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 Post subject: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2000 2:09 pm 
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<B>Rabbit</B> offers the following guidelines. Discussion welcome!<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>LEARNING GOALS 7-11<BR>Learning Goals for Ballet Students ages 7 to 11:<BR>*a general overview of learning requirements<P><BR>1. Listening and Looking Skills should by now be well established and be<BR>part of classroom behaviour. Reminders as necessary.<P>2. Following Rules should now be a regular part of classroom behaviour.<BR>The structure of the class should now start to reflect this as students<BR>are asked to respond to requests to do things according to the<BR>established rules.<P>3. Concentration and Control skills should by now be a part of learning<BR>vocabulary. Reinforce as necessary. Emphasis on this is an important<BR>tool that dancers use to learn.<P>4. Co ordination skills should by now be incorporated into as many<BR>aspects of class work as possible. As soon as a new step or movement is<BR>mastered, adding head and or arm movements can increase the level of<BR>difficulty. Challenging combinations that increase the amount of<BR>concentration and control required should now be occasionally<BR>introduced.<P>5. Body Awareness Skills<BR>*Increasingly the students need to become aware and learn about the way<BR>the body works. They need to learn the muscles involved in a movement,<BR>increasingly by correct names where possible. They need to learn that<BR>the correct use of the muscles will build strength, and muscle memory.<BR>They also need to start to learn that correct practice teaches correct<BR>movements where as sloppy or incorrect practice will lead to the muscles<BR>learning and remembering the incorrect movement.<P>6. Space Awareness and Spatial Orientation should by now be automatic<BR>with encouragement and reminders as needed. Spacing should be used in<BR>all pattern and formation work, when stationary and when moving.<BR>Increasingly the students should be able to space themselves and when<BR>starting one at a time follow musical cues (e.g. every 8 counts or every<BR>4 counts) to leave spaces between dancers when working one or two at a<BR>time on traveling steps.<P>7. Shape Understanding should by now also be a part of their dancers<BR>vocabulary. The understanding that in dance we use the body to create<BR>lines and curves that please the eye can be discussed. Looking at<BR>drawings and sculptures and trying to recreate the lines with the body<BR>is an interesting exercise at this age. Another concept for that<BR>dancers to begin to understand that there are ways to make the lines<BR>more pleasing. E.g. arm to 2nd position look nicer when the elbow is<BR>controlled so that there is no sag or hyperextension. Both faults are<BR>less pleasing to the eye that a supported arm that creates the illusion<BR>of a long straight line.....<P>8. Travelling steps:<BR>*Continue to develop and clean these skills. Look for even greater<BR>precision and better musicality. Incorporate more arms, more heads, more<BR>changes of directions.<BR>*Continue to explore the wide range of progressions in locomotor skills<BR>so that the student becomes adept at many different directional<BR>pathways.: - Free movement in the space<BR>- By lines<BR>- In lines<BR>- With partners<BR>- In groups<BR>- In patterns<BR>- On a diagonal<BR>- Zing zag<BR>- Curves<BR>- U shape<BR>*Combine several steps in sequences. Continue to challenge them to<BR>improve and clean the steps they already are comfortable with.<BR>*Add changes of directions, add turns, add breaks using other steps<BR>they know.<BR>*Add new steps that increase the level of difficulty.<BR>*Begin working on more difficult patterns, steps with elevation etc.<BR>(See Progressions List A)<P>9. Flexibility and Strength should by now be an integral part their<BR>understanding of dance training. Incorporate appropriate exercises into<BR>class work as possible and continue to encourage the practice of these<BR>exercises at home.<BR>*Increase the length of time a stretch is held with control<BR>*Encourage them to want to increase their flexibility.<BR>*Increase the frequency with which they stretch ( every day at home)<P>10. Feet exercises:<BR>*The emphasis on the correct use of the feet should now be part of the<BR>whole class. Continue to focus on the correct use of the feet as one of<BR>the important things that dancers must always be aware of, both for<BR>aesthetics (a sickled foot looks ugly) and for safety (land on a sickled<BR>foot and you could sprain your ankle).<BR>*The more this is learnt now the fewer problems they will have in the<BR>future unlearning sloppy habits.<BR>*Continue to develop the speed at which the ankle points and flexes.<BR>*Develop good understanding and control of the demi point position.<BR>*Strong feet lead to strong jumps and eventually to point work.<P>11. Right and left skills<BR>*This concept should now be a natural part of class work.<BR>*The students must be able to do everything equally on both sides of<BR>the body.<BR>*They must now learn that if you start on one side of the room with one<BR>leg…when you start on the other side you start with the other leg.<BR>*Start with alternate hands on the barre every class<BR>*In centre repeat exercises starting with the other leg front<P>11. Posture and stance skills<BR>* POSTURE is a special thing a dancer does, and needs to be reinforced<BR>and encouraged all the time. As the student grows their body changes<BR>and it needs to relearn this skill constantly. Things to constantly<BR>review:<BR>- feet flat on the ground, no rolling in the ankle<BR>- straight alignment of the legs (ankles, knees)<BR>- fix alignment problem like bows, hyperextension and knock knees<BR>- Super straight stomach spine and seat<BR>*abdominal muscles working<BR>*long spine and neck<BR>*gluteus (popo) muscles working<BR>- shoulders down<BR>- two hip bones face front, "headlights" even<P>12. Dance Vocabulary<BR>*Continually review all concepts learn previously<BR>*Add new movements at greater levels of difficulty, as the students<BR>become ready. (see Progressions list B)<BR>*Continue to use free movement skills to introduce some difficult<BR>movement patterns before adding the technique learnt in simpler format.<P>13. Technical concepts to constantly reinforce<BR>*Posture is always maintained, understanding use of stomach, seat spine<BR>in the control of posture<BR>*The hips are level and both face the front<BR>*Turn out is a movement that happens from the hips.<BR>*All ten toes are in contact with the ground, ankles do not roll<BR>*The legs are held in straight alignment, correct for bows and<BR>hyperextension<BR>*The knees are aligned over the toes in posture in all turned out<BR>positions<BR>*When the feet are stretched the foot must not sickle<BR>*The knees are stretched and pulled up to create length and line<BR>*When standing on one leg the upper body is maintained in a centered<BR>position (transfer of weight and no lean)<BR>*The different energy and dynamics required for different qualities of<BR>movement<P>16. Allegro<BR>*Review and work as necessary all previous work<BR>*Use build tools to develop good take of and good landing<BR>*When learning new jumps break down the movement to its component<BR>parts. Teach one at a time with stretch plié to learn the movement.<BR>*Once they have the movement pattern build gradually the number of<BR>times the movement can be repeated sequentially<BR>*Combine well-known steps into combinations.<BR>*Combine well know steps with traveling steps<BR>*Add port de bras variations to known steps<BR>*Add changes of direction to know steps<BR>*See Progressions List - C for step appropriate for different levels.<P>17. Turns<BR>* Continue to use free movement turns as a transition to technical<BR>turns. The idea is to keep them twirling and spinning (something<BR>children love to do naturally) and thus preventing fear from setting<BR>until such time as their technique catches up and they can execute<BR>technical turns.<BR>*Twirling - turning on two feet (leads to Chainé turns)<BR>*Spinning - turning on one foot (leads to Pirouettes)<BR>*Add changing directions by ¼'s and by halves and later by full turns<BR>as they master each level of difficulty.<P>18. Port de bra skills<BR>A. hands<BR>*Should be soft and supple<BR>*The wrist should not look bent but continue the length and line of the<BR>arm<BR>*The placement of the fingers in a dancers hand needs to be practiced<BR>*The knuckles need to be invisible<BR>B. Arm<BR>*All the positions need to be worked for ever greater levels of<BR>precision<BR>*Awareness of the back and its role in supporting the arms must be<BR>understood<BR>*The shape of the arm, especially the line created by the elbow must be<BR>studied and worked to create the soft rounded look of ballet<BR>C. Port de bras<BR>*Always review all previous work as appropriate<BR>*use images and props to get the quality of movement<BR>*Increase the number of port de bras they know, use references where<BR>possible for example Cecchetti number 3 or Russian number 2. As well as<BR>creating combinations and patterns using work they know<BR>*Increasingly add port de bras to their other class work. Example, one<BR>a basic port de bras is well done stationary try it while doing<BR>classical walks across the room.<BR>*Concepts to learn<BR>- hands on waist looking precise<BR>- opposition line of the arms<BR>- diagonal line of the arms<BR>- square lines created by one arm side and one arm front<BR>- open lines created by one arm front and on arm back<BR>- arabesque lines<BR>- épaulement<BR>- body positions and their influence on arms and port de bras<P>D. Head movements<BR>*Incorporate all the learnt head movements into class work at some<BR>level<BR>*Call attention to the connection between head and hand movements<BR>*Add to allegro and traveling steps<BR>*Learn and practice spotting head action<P>19. Musicality Skills<BR>A. Rhythms<BR>* Review all previous concepts<BR>*Progressively learn more music forms ( see progression list D)<P>B. Musical Qualities<BR>? Review all concepts of qualities from previous work and also add new<BR>ones to the list<BR>? scales and pitch<BR>? phrasing (various combinations e.g. AB, ABA, ABC etc)<BR>? time signature<BR>? note value<BR>? tempo<BR>? emotion<P>20. Enchainement (Patterning and Memory skills)<BR>? Combinations starting from simple patterns and gradually becoming more<BR>complex.<BR>? Gradually increase the number of different elements in one<BR>enchainement.<BR>? Add turns, port de bras, changes of direction, partners, mirroring<BR>etc.<P>21. Interactive Skills<BR>*Continue to find ways to incorporate use of props and partners into<BR>class work.<P>22. Improvisation & Action Skills, Mime & Pantomime, Energy & dynamics<BR>* These concepts all blend together at this level as they compliment<BR>each other.<BR>*Discuss the individual concepts as pertinent to those qualities you<BR>want them to discover in their work.<BR>*Expose the children to an ever increase vocabulary of "action" words,<BR>(see the chart on Movement Characteristics for Body Parts for ideas)<BR>*Continue to explored and expand on their awareness of the relationship<BR>between their ideas and the movements they have explored<BR>*As they develop more skills encourage them remember what they did an<BR>build on that foundation<BR>*Give students a chance to show off what they discover<BR>*Give them a theme and ask them explore that concept ( see creative<BR>movement manuals for further ideas)<BR>*Use Energy and Dynamics with the goal of developing expressive use of<BR>music.<BR>*Look for even more challenging ways for them to create and interpret<BR>music and dance.<BR>*Expand their creative horizons by implementing all the tools of<BR>creative movement (see creative movement list)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 12:22 pm 
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Grace,<P>What a wonderful post!<P>I will have to print it out to examine in more detail!<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 5:15 pm 
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she's good, isn't she? i hope you realise this is <B>rabbit</B>'s work - not mine.<P>i agree that printing these out is the only way to do them justice. i hope others will do that too, so we can have some discussion around each of these 'age & stage' postings....maybe starting with this one, since it has caught your eye?

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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2000 7:52 am 
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kudos duly awarded to Rabbit!<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2000 2:28 pm 
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Great work Rabbit!! WOW The only thing I would add - and maybe it's already there and I missed it, is periodically they have to be set free.<P> I wanted my students, young and old, periodically to feel the wind rushing by their faces - of flying - of moving swiftly through space. For this I often used chase' saute in arabesque (commonly known as slide and hop in arabesque) across the diagonal to some very exciting music. Something symphonic - some gorgeous fully blown waltz. <P>Then, when they were excited about how such large movement felt, I would begin to clean it up - without dampening the joy such movement engenders. After all, everyone of us likes to fly!! <P>A very old, very Russian teacher of mine did this and it excited us and made us work harder. We wanted to incorporate that feeling in other more difficult, technically demanding steps. It was a harbinger of the joys to come. Basheva


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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2000 3:54 pm 
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It would be interesting to exchange other steps and ideas to "let the students fly" - Basheva


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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2000 3:56 pm 
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grand jetés down the diagonal and out the door! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 3:42 am 
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OK, getting serious now...<P>basheva, you may be interested to hear that RAD have an exercise called 'flying hop' at this approximate level, designed as relatively 'free' movement, for just precisely this purpose - it's a sauté in arabesque on the diagonal.<P>firstly, i would like to ask Rabbit for permission to add these Learning Goals articles to our website FEATURES section, with appropriate credit to her....please email me if you have any queries, Rabbit.....<P>if acceptable, i would like to do that AFTER we have managed some discussion on each thread, so as to find any points which may be unclear to people, or debatable...<P>thank you Rabbit for reminding me of a few important things. for example, one gets so focused on how ugly a sickle foot is, that i never remember to tell people it would be a dangerous position to land in - so i've been leaving out something important there. thank you!<P>also re point 4: i would like to add the reverse idea here, that if the children are having difficulty with anything at this stage, now is the time to REMOVE one (or more) elements, to clean up just one aspect at a time....lack of control indicates too many things to think about, so give them less (till they've mastered those things).<P>re point 11: i use 'headlights' too! it really seems to be something they can grasp. i even had a 7 year old once come in to class with dot-stickers she had made, to stick to her leotard over her hip-bones, for this purpose!<P>some good reminders for me in item 18, re ports de bras - also like your idea of doing ports de bras while walking, after mastering it standing still!<P>isn't it amazing how much we are doing (or trying to do) in that one little hour! <P>thanks again - look forward to feedback from others...<P><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 05, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 6:07 am 
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Grace - A Flying Arabesque - what a wonderful way to describe it!!! That is the step I had in mind when I called it "Saute'Arabesque" in the above post. <P>Re: working on port de bras while standing still - I remember a Ceccheti port de bras combintion that we did in class everyday without fail. It was done sur la place, fifth position. It went through all the positions of the arms - never stopping. It was a wonderful basis for achieveing a graceful flowing movement. <P> I used to suggest to my students that at home they find a quiet room, stand in front of a mirror, find some music they REALLY love, something flowing, and just work on their arms. I did that, and still do - and find it a real turn-on, as well as very helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 6:14 am 
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now this is NOT for this age group, but what basheva said reminded me:<P>john o'brien in london used to do an arm movement sequence (not balletic) in different directions (up, down, out, in bend, stretch, whatever) in a phrase of 8, then add a simple step from side to side (not a ballet step, just normal stepping), then add reciting out loud the days of the week, which of course, number - not 8 but......7!<P>the cross-rhthym activity presents a real coordination and concentration challenge, even to adults.... try it! Image<P>

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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2000 6:18 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>isn't it amazing how much we are doing (or trying to do) in that one little hour!</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>maybe we should make photocopies of these article of rabbit's, to give out to the parents, so they can see how very much we really are doing, above and beyond (or underneath) the actual ballet 'steps' we are teaching.....

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 Post subject: Re: Learning Goals - Ages 7 to 11
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2000 3:26 am 
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do we have any further comments or discussion please, on this particular 'stage' paper, before we format it into our site library? allcomers welcome! Image

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