Dave Scott

Fifth position of the arms is an elegant, beautiful position. Your arms should be like a picture frame for your face. Fingers are soft and continue the curved shape of the position. Port de bras in French means “carrying (using) the arms.” Boys will sometimes use this position. One arm is in demi-bras and the other hand is on the hip.


Girls might use this arm position in a character or national dance. A ballet class usually starts with exercises at the barre. A barre is a long handrail that you hold on to lightly to help you keep your balance. Then you can concentrate on doing the moves as perfectly as you can. You will start at the barre with slow bends and stretches, keeping the feet close to the ground.


As you follow each sequence, your legs will lift higher and your movements will be bigger or quicker. Every exercise is designed to stretch a different part of your body and to make it stronger. Plié is a French word that means “to bend.” You will practice pliés in every class to make your leg muscles warm and strong. Pliés can be done in any of the five positions. 


Port de bras in French means “carrying (using) the arms.”