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Archive | Classroom Planning

Safer and Higher Jumping

Safer Higher Jumping

Everyone wants to jump higher and no one wants to get hurt.   But I know I am not the only one who encounters students flailing themselves into the air with nary a care about how they get there and how they get back down.  Just watching them causes pain to shoot through my joints. To […]

How I Mix Up Port de Bras for My Students

How I Mix Up Port de Bras

Balancé Temps de Fleche Saut de Chat Chassé Entournant Tombé Pas de Bourrée Just a few steps for which many dancers have a default port de bras. There are many steps that would make it on this list. Maybe at one school all the dancers extend the arms to the First Arabesque line for a […]

Create Effective Yearly Goals

Discover Goals

Goals have the potential to be . . . Motivating Counterproductive Smart Overwhelming Accessible Unattainable Unwavering Fluid Restrictive Freeing Manipulative Organic And a host of other things . . . Basically, goals are complex. This makes them rather intimidating. Or rather, it makes setting goals intimidating. As teachers, we often find ourselves encouraging our students […]

Lessons in Ballet History

History of Ballet

I am thoroughly convinced there is never enough time in ballet class to teach everything we wish to teach. One year, I taught a three hour ballet class once a week to advanced dancers who were already taking many other ballet classes throughout the week. One would think in that scenario I would find three […]

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 […]

Teaching the 8 Body Positions

The Eight Ballet Body Positions

No build up necessary. We all know how vital it is that our students grasp the concepts of croisé, écarté, effacé, and en face. The aesthetic of ballet is based in large part on these positions. Regardless of the labels any particular teacher applies to these positions, the fundamentals remain the same. My Process for […]

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 […]