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  Monday, October 30, 2017

ASA Creative Movement/Pre-ballet

By Ariel Arsac-Ellison

Wednesday class begin with stretches and isolations sitting in a circle on the floor.  (This includes positions like “butterflies”, “Supergirl”, and sitting in a wide-legged second position stretch, so that toes touch, creating a closed circle.)  This activity allows the young group to settle and focus, and to enjoy using their imagination.  They have come to especially enjoy laying on their tummies with arms and legs held off the floor, “flying” like “Supergirl”.

From here we move on to basic ballet positions and technique, reviewing the terminology, and counting repetitions, often in English, French and Spanish.  Students 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).

Next 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 chasse: classic, “horsie” chassé, and sideways chassé.  Each of the dancers is given a chance to be a line leader, and I am happy to say that they have progressively become more patient while waiting for their turn, and look forward to their chance to lead.

We also work on combinations and choreography that will lead to their performance in December, and the final few minutes of class are spent sharing what we have learned that day.  Each dancer has her opportunity to choose something to demonstrate to the group.  At the conclusion of class, students receive a sticker for their successful participation and good, respectful behavior toward me and each other.

The children have settled nicely into the flow and routine of the class.  It  is good to see that a couple of the children who were a bit shy and somewhat reluctant dancers in the first week or two, have come out of their shells, and participate fully with the class, confident to share/demonstrate more openly, and to take their turns as a line leader.