Focus class: arabesque line

Understanding the elements of arabesque and improving the arabesque line.


  • 1 Class
  • Suitable for 14+

In this class, the student will learn tools to help them understand and improve the line of their arabesque. The class discusses the origins of the ‘arabesque’ and gives examples from dancers of The Royal Ballet, Sir Anthony Dowell and Dame Darcey Bussell. We’ll also learn which parts of the body are used (for example strong stomach, gluteal, adductor and hamstring muscles, flexibility and rotation in the upper back, flexibility in the hip flexors and correct pelvic placement) and how they come together to create a beautiful arabesque, practicing this through a series of short sequences.

Duration: 25-30 mins

What you will learn

  • The aesthetic we are aiming for when we perform an arabesque
  • Ports de bras in arabesque
  • The different anatomical components used and how they work together.

Your Tutors

Belinda Hatley

Artistic Manager of the Development Programme

Belinda Hatley trained at The Royal Ballet School before joining The Royal Ballet, where she enjoyed a successful career spanning 19 years. She was a First Soloist and her extensive repertoire included roles such as Aurora, Giselle, The Sugar Plum Fairy, Swanilda and Lise.

She attained The Royal Ballet School PDTC teachers’ Diploma with Distinction before joining the staff of the School. Belinda became the Artistic Manager of the Development Programme in 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

This class is recommended for students aged 14+ and reflects the training given to students aged 14-15 studying at The Royal Ballet School. The class is not suitable for beginner students, students with limited experience or students under 11 years old.

For this class, we recommend that:

  • Students are studying a syllabus delivered by a recognised classical dance awarding body, or if attending full-time vocational training, are studying at Intermediate vocational level or above
  • Students have a good to excellent knowledge and understanding of ballet vocabulary
  • Students can execute a secure double pirouette and maintain extensions in adage at 90 degrees and above
  • Feet and ankles are strong, secure and able to stretch well
  • Students have good flexibility
  • Allegro can be executed with a clear understanding of how to link a sequence of steps together in a choreographed exercise
  • Students undertaking pointe work should be confident in executing basic pointe exercises.

What do I need to participate?

These classes are designed so that they can be executed in a smaller space than a ballet studio. We ask that students/parents ensure that:

  • The student meets the technical standards required for the class
  • Any apparatus used for a barre is stable and safe
  • The floor is not slippery, uneven or hazardous
  • The area used for dancing is cleared of any items which could hinder the student’s ability to fully extend their arms and legs. There should be enough space for reasonable movement. If a student cannot fully execute an exercise, they should either adapt appropriately or not participate
  • The student is able to clearly hear the teacher’s verbal instruction, see the teacher’s practical delivery and hear the music
  • The student is appropriately dressed to safely execute a dance class. Soft ballet shoes should be worn for ballet, not pointe shoes. Bare feet, socks or suitable shoes should be worn for contemporary and Pilates
  • The student’s hair is suitably tied back
  • The student is fit and well in order to take part.

Shopping Basket