The Art of Teaching Ballet ….or any dance form

Teaching ballet, or any dance form for that matter, is one of the most rewarding jobs in the performing arts realm. Although the path may be a challenging one, the ballet teacher must realize that she is making a difference in the lives of little ones as well as accomplished dancers. One of these lives may grow up someday to be an extremely successful dancer. But in all hopes, the ballet teacher must realize too, that they are enforcing good physical well being, group camaraderie and an overall sense of self accomplishment in these hope to be dancers.

A ballet teacher’s life has several benefits. It is a job that doubles as a daily workout, and the opportunity to be endlessly creative. However, the best gift of all is the joy of teaching dancers something you are passionate about. Willing and eager ballet students will soak up whatever new knowledge is made available to them. All dancers love to be active, and taking a ballet class is often a logical and educational step for the parents, in using up that activity. It brings forth not only good physical exercise but also creativity.

Most young dancers have fearless personalities and are willing to try anything…… as can be demonstrated in my acro classes. A ballet teacher needs to constantly keep up with new methods and choreography in order to keep the dancers not only up to date, but interested in what she has to offer. I find myself constantly working to keep up with the dancers that I teach, which is as rewarding as teaching them. By me always researching new dance methods, keeps my dancers interested and always ready to come to class. This is what keeps the ballet teacher “on her toes” so to speak, and makes her job enjoyable and exciting to be at.

Teaching a ballet class for the organized teacher is easy. Dancers can sense nervousness and un-preparedness, in a teacher, so some time must be devoted each week to providing a structured, orderly environment while in class. By spending time in class on what to do next or locating music will lead to loosing the concentration of the dancers. All ballet classes start with a warm-up at the barre, and also need some across the floor work to review what has been learned in the class before. The ballet teacher needs to reinforce all of that before going onto something new. So the teacher must be prepared. Revue, recital or concert time, is the most important of seasons. The ballet teacher is putting together a dance piece to show the parents what the dancer has learned throughout the entire year. Hopefully, in an entertaining manner. One of the most important parts of being a ballet teacher is to make this opportunity as interesting and exciting to the dancers as to the parents and to the general audience.

Teaching young people ballet gives the teacher the chance to pass on something that is very special to her – the love of dance – and gets to enjoy the opportunity of seeing how her creativity is interpreted by another dancer. Lastly the ballet teacher needs to make sure that each dancer is special and will be proud of their own accomplishment in the dance room as well as on the stage.

Encouragement and praise is always, first and foremost, and the most important part of the job….an opportunity to show how proud you are of your dancers.

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