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 Post subject: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2000 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
last night i noticed that dick andros has added a new section to his website: Pre-School Anecdotes<BR> <A HREF="http://androsdance.tripod.com/features/pre_school.html" TARGET=_blank>http://androsdance.tripod.com/features/pre_school.html</A> <P>this one particularly appeals to me because i used to have an 'unseen friend' and got mad at my brother, just like this, if he was about to sit on him......<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>JANICE AND HER UNSEEN FRIEND</B> <P>Whenever Janice was in class, I knew where Charlemagne, her invisible pet chicken, was located. I was told by Janice's mother that her daughter had had an invisible friend all of her life. Far be it from me to play psychologist, so I accepted Charlemagne's presence. <P>One day I knew the chicken was on the chair next to the piano; one of the pupils was about to sit on the chair, and suddenly Janice let out a scream that could be heard in the next town. It scared the other little girl who began to cry, "What did I do?" Tears streaming down her face. "You almost sat on Charlemagne." Janice explained angrily. <P>I knew it was now up to me to solve this impasse. Explaining an invisible chicken to a group of five-year-olds is not as hard as you might think, but another little girl blurted out that she liked to eat chicken. <P>This sent Janice over the edge. I took her in my arms and used this opportunity to say, "Sweetheart, she is not going to eat Charlemagne, but I have a great idea. If you would leave him at home then no harm could come to Charlemagne." Peace returned to the class and I never saw Charlemagne again.<P><B>SETH</B><P>Seth, just five years old, articulate, and intelligence enough to frighten me, pointed his finger at me and said, "I know what ballet is about." <P>Surprised by his determination I asked, "Okay, Seth what is ballet about?" Now shaking his finger in my face he replied, "It is when you make the body more beautiful than the music."<P>Recovering my composure. "Tomorrow, Seth you are teaching this class." Seth is now a doctor. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>the <B>WAGNERIAN SINGER</B> story is a real gem too - made me LOL! have a look! you've probably all got similar stories..... Image<P>

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 6:03 pm 
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Location: Australia
OK, i just can't resist! since no-one has picked up on this thread, i'm going to reproduce 'The Wagnerian Singer' which - honestly, i can SEE and HEAR as dick tells this story - i can't help laughing at the end!:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>THE WAGNERIAN SINGER</B><P>Margaret could be best described as a five-year-old Wagnerian singer. She was almost as broad as she was tall. The thing I remember most was that her personality was also that of a real Diva. <P>As I did in every class I would have each child dance the combination alone. That way I could tell if they knew what they were doing or just copying a neighbor. <P>After Margaret's turn, she turned and walked away saying, " That is close enough." I reprimanded, "That wasn't even close. Next week you'll do it perfectly." <P>The week passed and again it was Margaret's turn to show what she was to practice, and I expecting to see a great improvement.<P>Disappointment must have shown on my face for it was not one bit better. When she finished she turned to me and said defiantly, <P>"Was that better? Yes? Or No?" <P>" Sorry Margaret, the answer is no."<BR> <BR>As she walked away she mumbled under breath, but loud enough for me to hear. "You make me sick."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P> Image<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2000 5:37 am 
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Location: Australia
OK, since i'm STILL not getting any responses (!) i have to excerpt another one - they'll all be here, soon!<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>LITTLE PATTI MY TEACHER<P> I am over six feet tall, and when I stand in front of a group of twenty or more students just about three feet tall the experience I can be intimidating. <P>In one class the children were standing in first position with their arms in repose. I was beginning to teach them port de bras, "Now bring your arms up and open them to the side."<P>They did their best, but it wasn't what I wanted. "NO! NO! You look like an airplane." I went into detail on how their arms should look in second position. "The elbows are lower than the shoulders and the hands are lower than the elbow, and you bend the elbows just a tiny bit." Again they tried but I was still dissatisfied, "No! That's too much, now that's not enough." <P>Little Patti came to my aid and she said with a big smile on her face, "It's like hugging a big tree." Now they were all doing just what I wanted. Since then I have used this image, no matter how old the members of the class. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>nice story - funnily enough, i use a similar image, but i say holding the biggest beach ball you could imagine! (guess that must have something to do with australia!) Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2000 6:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Or perhaps for the boys holding a 6' tin of Fosters XXXX. Feel free to use this idea without charge.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 07, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2000 6:43 am 
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Location: Australia
oh dear, stuart! i had to think about THAT one!<P>somehow i don't think that reflects the values which parents hope to find reflected in their child's cultural experience at ballet school.... that's right - EVEN in australia! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2000 6:59 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Hugging a tree is a great image, Grace. However, here in San Diego we really don't have those great big trees. But, we do have this great big ocean out there, sooooooooo I always used the image of holding a very large beach ball. <P>When I wanted them to move the arms from side to side - their tendency was to drop the arms and then swing - so we used the image of an elephant swinging his trunk and NOT doing it like the elephant. They had all been to the World's Largest and Finest San Diego Zoo. And, no one wanted to look like the elephant. Not even the boys.


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2000 1:27 am 
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... i teach 1st position on its own- get them to think of hugging a cuddly bear, or hold a beach ball- i use cuddly bear as sometime they tend to straighten elbows...so i tell them they must keep them round not squash him!!..it takes quite a while- and i do it for sometime...then when i seen they've understood, or rather grasped the idea, i tell them to oopen their arms to allow two teddies to be to fit in( in the curves )<P>... hope it helped!!


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2000 4:38 am 
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Location: Australia
thanks xwish - that reminded me that a friend of mine tells little ones to hold a balloon, gently, so you don't burst it, to make 1st position (5th en avant).<P>i like the idea of fitting in 2 teddies - i can picture that working! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2000 11:17 am 
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actually just thought of another one... <P>to avoid kids tucking their chin in when they look at their arms in 1st position i tell them to think of having an egg under their chin... <P>maybe you could tell them to hold their arms around a massive egg ... and not squash it otherwise their pretty leotard will get all yucky & sticky!!..


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2000 11:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
I was teaching a private lesson to two 6/7 year olds who were almost ready to take their Primary Tap Exam. They do an exercise called instep strengthening and since I feel that even the youg ones should know what part of the body they are using if it is mentioned in the title of the exercise, I duely asked my two pupils where they thought there intsep was. Expecting them to point vaguely to some part of their foot, ankle or leg I was somewhat bemused by the answers I received.<P>"in the living room" said one. "no in the hall" said the other.<P>I think I eventually managed to explain the correct answer but I always have a smile to myself when i teach this bit of anatomy now.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching Little Ones: The Truth!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2000 4:17 pm 
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ah, joanne! lovely story. <P>this relates to what i tried to address, when writing that AICD ballet theory (Knowledge and Understanding) document (extract over in the Education/Training thread)....examiners were used to asking, for example, "What does 'ports de bras' mean?" To which the answer they were inclined to learn by rote, was: "carriage of the arms". <P>One year i surprised everyone by THEN asking, "and what does 'carriage' mean?": succession of blank stares....<P>so i've tried to use words that are age-appropriate, when re-designing this part of the syllabus. and to do it in such a way that it discourages rote-learning, in favour of understanding...one can but try!<P>and xwish: you've reminded me! last year i used to call bras bas or 1st position 'easter egg arms' - "don't break your easter egg!" since we are all, like me, chocolate fans, that usually works! i'd completely forgotten that. Image

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