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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Henrik, The teacher :)


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Guess what: From the beginning of next semester (seprember) I will teach two classes of boys from 5-8 and 11-13 years old boys!

Im so exited. Im the only "adult" boy in my town who dance, and so my teacher asked me if I were intressted. I agreed.


I was thinking: How can I make a class a little more "Guyish" for the littleuns? I figured that if I could manage to break down a little the impression the guy on the street has on balllet as a feminine thing, at least for these fellows, I had done a good job. Any suggestions?


When I was 7, I sung in a boyschoir. The leader (dont know the word in english, dirigent? the one that "leads" the choir anyways) had this idea that if the boys didnt have to worry feeling feminine although they did a thing that (atleast in Norway) are considered to be "Girl-stuff", they would find it a lot more fun and interresting. I think thats right, so I thought i'd try something like it. He (the leader) had these minutes before every rehearsal where all the boys sat and bettet on footballgames and discussed "boy-things". Do you guys think that would be a good idea?


Administrators: please move this post to another forum if you want, its really not a topic specially for men

And please exuse my english. im working on it :)


:) Henrik

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Be sure to include time for athletic steps that are not necessarily in ballet form. These ages have lots of energy and making them be at the barre slowly learning for the entire class is hard for them.


I like to start them off trying to hit my hand, held high over their head, with their head as they jump. As this game goes on, add turn out (first position) or a quarter tour (working up to a single). Another game they like is to pile something (coats) in the center of the room and jump over it. Again start without form and add it as they progress (either by counting the steps to the jump or shaping the jump somehow).


And it does not hurt to start class with sit ups, push ups, floor barre (stretches, candle, etc.) that they do in gym.


Two other "games" that are liked. One is to line up chairs and have them place one foot on the chair and then "jump" to place the other foot on the chair. The other is to lay on the floor on your back with your legs in first demi plie on the wall and then push away and see who can go the farthest with pointed, turned out feet "in the air". This resembles a saute in first.


Have fun - they are entertaining!!

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  • 2 months later...

thanks a lot!!!

I have lots and lots of ideas now!!

Ill give this boys something to work with!

I espescially liked the exercise lying against the wall, "jumping" :)


Again thanks

If someone has more ideas, please post them!!!!


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Not an idea (and I think this is the right forum. Why not let the guys have a crack at it, and then if you still need some ideas post it again in a week or so in Teachers?)


But I just wanted to say:


It is so great that you're teaching!!!!!!




You'll have fun -- they'll have fun -- and you'll learn to look at ballet in a whole new way, and it will have a good effect on your own dancing. Way to go, Henrik!!!





And when you get started, please come to the Teachers forum and tell us your stories :o

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Just a variant on using the "pile of coats" trick - tell them to jump over the pile by spreading their legs wide, like a hurdler. Then, when they're done, say, "That's grand jeté." Then tell them to jump over it by pulling their legs up and traveling. Say, "That's pas de chat!" By all means, as was said, let them just jump any old way to begin with so they get the idea of traveling through the air.:D

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