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Archive | Pre-Ballet

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Are Today’s Kids Different?

Are Today's Kids Different?

You may hear dance teachers say, “Today’s children are different, especially ages five to seven.” Every generation is different in some way, but the basic principles of child development are the same. Kids’ physical, emotional, social, and intellectual needs are the same. The teaching skills—namely the child-management principles that keep your class in order—are the same. […]

Introducing the Ballet Barre

Introducing the Ballet Barre

For our youngest dancers, the barre should be kept a mystery. Little girls rush into their first ballet class and all they want to do is hold on to that barre. It’s a fun part of being a ballerina, but sadly, many teachers don’t realize the detrimental effects of introducing kids to the ballet barre too […]

Why Natural Movement?

Why Natural Movement

Historically, ballet styling and technique developed slowly from that of folk dances and court dances. Ballet styling was added to those dances by adult dancers, whose basic movement and coordination skills were complete and in place. Children were not considered old enough for ballet lessons until ages eight to ten, when their basic skills were […]