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Centre: Plié - Port de bras introduction

Form and/or Function

Port de Bras and articulations of the head are set and used in combination with a range of exercises at the barre, in the centre and in choreographed phrases. They create complexity and involve the whole dancer in the movement. The quality of the port de bras complements and/or contrasts the overall movement by creating effortless lightness, directions and projection into space, etc.

Notes on our approach

This exercise is used to introduce and practice the port de bras for the RAD Grade 2 Ballet, plié variation, set at the barre. Dancers change between a narrow and wide support position with some use of plié. Overall, the focus is on the articulation of the arms and head. This exercise of course also prepares the dancers for the RAD Grade 2 Ballet centre: port de bras variation.

Exploration and Setting

By and large, the dancers used the narrow and wide support positions we discussed and set with them in the coaching and tutorial session. As they are working in the centre and this is still a process of exploration we also see some variations of their settings. Chloe was working with her boot on that day and adjusted her narrow and wide positions. She also uses one arm as support on her K-frame. Kitty, on the other hand, aims to perform the port de bras on both sides, using the K-frame only when needed. Emilia explored working sitting on the floor, which is different from her support positions using her crutches for the barre: plié.


  • Practice the plié exercise focusing on folding and extending, separately in the centre and at the barre, and then combine with the port de bras
  • Introduce other port de bras variations used in the syllabus
  • Explore the port de bras pathways with other body parts.  See: barre: port de bras (professional)

Observation Tasks

  • Are the dancers clear about the space use and timing set for this exercise?
  • What overall movement and performance qualities are they demonstrating?