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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, […]

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. […]

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 […]