CriticalDance Forum

structure in lessons
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Author:  spangles [ Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  structure in lessons

using 5-6 broad categories, create a structure that you could apply in lesson planning for ALL styles of dance and ALL ages of students (A helpful hint: one such category might be Syllabus Exercises? This is a question that has been posed to me in a Teaching Psychology Paper. I was thinking along the lines of:

Barre Work
Cool Down

Please let me know if I seem to be on the right track or even better, let me know how you would answer this one! cheers :twisted:

Author:  Dean Speer [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Here's how I tend to like to structure my ballet classes.

CLASS PROGRESSION – NOTE: 18 exercises @ barre; 12 in center; 30 total.

Port de bras (facing the barre), with temps lié


Tendu (lente)

Tendu, (moderato)

Tendu, (allegro)



Battement Tendu Jèté

Rond de Jame à Terre Fondu




Rond de Jambe en L’air

Grand Battement

Petit Battements




Port de Bras




Traveling/Diagonal Sequence (often from corner) *usually* a waltz and/or balancé

Grand Battement Petit Sautés

Petit Jètés (petit allegro; jètés, glissades, etc.)

Batterie (beats)

Grand Allegro (grand jèté, etc.)

Turns (chainé, piqué, etc.)


Pointe is added were it is most appropriate for the class level:

1. Beginning of barre
2. End of barre
3. After barre
4. As a separate class

And here's a sample of what I might work on for a school year for Ballet I.

BALLET I – LEVEL I (presumed to be age 8 with little or no previous training)


Port de Bras

Positions of the Feet & Rotation




Rond de Jambe, en de hors/dans

Sur le Cou de Pied

Frappé (to pointé, no brush) Passé (retiré)

Pas de Bourée, under & over


Elevé & Rèlevé (add plié)

Sautés: 1st, 2nd, soubresaut, changement de pieds

Arabesque (facing barre)

Port de Corps (aka, port de bras)

Head Position(s) at conclusion of exercise


Port de bras

Tendu & plié

Positions of the Body: Croisé; en face; èffacé; écarté; & à la seconde

Waltz Step (down, up, up)

Chassé Skip

Polka Step (1 each of chassé & polka)



Piqué (no turn)


Author:  Beth Kurtz [ Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'm just returning to this forum since getting a new computer, so am late to this question, but am fascinated by Dean's answer.

Do you get all of that (the ballet 1 plan) in to a 1-hour or 1-1/2 hour lesson? Or is this what you hope to accomplish by the end of the term? For myself, I teach private 1-hour lessons to children with bad or no previous training, and can get to only a fraction of that -- I just have to see that the child is getting the point before I move on. I'd love to hear what others have to say.

Author:  salzberg [ Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

Welcome back, Beth, and congratulations on the new thinking machine.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you, Dean, for the detailed and thoughtful (as usual!) post. I almost thought I was looking at my own class list of steps...especially for the eight year olds. I usually only do about five barre combinations for this age group, but I manage to try to fit in two to four of the things that you specify in each one (for example, positions of the feet, plie, elevee, port de bras), etc. I also like to do temps lie and/or glisse every class for this age group to work on transferring the weight.

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