This is the third and final trimester of the 2016-17 school year. Many of the students in this activity have participated in the previous trimester(s), but a few are new to the class.
Our class begins with stretches and isolation that we do sitting in a circle on the floor. (This includes things like “butterflies”, “Supergirl”, and sitting in a wide-legged second position stretch, so that our toes touch and create a “pizza” circle.) From here we move on to basic ballet positions and technique, reviewing the terminology, and counting repetitions, often in English, French and Spanish. Continuing students are asked to help our new friends learn what we do. They demonstrate how to make a “diamond” (plié), how our toes “kiss” our knees (passé), and how we dip our toes in the “water” (tendu and piqué).
We move across the floor, generally two-by-two with various steps and movements from chassé, to bourée, to skipping, and hopping (sauté), etc. (The children have fun executing different ways to chassé: regular, “horsie” chassé, and sideways chassé.) Our new favorite step has been the “’scuse-me” step, a fun way to remember how to move sideways in a step-together, step-together pattern.
As we will be performing for our families on June 7, much of the class time focuses on the dances we will be doing for the show. We practice on stage so the children become familiar with their entrances, exits, and formations. We are working on moving into a circle, traveling in the circle and then moving back to a line formation, as well as moving toward and away from the audience. In addition to choreography that is set, the children are encouraged to do a bit of freestyle, or “improv”, using the skills they are learning, or moves that they just have fun doing!