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Archive | Classroom Planning

Golden Rules for Barre Work

Golden Rules for Barre Work

It is common knowledge that barre work is the foundation for ballet.  Inevitably, where a dancer shows weakness at the barre, it will be magnified tenfold when they move to the centre. The essentials put in place through barre work hold so much transformative power that we often times keep our students at barre for […]

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, […]

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. […]

Working with Early Intermediate Students

Working with Intermediate Ballet Students

We all have the ages and levels we adore teaching. It fits. We are synced in. Our flow is easy, organic, organized—it’s just all lovely. And then… We all have the ages and levels we struggle to teach. It feels disjointed. We fumble a bit. Our flow is anything but a flow—it’s just all taxing. […]

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 […]

Teaching the Full Spectrum in the Same Class

Teaching Full Spectrum

Stepping into your ballet studio, you allow your gaze to fall over the group of 11 year olds lined up beautifully at the barre. After you give the first exercise, your dancers begin on cue with the music; each one executing the movements with the same skill level as the dancer beside them. Upon noticing […]

How Much Should We Expect?

Ballet Class Expectations

What a loaded question. In all things. Right? From our hair products to our relationships, and everything in between, we walk through life with expectations needing to be fulfilled. In my personal life I have found conflicts arise when expectations are not clearly stated because it causes confusion. It brings strain to the situation. It […]

Away With The Lesson Plan!

Ballet Lesson Plans

Twenty something years of teaching ballet has taught me plenty of things. As educators in the arts we speak often about how life lessons are learned so well through the arts. What a beautiful thing. I could probably write a book on the lessons I have personally learned through my years as a student, as […]