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Ballerinas: Port de bras

Port de bras (pawr duhbra) or ports de bras (French for “carriage of the arms”) is a classical ballet term describing the movement of the arms. It is the way a dancer holds and uses her arms from one position to another. A beginning ballerina may first practice her port de bras at the barre before she moves to the center of the room.

In a proper port de bras, a dancer will move her arms from her back and shoulders while trying to move as smoothly as possible. In classical ballet, the arms are never fully straight. In contemporary ballet, port de bras generally always look coordinated with the lower half of the body and still look balletic in nature (no excess tension in the arms). The term “port de bras” also includes the position and movement of the head in relation with the arms. A “grand port de bras” is when a dancer bends while moving their arms. Beverly

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