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Archive | Classroom Planning

Cue Phrases

Cue Phrases for Teaching Ballet

Cue phrases can be both helpful and fun for teachers and students.  I remember one piece I choreographed on my advanced dancers. They were having difficulties with this circular formation and somehow I related it to a “pit of despair”.  I said “don’t fall in the pit of despair.” And eventually I was able to […]

Reverence—Just Do It

Ballet Reverence

Ever taught a class or in a studio where the students haven’t been exposed to reverence? When you attempt to do that portion of class they react in a most awkward way. When they realize you expect them to applaud—oh my, the awkward level shoots through the roof. What is that about? I honestly have […]

Teach Young Students to Count Music

Counting Music

I am an advocate of instilling musicality in students, no matter the age or skill level. It is an integral part of ballet, therefore it deserves a place in training from the very start. But I don’t deny teaching young students to count music is a challenge. So challenging that I understand the choice not […]

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 […]