2 3 Finger Painting and Port de Bras Highways | Ballet Webb

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finger Painting and Port de Bras Highways

Finger Painting and Port de Bras Highways
The ability to use the arms and hands correctly is a hallmark of a beautiful dancer.  But achieving it can be a sticky wicket.  The prescribed pathways and correct architecture of the arms and hands can produce stilted, stiff port de bras in some students.  In addition to the flow of energy that I’ve talked about in several previous posts, it helps to have the students imagine finger painting in the air as an exercise to foster a greater sensitivity in the hands and fingers.  This is particularly useful with very young children, and the sensitivity they gain follows them throughout their dance training.
But it works in older students too.  If the fingers are used like paintbrushes, applying the colors over the correct highways, the port de bras develop beautifully.  It also has the double benefit of helping the students “see” the colorful highways that the arms travel.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Secret #1h:
“With paintbrush fingers, color the highways for your arms with many hues.”

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-          Dale Carnegie

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