Forum: Welcome

New Teacher
By noachkamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:02 AM

Hello,

I've been a DDN member for quite a while but this is my first time posting on the teacher's only board! I just recently got a job teaching and I am so excited about it! I will be teaching two classes -- a Pre-Ballet class ages 6-8, and a Fairytale Ballet class ages 3-4.

I am working on forming my class plans and ideas on how to teach the kids and work with them while bringing a lot of fun into the studio, especially for the younger ones, so basically the first place I've come running to is good ol' DDN because I know I will find some good tips here ;)

7 Replies to New Teacher

re: New Teacher
By MissSharon73
On Wed Jul 20, 2011 01:28 PM
The best advice that I can offer you is to OVERPLAN!! But within that, be able to adapt and change those plans at a moment's notice :P LOL...Have variety and be animated so that they can feed off of your enthusiasm. If you are excited, they will be as well!!

Oh, and PROPS!! Lots of props if you can...
re: New Teacher
By noachkamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jul 20, 2011 01:37 PM
Thanks!! I've been reading around and so far it seems that your suggestion of props is a very popular one indeed! At least for the 3-4 class.

The 3-4 class is like creative movement with a strong ballet focus. Mostly just developing skills, I guess. The 6-8 class is pre-ballet so I think the focus will be entirely ballet but very very simplified, to get them to understand concepts they will need once they advance to ballet 1. I am thinking of doing most exercises facing the barre. Of course it will have to be broken down so that the entire class is not barre exercises -- I think they are too young for a full class, hence the name "pre-ballet/"

I am looking at music right now, which is proving to be difficult. I am a Vaganova-trained dancer so I want music without a lot of flourish; just clean-cut music that really emphasizes the tempos so that they can get a good grasp of rhythm.

I will take you up on the over-planning advice! I think that intimidates me a little...I not so scared that I will run out of things to do because I am working through a plan for the entire class (1 hr each), but more so scared for the transitions. How do you transition from exercise to exercise? This will be much easier in the pre-ballet 6-8 class because I know how to transition between barre and center exercises, but for the creative movement 3-4 class where we will not be doing any barre or running through a traditional ballet class at all...I am a bit concerned. Do you just tell them, "Ok, now we're going to play a new game/try a different exercise/etc."?

Ugh sorry this got really long!! I just want to be well-prepared :)
re: New Teacher
By J1ll
On Wed Jul 20, 2011 04:53 PM
For transitions I say now we're going to make a circle.
I also tell them and show them everything we're going to do before we do it. That helps with some of the more reserved children. They like to be prepared and know what to expect.
Good luck! And welcome!
re: New Teacher
By tototoe
On Wed Jul 20, 2011 05:30 PM
I was thaught this.... to say what you want to see. For example: "I liked the way everyone is stretching their feet. I like the way I see dancers moving around the space so carefully."
re: New Teacher
By MissSharon73
On Wed Jul 20, 2011 06:01 PM
My music is already pre-set in a playlist that I rarely have to go and alter inbetween things. So, one song feeds into the next. I have arranged them so that I have 2 songs that are seated for stretching, then 2-3 songs standing for warm ups in a circle. Then another song that travels around the circle. Then one last one within the circle. The music has a slight delay which allows us to find our "magic spot" in center. now there are 2-3 more songs and then we move across the floor. I speak within the down time of the songs and always prompt them as to what is coming next. After a few classes, they know what to expect. The youngest of dancers do best with repetition and routine. They almost need to know what comes next :)
re: New Teacher
By noachkamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jul 20, 2011 07:06 PM
Thank you -- this is all such valuable advice!

MissSharon, do you use that mix of songs for the entire year then? Do you do the same class the entire year?

I'd like to be able to have a collection of exercises and ballet games and then make myself a sort of guideline schedule so that I now at what pace I need to run my class but so that I can switch it up so they don't get bored. At the same time I can see how they would want to do things they are familiar with, so I guess I wouldn't be able to vary it too much?
re: New Teacher
By MissSharon73
On Wed Jul 20, 2011 08:18 PM
Edited by MissSharon73 (174655) on 2011-07-20 20:20:33
I have a basic play list for my warm ups and center work. A few of the songs I use have guided lyrics, so they really help to reinforce the movements.

My across the floor, creative movement section(props/games/etc...) and my tap/tumbling music changes regularly.

I do keep the other stuff for the entire year ;)

I also have themed classes for certain holidays and other occasions during the year. On those specific days, none of my regular music is used. This occurs at least once a month ;)

The holidays that I work into my classes are Halloween, Winter Wonderland (Holiday music that does not mention Christmas/Hanukkah/Santa etc...), Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and then several other fun based themes like Under The Big Top, Beach Day, Rodeo Round Up, Fairytales and Fantasies, and Pajama Day.

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