The Power of Choice

Every Wednesday and Friday night, I teach a class called 30/30. The class is split into two half-hour segments – 30 minutes of Ballet, 30 minutes of Tap. At the end of the hour, I announce that it’s time for “Miss Nadine’s favorite part of class.” Naturally, I announce this like a ringmaster at the circus. It’s quite exciting. My favorite part of class is “dancer’s choice.” The girls are allowed to pick their favorite tap step to do across the floor. I think it’s safe to say that this is their favorite part of class as well. Continue reading

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The Power of Imagination

In the past, I have often made the mistake of thinking that my students are too mature for fairy tales. I don’t know what could have influenced this assumption, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Kids love silliness.

Don’t underestimate the power of imagination.

“Walk like a princess” is one of my imaginationstudents’ favorite activities. Before beginning this exercise, I ask the girls to imagine they are princesses. This always results in a chorus of voices telling me what kind of princesses they want to be. I’ve heard everything from fairy to vampire queen. It doesn’t matter what kind of princess they choose, as long as they feel elegant. I then ask the girls what princesses wear. Continue reading

Say the steps, learn the steps

There are Little Ballerina Dance Recitalsome teachers who have the magic skill of making students understand dance steps with just a moment of explanation. Such is not the case for me. Often, I find myself demonstrating the same step for the millionth time to a sea of blank faces and still feet. This sometimes works with the visual learners. When the music starts, their faces remain blank and their motionless feet are replaced with the randomness of Mexican jumping beans. Continue reading