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Archive | Classroom Planning

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 […]

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. […]