Frequently throughout my teaching career, students have asked me to share a video or web link with them so they could practice ballet movements on their own. I would search the web for hours, only to find the movements my students wanted weren’t always available as simply a step or movement, but were often within a piece of choreography. This made them difficult to see, much less break down and study. I along with my students didn’t find these videos helpful, instead they were intimidating and frustrated the students who just wanted to see and study a specific movement.
With this in mind, and encouraged by my students, I created Ballet in Motion: A Moving Visual Guide to Performing Ballet Technique, a collection of 249 individual movement videos, with accompanying written descriptions organized into a webbook.
I wrote, choreographed and produced Ballet in Motion in collaboration with Hettie Stern, the featured dancer, my former student from Carleton College and dear friend, without whose patience and talent Ballet in Motion would not have been possible.
Jennifer A. Bader is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Carleton College, and was a 2014 and 2020 guest choreographer for the Carleton College Semaphore Dance Company.
Jennifer holds a B.F.A. from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, where she had extensive training and performing opportunities. She augmented her training in New York and in San Diego. In 1992, she returned to Minneapolis and joined the Minnesota Dance Theatre Company. While performing, she also taught in the Young Children’s, Adult, and Performing Arts Divisions, and was Assistant to the Artistic Director of MDT for ten years. Jennifer has also taught and performed at the Children’s Theatre, and has performed with Independent Choreographers in Minneapolis.
In August of 2002 and 2004 she traveled to Yaroslavl, Russia to participate in Link Vostok’s “International Festival of Movement and Dance on the Volga.” There, she was Assistant to the Executive Director and taught ballet and modern. For eighteen years, Jennifer also taught ballet, and choreographed for the First Year Dance Project at St. Olaf College. She has also taught ballet and variations at Mankato State College, and taught ballet and choreographed for the St. Cloud State University dance department.
In addition to teaching at Carleton College, Jennifer teaches ballet, pointe, modern, jazz and choreographs for independent schools in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas, and continues to guest teach at Saint Olaf College.
Hettie Stern grew up in the MN suburbs and danced with the Hopkins Youth Ballet. While at Carleton College, she continued studying ballet under Jennifer’s tutelage. She also explored modern dance and choreography with Carleton's Semaphore Dance Company and the Experimental Dance Board. Hettie graduated magna cum laude in 2017 with a degree in Cognitive Science. After college, she moved to NYC to intern with the José Limón Dance Foundation and study the Limón dance technique. Hettie has since returned to Minneapolis to pursue a Master's in Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota. She continues to dance and recently performed with the James Sewell Ballet. Hettie would like to thank Jennifer for mentoring and inspiring her. She is proud to be part of this project.
is a software developer and entrepreneur based in Saint Paul. Adeel has known Jennifer for over a decade and is excited to help bring this project to students all over the world. He can be reached at Lab 1908
Carleton students, Zane Grinde ‘20, Adam Throne ‘19, Joseph Brommel ‘18, Sonja Borgman ‘21, Kira Butz ‘20 under the guidance of Dann Hurbert in ITS filmed and edited video footage, and Doug Bratland in Web Services / College Communications organized the project for the web.
Without the support of grants from Carleton College Dean Bev Nagel, and the support of the Carleton Dance Faculty, my students, Michael Gilliland, Penny Bader, and James Bialke, this project wouldn’t have been possible. — Thank you.
Gretchen Ward Warren, Classical Ballet Technique © 1989
Suki Schorer, Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique © 1999
Vanina Wilson, The French School of Classical Ballet © 2013
Kenneth Laws, Physics and the Art of Dance – Understanding Movement (2007) © 2008
Rudolf Laban, Choreutics (1966) © 2011