5 Keys to Proper Ballet Posture

Building a strong foundation is critical to any practice; ballet is no different. Proper posture ensures that you are grounded in your movements, allowing you to feel confident and strong. The barre is the place to acquire the muscle memory needed to embrace your identity as a dancer: how to hold yourself and how you express yourself. If you’re searching for tips to build your foundation as a dancer, look no further than these tips for the barre.

Start relaxed

The art of ballet seeks to mask the strength and careful, precise movements you will make with effortless grace. Your handle of the barre is no different. If you firmly grip the barre, as opposed to gently resting your hand upon it, you are starting incorrectly. Extend your arm and lightly rest your hand on it, with a slightly bent elbow. Your first moments at the barre set the tone for the rest of the class.

Stay long

You should stand so upright that you feel as though you are pulled towards the ceiling by an imaginary string. Engage your core muscles and stand tall; in ballet, you should never be slouching. Shoulders should go up and back, your stomach pulls in, and your pelvis should tilt slightly forward. You want to feel long and stable in your posture.

Soften your movements

Make sure that every movement you are making is done slowly and intentionally. The biggest mistake you can make is to move too quickly or in a jerky manner. This will inevitably cause other areas of your form begin to weaken. As with any building, if you weaken one portion, the rest of it is at risk of collapsing. You must remain intentional and in control of each movement you make, no matter how small or you will see the negative effects.

Watch your arms

While your posture is critical in maintaining a strong foundation, a substantial contributing factor might surprise you. Your arms have the ability to take an elegant movement and make you look off-balance or clumsy. Make sure that you are focused on your upper body as well as your core. Your arm movements should be careful and controlled as to not cause your balance to be compromised.

Stay focused

Ultimately, maintaining proper posture will depend on your ability to be aware of your body and movements continually. While ballet requires immense concentration early in your practice, your movements will become more fluid as you build muscle memory and feel more natural. If you maintain your focus and allow your body to take over, you will surely notice improvement in your positions and movements.

Obtaining proper posture as a dancer is one of the most crucial elements of your practice. However, once you have mastered these tips, you will notice that many other movements will appear to be less challenging. Building a strong foundation takes time and effort, but it is well worth it in the long run. Practice these tips over your next several classes and see if your positions feel more stable and controlled.