This particular blog series – “My Top 5 Skills Your Students Should Know” – was inspired by a question posed in a dance teachers’ group on Facebook a while back: What are the 5 skills that you think are most important for your students to learn? As I’ve written in the past, I initially struggled … More My Top 5 Creative and Performance Skills Your Students Should Strive For
The arrival of September officially marks the arrival of the back to school season. The start of a “new year” affords us the opportunity to create brand new communities in our classrooms and studios. So often, we are tempted to immediately jump into technique and choreography, but taking time for team-building exercises and community building … More My Favorite Introduction Games for Dance Classes
This is the third and final entry in a series of posts on teaching ballet in a way that leads to more empowered students. What is an empowered dancer? In my opinion, students who are empowered are: Self-aware and self-reliant (physically, cognitively, and emotionally) Confident and able to make their own decisions Adaptable and open … More Empowering Our Ballet Students, Part 3
Most people might be reaching for their Pumpkin Spice Lattes right about now, but dancers know that it’s already Nutcracker time! Love it or hate it, the seasonal favorite is here again, with tiny tots and professional dancers alike heading into the rehearsal studio to perfect their performances as party guests, snowflakes, candy canes, and … More Visions of Sugar Plums: Using a Nutcracker Workshop to Teach About Ballet
This is the second in a series of blog posts considering the ways we can teach ballet in a way that leads to greater student empowerment. What is an empowered dancer? In my opinion, students who are empowered are: Self-aware and self-reliant (physically, cognitively, and emotionally) Confident and able to make their own decisions Adaptable … More Empowering Our Ballet Students, Part 2
This is the first in a series of posts on building empowered dancers in the ballet studio. What is an empowered dancer? In my opinion, students who are empowered are: Self-aware and self-reliant (physically, cognitively, and emotionally) Confident and able to make their own decisions Adaptable and open to new ideas Knowledgeable about their own … More Empowering Our Ballet Students, Part 1
This video has been circulating on the web, and I’ve got a problem with it. On Facebook and other sites, the little ballerina is lauded for her technical skill and ability at such a young age. However, there are some serious issues at play in this little girl’s training, in my opinion at least. … More Are We Training Away Our Art Form?
This weekend, I had two separate casual conversations with friends that ultimately dealt with the idea of body image, and they got me thinking. Like many dancers, I have long had a complicated relationship with my own body. At present, I have mostly come to terms with it, but at times I feel as … More On SuperWomen and Body Image
Back in May, I was sitting in my office at the University of Maryland College Park talking with my friend and fellow dancer Elizabeth Barton. We had recently finished our first choreographic collaboration, a piece called Altared that had premiered at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Eager to get to work on our next project, … More Choreography: The Arts of Bringing an Idea to Life
In 2012, I had the opportunity to I had a chance to present my research on a new method of teaching ballet to “recreational” dance students at the National Dance Education Organization’s National Conference. For the purpose of my study, the term recreational was used to describe a group of my students, age 6-10, who took … More Play in Ballet? Yes Way!