Ballet is a graceful and elegant dance form that requires physical and mental preparation. For ballet teachers, it is essential to have well-prepared and organized ballet classes to ensure the safety and success of your students. This article provides a comprehensive checklist to help ballet teachers get ready before starting class.
Understand your road map and yearly objectives.
Your list of yearly goals is simply everything you want your students to learn during the school year. (Adjust accordingly if you’re teaching a shorter session, such as a semester or 10-week class.) These objectives should be derived from your studio’s syllabus. Ask your studio director if you still need to see the syllabus for your class! Almost every dance studio has one. Include some “soft skills” in your yearly goals in addition to the “hard skills” on the syllabus, such as steps and techniques. These could include memorizing choreography, improving performance quality, expanding vocabulary, and anything else to help your students become better dancers.
Preparation of the Dance Studio
Check equipment and supplies: Before class, ensure that all equipment and supplies, such as ballet barres, mirrors, and music systems, are in good working condition. In addition, ensure enough ballet mats, props, and other materials for the students.
Ensure proper lighting and temperature: Ballet classes require proper lighting to ensure students can see themselves in the mirrors and correctly perform movements. The temperature in the dance studio should be comfortable for the students to prevent overheating or hypothermia.
Clean and arrange the dance floor: Sweep and mop it to ensure it is clean and debris-free. Arrange the floor to provide enough space for movements, such as leaps, turns, and jumps, while ensuring safety.
Ensure adequate movement space and proper ventilation: Ballet movements require ample space, and the dance studio should be large enough to accommodate them. Proper ventilation is also important to ensure students are not affected by unpleasant odors or fumes.
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Planning the Class
Review the syllabus and lesson plans: Before class, the Ballet teachers should review the syllabus and lesson plans to ensure that the class is on track and you are prepared to teach.
Choose appropriate music and choreography: Choose music and choreography suitable for the student’s level and the class’s goals. The music should be appropriate in tempo and style, and the choreography should be challenging but achievable for the students.
Decide on the warm-up and cool-down exercises: A warm-up is essential to prepare the students’ bodies for the movements of the class. Choose exercises that target the areas used in ballet, such as the legs, feet, and core. A cool-down is equally important to help the students recover from the physical demands of the ballet class.
Plan the class to ensure adequate progression and challenge for all levels: Plan the class to provide progression and challenge for all students. Consider the physical and mental abilities of the students and provide appropriate modifications and challenges to keep them engaged and motivated.
Warm up before class to prevent injury: Ballet teachers must warm up before ballet classes and make sure their students will also follow the same. Do exercises to loosen up your muscles, such as stretching, pliés, and tendus. Wear appropriate dance attire and shoes: Wear appropriate dance attire and shoes that allow for ease of movement and prevent injury. Ensure that the attire is comfortable and allows for a full range of motion.
Proper posture and alignment: Proper posture and alignment are crucial in ballet. Ensure that you demonstrate and reinforce proper posture and alignment throughout the class.
Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is important to maintain physical and mental performance. Drink water before and during class to prevent dehydration.
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Preparation of Students
Review class policies and procedures: As a Ballet teacher, you must review class policies and procedures with the students, such as the code of conduct, expectations, and rules.
Take attendance and update student information: Take attendance and update student information, such as emergency contact information, to ensure the safety and well-being of the students.
Examine and Evaluate Your Students: Examine based on your goals and plans on the assumption about how these students would be. You can now actually see them dance. You’ll need to make changes based on what you see on the first day. The kids may be far above or below the skill level you anticipated, or you may discover a technical issue that must be resolved before you can cover some of your objectives. Don’t tell them they’re being evaluated; they don’t need the added stress. Take a few notes after class and adjust your yearly goals, roadmap, and lesson plan for the following week accordingly.