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Archive | Attitudes & Behaviors

Teaching Them to Ask Smart Questions

Asking Smart Questions

We all know there are plenty of unneeded questions. Of course, we want to encourage our students to ask any question they have, but really . . . sometimes the questions they ask are just plain dumb. My favorite one is “Are we doing this one or two at a time across the floor?” Really? […]

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 […]

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 […]

Where to Put All the Tiny Humans

Where to Put all the Tiny Humans

I once taught a class of three year olds who I called my Sparkly Marbles. They were very proud of their title and often referred to themselves as Miss Robyn’s Sparkly Marbles. One class a dancer asked, “Miss Robyn, why are we sparkly?” I replied, “Because your giggles sparkle everywhere! It is very beautiful.” Another […]

Are Today’s Kids Different?

Are Today's Kids Different?

You may hear dance teachers say, “Today’s children are different, especially ages five to seven.” Every generation is different in some way, but the basic principles of child development are the same. Kids’ physical, emotional, social, and intellectual needs are the same. The teaching skills—namely the child-management principles that keep your class in order—are the same. […]

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. […]