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Ballet Talk for Dancers

ballet performance in an elementary school


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So, as some background information, I am an elementary school special ed teacher in a public school. Love my job, but that's beside the point! Yesterday, someone mentioned to me that we were having an assembly about ballet. Being that I am a ballet student, this got my interest, naturally.


So this morning, one of the state's ballet company's came in. Apparently, there is some sort of grant and they go to all the elementary schools in the district once a year to make a presentation. Last year they did something on nutrition and this year, they did backstage at the ballet. I was delighted with the topic because they basically did an introduction to ballet using professional dancers. It was very interactive and they had the kids mimicking positions with their hands and had volunteers come up and everything. I was a little nervous the kids would scoff at it all but they got very involved. I was impressed!


They started off with the dancers, four female, one male, and the 'narrator' was male as well, in basic practice clothing (black and pink/white) going over the positions and port de bras as well as talking about what warm-ups are like and they went into some basic steps and jumps. They talked about pointe (and how you need to be advanced to do it and wear special shoes) and partnering. Then they talked about performing and costumes and showed a tutu and the dancers changed and did a pas to trois in costume.


Now the unfortunate part of this was that the immaturity level of the elementary school kids became apparent. The male dancer was wearing purple tights and the children laughed really hard every time he turned around because they could 'see his butt'. Up until that point, I had been very impressed with their reactions and acceptance. They were really into it. I guess as much will be expected from kids that range in age from 5-10!


Once they finished that, the narrator told us about jazz and the dancers changed and did a jazz dance. The students were then able to ask questions of the dancers. Overall, the production was well-received and I smiled because as they were filing out of the gym, some of the kids were attempting some of the jumps and moves, realizing how difficult they really are!


Of course, a few of the staff members know I dance so they started telling all the OTHER staff members and now it's all a big joke how I should have gone up there and put on a tutu and danced with them. Mostly the staff was interested and one even asked if I could bring in my shoes so she could see them.


I guess I just wanted to share my experience. I was happy to see ballet in an elementary school. It was nice to see the kids exposed to it and to see it relatively well received! :thumbsup:


P.S. I hope it was okay to post this here. If not, feel free to move it to a more appropriate place! Thanks!

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