If you’re reading this as a ballet student, assistant teacher, teacher or about to become one, you’re in wonderful company belonging to a centuries old tradition. Like most professionals, I’ve studied and taught ballet most of my life, teaching in many schools, from professional to collegiate. With very few exceptions, dance is taught much the same everywhere: to a large class, in a studio, by a teacher who demonstrates and explains the movement for students to perform.
As students, we watch, we perform the movement and store it in memory. Some of us can see a movement and quickly translate it onto our bodies. Others of us can hear a movement’s description, visualize it and then perform it.
Our memories also differ. Some may see or hear the movement and perform it beautifully the first time, yet be unable to remember it by the next class. Others of us may be challenged with performing the movement, yet commit the choreography firmly to memory, rehearse it through memory and by the next class be better able to perform it. We all learn differently.
What we all learn in ballet is that there is a lot to learn. Our feet, legs, torso, arms, fingers and head all have parts to play. There’s also the preparation, the transition into and out of the movement, and then there’s the terminology. The combination of all of those things amounts to dozens if not hundreds of bits of information. Whether we’re a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner, whether we have perfect or imperfect recollection, even a class in basic movement can challenge the best of our capabilities.
Ballet in Motion is a tool for visualizing, learning and practicing ballet movements outside the studio. Its 249 videos of individual movements and combinations allow you to study and practice ballet movement anywhere you have a phone, notebook or computer. How to begin, complete and exit movement is at your fingertips, arranged in a way that’s easy to access and visually complete. Each video segment is performed by a dancer with clean technique, allowing you to see each detail of the movement clearly. As the movement changes, within the video frame the accompanying text changes to reflect the progression of the movement. And if you learn better with a narrative, there’s a written description of how to perform the movement below the video.
I hope you enjoy it!