Tuesday, May 26, 2009


In 1987 we had a guest teacher from Montreal who came to Indiana University to teach during the summer.  Her name was Kathryn Biever.  These are some of the notes I took related to the corrections she gave during class.

  1. Keep your back forward and shoulders pressed down.
  2. Don't let your chin jut forward in arabesque.
  3. Tendu: begin with heel front and toes to back for tendu front.
  4. Port de bras forward: keep equal weight on both feet in 5th position, be careful not to stand only on back foot.
  5. Pirouettes en dehors: arm in front doesn't go side before turning, especially en suite pirouettes.
  6. Keep toes pointed strong a la seconde (rond de jambe en l'air and thru 2nd in grand rond de jambe en l'air.
  7. Keep tendu in any direction extending beyond its limit.
  8. Developpe ecarte: don't lean body toward leg that is up; lean slightly away so it can be a higher extension.
  9. Pirouettes: stronger spot, especially for the second turn in a double pirouette.  Keep supporting knee tight and really feel working foot attached at knee during the turn.  Pirouettes en dedans, spot front both turns.
  10. Lengthen back and tuck under lower back.
  11. Grand battement en avant (to the front): don't collapse stomach or shoulders, keep lifted during ascent and don't contract.
  12. Attitude derriere: keep upper thigh lifted
  13. Pirouettes en pointe: go to leg, don't snatch foot under.  Keep turn out for pirouettes en dehors.
  14. For triple pirouettes, think 1, 1, 2 instead of 1, 2, 3.  
  • Don't hop after second turn
  • Keep back turning and arms in front (not twisted)
  • Spot all 3 turns strongly
  • Push instep hard into floor but feel lifter higher in retire

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Frappe 2/4

Rond de Jambe 3/4

Rond de Jambe 3/4

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Teaching Analysis

These are some notes I took in one of my ballet class combination logs. Sometimes I would write down corrections a teacher gave me that made a particular impact or really hit home, and sometimes I would write random thoughts about dancing and teaching.
  • We gravitate toward certain teachers and techniques
  • We learn by imitation
  • Teachers can't help but teach style; all are people with different personalities
And here are some notes I made that enabled me to visualize my body making movements without an effort.
  • Think of the bones, and the muscles will automatically work
  • Pelvis is the center--the largest complex of muscles are there
Today I'm not sure exactly what to make of this last question I posed in my notes, but it sounds good so I'll include it.

Training for ballet is different from the art--do you work within your own range or do you distort it by striving for perfection?