Soft Straight Arms, Not Hyper-Extended

If you have hyper-extended arms, this tip is especially for you!  In ballet, there are several positions of the arms that require them to be straight.  But you’ll find that its a common mistake for dancers with hyper-extended arms to go beyond the “straight” line they’re trying to achieve and into hyper-extension.  While it may feel straight for a dancer with hyper-extended arms, the shape of the arm will likely look broken, disconnected and stiff.

Whether or not you have hyper-extended arms, a straight arm in ballet should look straight, and actually be just ever-so-slightly bent at the elbow.  The small bend allows for more fluidity in movement from one position to the next.

It’s easy for a dancer to brush this correction off because it is a very detailed correction for advanced students and professionals.  Really understanding the shape of your arms as you dance, and knowing that they’re not hyper-extended as you hit positions, is part of refining a strong and complete technique.  The difference between a hyper-extended arm and a straight arm will be different for everyone.  If you can stretch and straight out your arms and they’re still not hyper-extended, you should still try to have just a very slight bend at the elbow.  Again, this provides more softness and fluidity, even for men.


soft straight arms in ballet not hyperextended