Upper Body Strength for Port de Bras
If I had a penny for every time I have had someone say that I am wasting my time doing upper body strengthening for Ballet Dancers, I would be writing this from a very big yacht just off Florida Keys.
However, instead I am just going to draw your attention to some very simple, yet effective, shoulder stability work that will improve the position of the scapular during port de bras and most arm movements in Ballet.
Shoulder strength and stability is something often overlooked by many practitioners of Dance yet the importance of it in improving the lines that need to be created is paramount. The line of the upper back is something I witness being corrected a tremendous amount throughout progressive Ballet Teaching and especially through the grades in the Cecchetti method where neck line and port de bras are the cornerstones of the more complex movements in the syllabus.
Similarly, having actually discussed upper body strength with Professionals in a wide variety of companies, I can tell you first hand the importance of this upper body stability for improved interpretation and reproduction of new choreography. With many International Ballet Companies now including Neo-Classical and Contemporary Dance in the repetoire.
There is a huge range by which strength in the upper body can be developed and over the course of the next month there will be a large volume of upper body exercises for Ballet Dancers published in our articles.
Look out for them as the basics, using a theraband, will aid coordination and movement of the upper body in your Dancing.
In the mean time here is an interesting and advance shoulder stability/proprioception exercise that we have implemented for rapid and reactive strength that focusses on maintaining the position and stability of the shoulder in reaction to another movement.