful but is imperative for a correct port de bras position! Here are two of my favorite fast and easy ones!
#1. Have dancer lay on their stomach. Legs extended behind them. Forehead on the floor. Arms extended horizontally out to the side, rotated, with thumbs facing up. Have dancer maintain the position and slowly lift the arms up, keeping the chest and forehead in initial position. Repeat slowly 5-10 times.
Variation: Have dancers place hands behind head (fingers not clasped.) Have them slowly isolate and lift chest, forehead and upper back off the floor. Place back down. Try to add a pause in the air when the upper back is off the floor before placing back to starting position. Repeat slowly 5-10 times.
(This exercise can also be done for lower back strengthening by lifting whole back off the floor, or keeping chest on the floor and lifting just the legs in the air as well.
#2. Have dancer stand in a comfortable second position port de bras. Add light weights to their wrists. Slowly lift arms slightly up and return to port de bras position. Repeat slowly 10-15 times. For a progression, add heavier weights or add more repetitions.
Variation: Instead of up and down movement, have dancer draw palms (facing each other) in and out, i.e. closing the arms together and opening back to port de bras second.
Variation #2: Have dance repeat same exercise but move from a second position port de bras to first position. To progress try moving through high fifth position as well.
See you in the dance studio,
Did You Know? That Dance Teacher Web 3.0 is now the LARGEST online resource for dance teachers and studio owners with 900+ videos, 100's of articles and lesson plans to help you stay current and creative all year long. For the busy Dance Studio Owner, we offer fantastic articles on topics like Marketing, How To get more students and Increase revenue, Business building seminars, Downloadable manuals, Sample ads and Forms to help you take your business to the next level.
Think of us as your virtual Dance Teacher Conference.
Not yet a member? CLICK HERE to start your FREE 14-day Full Access Trial Today!