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Archive | Choreography

Four Tips For Building Reversing Skills

Building Reversing Skills

I willingly admit to being a reverse junkie. If there was time enough, I would have my students reverse everything. I find the puzzle of reversing enthralling and always come away from it feeling a little more the wiser for having pieced it all together. Choosing to reverse exercises or steps that aren’t generally reversed […]

Mixing Up Port de Bras

Port de Bras

NOTE: This is geared specifically for teachers of more advanced students. Lower leveled students do require consistency with port de bras so they can remain focused primarily on technique. Once technique is established with any given step, then the world opens up to luscious port de bras. Years ago, I was teaching a class and […]

Building Smart Dancers

Building Smart Ballet Dancers

What good is knowing how to do 17 pirouettes if you don’t know when to do 17 pirouettes? What good is being able to extend your leg far behind your head if you don’t understand the nuances behind lovely extension? What good is soaring across the floor in jaw dropping grand allegro if you have […]

Turning Recitals Into Education

Turn Ballet Recital Into Education

Ballet recitals aren’t going away. I get that. I know when I was a young dancer I looked forward to recital with all kinds of anticipation. It was perfectly exciting. And without that experience I would not have known the unmatched thrill and sense of accomplishment that comes with stepping into the world of performing. […]

Balancing Discipline and Artistry

Balancing Artistry and Discipline

Two dancers. One possesses all the creativity that could exist in a human being. Put her in a story ballet and she will cause the earth to quake with profound emotion. But look for the briefest moment at her footwork and you may want to claw your eyes out due to the sloppy, disorganized mess. […]

The Ultimate Survival Guide for Teaching Pre-Ballet

Ultimate Guide to Teaching Pre-Ballet

I can still vividly remember being interviewed for my first job as a ballet teacher. My director asked if I would be willing to teach “the little ones”. One side of me—the arrogant, naive, “I’m too good to teach little ones” side—hesitated to say yes because I really wanted to teach advanced ballet: the place […]

10 Ways to Make the Most of Recital Night

10 Ways to Make the Most of Ballet Recital

An article has gone around the internet with some funny, sarcastic tips on how to make dance recitals “suck less”. In my honest opinion, the whole recital experience can be painful, drawn out and excruciating, it’s true. But instead of focusing on the things that annoy us about recital night, I would challenge my readers to commit […]

Six Choreographic Guidelines for Threes

Six Choreographic Guidelines

It surprised me this year how much of a struggle it is to choreograph for three and four year olds! Doesn’t seem like a huge task; after all, they’re only preschoolers! They’ve hardly scratched the surface of ballet technique, what could go wrong?  I’ll just fill their dance with steps they know and the audience […]

The Dance Teacher’s Secret Weapon: Expectancy

Dance Teacher Secret Weapon

It’s been one of those weeks. We all know them—toward the end of the first term, dance teachers often experience their first bouts of student burnout. Everything was great when we first started the semester, but now the students have already accomplished what they needed to get through Observation Week, and they are beginning to show initial […]