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Archive | Pointe

Introduction to Pointe

Intro to Pointe

Once a dancer has completed pre-pointe training, there is a transitional class needed before full pointe training can begin. This is an introduction (or orientation) to pointe work. I find a good many teachers skip this. Either they are unaware of its benefits or they really want to get on with pointe work. However, taking […]

Three Fundamentals of Safe Pointe Work

Safe Pointe Work

Above all, we prioritize safety. While we want our dancers whipping out strings of fouetté turns and series of hops en pointe, what we want more than that is for our dancers to have longevity and undamaged bodies. Pointe training is a special challenge because it is extremely individual. More so than ballet class. And […]

Choosing Which Correction To Give

Corrections in Ballet Class

I had a teacher oh so many years ago who was helping me learn how to teach. She observed me giving class one day and afterwards we had a little chat: “So, Robyn. Well done. However, I noticed you didn’t correct the dancers often. Can you tell me why that was?” “Yeah. I noticed that, […]

The Order of Learning Ballet

Order of Learning Ballet

Order is beautiful to me. While I tend to live rather chaotically, I do ache for order. I believe this is one reason I was so drawn to ballet. The structure provided a solid framework for my creativity, and the discipline channeled my often scattered thoughts into clear, concise ideas. Ballet brought clarity to my […]

Knobby Knees and Hyperextension

Knobby Knees and Hyperextension in Ballet

(Note: This article is written with the young dancer, beginning around age 5, in mind.) “Let’s all stand in First Position.” All students begin to move into position. “Wonderful!  Be sure your heels are touching.” All students move their heels together. “Well done! Uh oh. . . Looks like we have some bent knees. Let’s […]

Exposing Students to Excellent Ballet

Exposing Students to Excellent Ballet

My dance training began when I was nine years old. A year later I saw a professional ballet dancer for the first time. It changed everything for me. In my eyes, this ballerina was perfection. I had no idea such exquisite grace existed. It was everything I could ever possibly dream of becoming. Of course, […]

My Approach to Tricks

My Approach to Tricks

The thirty-two fouettés. The manège of turns. The continuous entrechat six. These are but a few of the spectacular feats dancers are always trying to attain. And once they reach their goal, the bar is pushed that much higher. Thirty-two becomes sixty-four, the manège is capped off with a fantastic series of hops on pointe, […]

The Teaching Wheel

The Teaching Wheel

If students are not retaining the new skills we teach them, it could be because we as teachers are not honoring their natural flow of learning. Learning new skills follows a logical pattern, and we have to address the “why” and “how” of a new step in order to ignite our students’ passion and desire for learning it. […]

Determine Their Intermediate Pointe Readiness

Determine Intermediate Pointe Readiness

When teaching beginning pointe, or when teaching any form of dance, you’ll observe early on that every student will progress at a different pace. Some will catch on quickly, practice strengthening exercises at home, seek more information or opportunities to expand their knowledge. These will, therefore, jump ahead of their classmates in physical and technical skill. Others […]

The First Weeks of Pointe Class

First Weeks of Pointe Class

Many teachers will be ushering their students into the first few weeks of pointe training this upcoming season. For many students, it is a very exciting time of choosing the right shoes, preparing their feet for the challenges ahead, sewing ribbons and elastic, and dealing with the emotional high that comes with their first experiences […]

Finding the Correct Full Pointe Position

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Already evaluating your students to decide who will start pointe next year? When to begin pointe work is one of those very important, special and serious decisions. Here are a couple of exercises you can use on your beginners to find the correct full pointe position before using pointe shoes. Have your pre-pointe students try […]