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Teaching Beginning Ballet Technique [Paperback]

Gayle Kassing , Danielle M. Jay
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 6 1998

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Teaching a beginning ballet class can be a challenge. Even dancers who have studied ballet for many years may be intimidated by the idea of teaching ballet technique. Teaching Beginning Ballet Technique puts new teachers at ease by explaining exactly what to teach and when and how to teach it.

The authors couple ballet pedagogy with motor learning, teaching styles assessment, and instructional strategies to offer valuable insight and advice for teaching beginning ballet. With its inviting layout and easy-to-read format, Teaching Beginning Ballet Technique facilitates the learning process for both the instructor and the student.

Part I gives instructors the tools they'll need to teach the content in Part II. It provides specific information about the teaching/learning process, understanding the theoretical foundations of ballet, constructing and managing the class, and assessing student progress.

Part II presents a logical, sequential plan that guides instructors through the actual teaching of exercises, steps, principles, and progressions. The authors outline four instructional units, each representing three to four weeks of a high school or college term. Each unit includes objectives, teaching strategies, assessment tools, teacher responsibilities, and performance test content. In addition, each exercise and step is accompanied by a detailed description consisting of

- a definition with pronunciation cues,
- a verbal depiction,
- arm positions,
- standard introductory movements or preparation,
- proper breathing or breath phrasing,
- teaching cues and images,
- an assessment checklist, and
- much more.

The book also contains 215 photos that illustrate proper beginning ballet technique.


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About the Author


Gayle Kassing teaches dance at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL. She has taught ballet technique for more than 25 years in various settings, including higher education, a university-based community dance program, and professional and civic dance schools. She has also owned and operated her own dance studios.

No stranger to publishing, Kassing has been writing ballet education articles that focus on teaching and assessment for more than 15 years. She also served as the publications director for the National Dance Association.

A member of the National Dance Association and the Florida Dance Association, Kassing earned her PhD in dance and related arts from Texas Woman's University.

Danielle M. Jay is an associate professor of dance education at Northern Illinois University. She has studied ballet since the age of three and has taught ballet at the college level for more than 25 years.

Jay has studied with Margaret Craske and Celene Keller at Jacob's Pillow and with David McLain, David Blackburn, and Oleg Sabline at the University of Cincinnati. She holds a PhD in dance and related arts from Texas Woman's University.

Jay is a member of the National Dance Association, which is a part of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Teachers Dec 12 2000
Format:Paperback
I just started teaching beginning dance classes and I wasn't sure how to go about it. And then I discovered this book. It is an amazing reference. It is in two parts, the first part discusses how to plan your classes and different teaching methods. The second part breaks up one term into four different units and then gives exercises (barre and center) for each unit. For each exercise, it gives the french name, pronunciation, the english definition, a breakdown of the movement including arms, musical info (tempo, timing, etc), a preparation as well as progressions for teaching it. Excellently designed. It is more based on the Cecchetti method and since I prefer certain aspects of the Russian method I changed some things. Overall, this is an excellent book and walks with you along the path of teaching ballet. I highly reccomend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for a novice teacher Dec 15 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have been teaching ballet for more than 10 years and whereas I found this book quite basic, I think it would be a wonderful tool for a new teacher. It goes into great depth about the differnt teaching styles, constructing a class, dicipline, basic technical concepts, imagery, etc.
I did want to note that this book is written for instructors teaching beginning ballet in a high school or college, not so much for the "Studio" teacher.
If you are a new teacher and not quite sure where to start, this would be a good book for you.
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