How to Improve Your Ballet Posture

Ballerinas Can Learn How to Properly Hold Their Body

Girls (4-6) in ballet class.
Jonathan Kirn/Getty Images

One of the first things a ballerina dancer learns is how to properly hold her body. One of the distinguishing factors of a ballet dancer is outstanding posture, while dancing or not. You can find your center of balance by imagining a straight line running through the back of your spine. Having good posture as a ballet dancer is necessary for balance and proper functional movements in dance. Furthermore, having strength and flexibility allows dancers to perform at peak levels.

The Benefits of Great Postures

  • Excellent posture can help you act out a specific character in a storytelling ballet. According to researchers, focusing on your chest is key when expressing emotions. Highlighting this area by leveraging your posture and chest will help you accurately portray characters.
  • Transforming how you move and walk will directly impact your mood. Whether you feel happy or sad can change the style of your movements, like slouching versus standing up straight. Simply holding your head up toward the sky is a quick example of how posture can immediately boost your energy levels.
  • Because ballet can improve balance and posture, it can also help create a figure with physical benefits. Having good posture ensures that the body does not undergo serious strain that can create or keep a current injury. Ballet dancers can practice techniques, along with posture, that work hand in hand, such as breathing exercises, balance, and stable core muscles.

“Unless some misfortune has made it impossible, everyone can have good posture.” Loretta Young

Practice and Exercise

In order to achieve the proper stance, ballet dancers must practice every day, even if it is just for a few minutes daily. Before practicing, make sure you are wearing comfortable dancewear, whether you are a new dancer or an old dancer pulling out old outfits. This includes making sure that you have good ballet shoes with you as well. Additionally, it is recommended that beginners use a  ballet barre for balance. The following steps will help you stand like a ballerina and the plus side is that it is fairly easy to do so. 

Basic Steps for Improving Posture

  1. Stand with your feet in the first position, heels touching and feet turned out, with your knees straight.
  2. Pull in the muscles in your tummy.
  3. Tighten the muscles in your bottom and flatten your back.
  4. Pull up the muscles in your legs.
  5. Widen your shoulders, pushing them down and back.
  6. Hold the arms down in front of the body, with elbows slightly bent and hands soft.
  7. Lift the chin, lengthening the neck.
  8. Breathe deeply and relax.
  9. Encourage your friends and family to let you know when you are slouching. That way, in everyday life you can begin a pattern of good posture in everyday life, making it an automatic habit.

Advanced Tips

  • Keep your shoulders down and open.
  • Look up and out, never down at your feet.
  • Take a glance in a mirror to check your posture.