Correct and elegant ballet arm positions depend on correct spinal posture, correct hold on the turnout, and correct placement of feet on the floor (and knee positions, if you are hyper-extended). It sounds complex, but ballet body posture is natural and allows for relaxed movements of the neck, head and arms. Following are a few tips so that you know how to improve.
When you, especially if you are an adult beginner, learn ballet, there is a lot of information to absorb about basic positions.
The basics of ballet exercises begin with posture, turnout, and flexibility. Having enough flexibility to stand with a neutral spine is an advantage.
Standing sideways to a mirror, lift your chest a little, breathe easily, and notice how you stand. Look to see if your shoulders are relaxed to the side of your torso, as opposed to resting forwards.
If your shoulders do rest a little forward, here is a very easy stretch. Commonly called the doorway stretch - stand in a doorway. See if you can raise your arms so your elbows are shoulder level, and your forearms are raised upwards at a 90 degree angle to your upper arms. With your palms facing forwards, can you press your forearms into the door jamb on either side? If not, you will stretch one side at a time.
Pressing your forearm into the door jamb, lean forward until you feel a stretch across your chest. Just stretch gently, holding for 10 seconds, and releasing. You can do this several times a day - whenever you walk through a doorway! Gradually you will see that your shoulders will relax more towards the side, in line with the plane your ears occupy.
Next check the posture of your pelvis. If you have equal flexibility in your quads, or front thigh muscles, and hamstrings, on the back of your thighs, and also your postural abdominal muscles, your pelvis should rest in a "neutral" position. This means it is not pulled into a tilt in either direction due to tight muscles. Therefore your back does not sway, increasing the curve at the back of your waist, nor does the pelvis tilt back, pulling the natural curve into a straight line.
If your hard work in ballet classes builds strength from correct posture, chances are that you will have elegant ballet arm positions that will improve your technique.
Ballet is an art form that increases the magical and imaginative dimension of life. Understanding how to learn ballet brings you real physical results. It's your journey, it's your dance. Enjoy!