How to Teach Preschool Ballet:
A Guidebook for Teachers
“This is a must-have book for anyone who works with preschoolers in any capacity”
Teaching preschool dance is an art – and that art can to be learned! Most dance teachers do not go to school to learn how to teach dance and therefore must learn through their own training.
This book will take the fear out of the beginning teacher and will replace that with fun! You will learn how to effectively prepare and run a preschool ballet class from start to finish. This includes:
- how to construct your curriculum,
- how to keep your students interested in your class,
- how to teach steps and choreography and most of all –
- how to have a great time with your students!
Learn tricks to keep your students listening, behaving and staying safe. Even the pro teacher will learn new ideas to improve their teaching. We all need to be the best teacher we can by learning and growing!
Remember those who can, Teach!
Creative Movement Games for Preschool Ballet: Incorporating Props
Props are wonderful to incorporate into a preschool ballet class! In this booklet I am going to give you the understanding of how beneficial props are to your students, how they are beneficial in helping you run your classes, how to use them safely, and many creative activities incorporating props.
If you are nervous about using props or simply are new to teaching, this booklet will hopefully help you feel more comfortable when you are teaching. That way you will not fear props but see them as a useful tool in adding creativity, improving motor skills and brain boosting to your classes!
If you are already comfortable using props in your classes, great! You may still find some useful tips and many fun games at the back of the booklet for you to expand your classes! Read and enjoy!
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Welcome to my Wish Upon a Ballet™ book series for preschool ballet! Do you know a little one who loves to dance? My books are meant to introduce popular ballet stories and inspire young dancers to combine those stories with dance!
Whether you have a dancer at home or are a teacher with a class full of excited students. Enjoy these books to help jump start creativity and imagination! Let your little one’s ballet journey begin!
The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen and published in 1844. To this day it is one of his mostly highly acclaimed stories.
It is not until recently that this story has been introduced to the ballet world. The first full-length ballet production of The Snow Queen was presented by the California Contemporary Ballet in December 1998. It was choreographed by Aerin Holt with an original score by Randall Michael Tobin. Since then, other ballet companies such as the English National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet and Eugene Ballet in Oregon have all had their own successful productions.
I love to use this story in my preschool Wish Upon a Ballet™ classes! The Snow Queen character is very popular and lends itself to so much creativity and imagination. Students love to use their magic powers and build ice castles!
Thank you for reading this story! I hope you are now inspired to bring your amazing, snowy ideas to life!
Carnival of the Animals
Carnival of the Animals is a musical suite which was written by Camille Saint Saëns in 1886. Saint Saëns wrote the suite for amusement and never wanted it performed in public or published during his lifetime. As a serious composer he thought this piece might interfere with his reputation. To this day Carnival of the Animals is one of Saint Saëns best-known works.
In 2003 Carnival of the Animals was produced by the The New York City Ballet with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon and narration by John Lithgow. The production included almost 50 dancers.
Carnival of the Animals, the ballet has also been produced all over the globe with many other professional ballet companies and ballet schools each with their own creative exploration using this entertaining suite.
The Nutcracker is one of the most popular ballets of all time and the most beloved Christmas ballet in America. It is a tradition for many ballet schools and professional companies to produce The Nutcracker every December.
The libretto for the ballet was based on E.T.A Hoffman’s version of the story with music composed by Peter Tchaikovsky. The first staging was in 1892 at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. Originally it was commissioned to be choreographed by Marius Petipa. However Petipa became ill during the project and the choreography was completed by his assistant, Lev Ivanov.
This first production received some criticism and was considered unsuccessful. It wasn’t until George Balanchine revived it however in 1954 that it became the popular ballet we know today. His production for the New York City Ballet is what started the Christmas tradition that continues to this day.
Children love this story especially if they love ballet! I remember the first time I saw a production of The Nutcracker when I was five years old. The memory of the beautiful dancing is still so clear in my mind.
Enjoy this story with your little one and hopefully you will start your own tradition dancing in the Lands of Sweets! There are so many fun characters to explore and act out through dance!
Many versions of Cinderella have been told and retold for hundreds of years by many different cultures and storytellers. The story of a poor young woman or man that rises above it all to reach their dreams is a popular theme. Some stories have fairy godmothers who help the main character realize their dreams while some have talking animals. Some have one ball while others have three. However the themes always remain the same.
Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella is the most well-known version of the ballet today and one of the composer’s most popular works. It was originally choreographed by Rostislav Zakharov with Galina Ulanova starring in the title role at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1945. Since then many choreographers have set beautiful movement to this melodious music.
In this version of Cinderella we combined the familiar elements of this story and the story in the ballet with our own personal additions.
Dance around with your little one at the ball or pretend to ride in a fancy golden carriage through the forest. However when the fun is all done be sure to arrive home before the clock strikes midnight!
The Sleeping Beauty
The Sleeping Beauty is one of the classical repertoire’s most famous ballets. The libretto, written by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, was originally based on Charles Perrault’s The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. In the final version, Vsevolozhsky decided to include other characters from Perrault’s stories and also elements from The Brothers Grimm story, Little Briar Rose. The music was a collaboration between composer Peter Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa. Petipa had a clear vision for how the music should be written and the two worked very closely together throughout the process.
The first performance of The Sleeping Beauty took place at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1890. With influences from the french, many scenes resemble the court ballets in Louis the XIV’s time, including the patterns of the corps de ballet, the intricate solos and pas de deux work. After this performance it was clear to audience members that this production was a masterpiece.
We created a version of this story that is a bit softer than other version so that it is appropriate for all ages! I love to take my students on a journey when I use this story in my classes. Sometimes we are kings and queens and other times we play hide and seek with Princess Aurora and her animal friends in the forest. What will you pretend on your journey!
TSwan Lake is one of my favorite ballets which is why I love to include it in my preschool ballet curriculum. However there are not many preschool friendly books available of this story. An interesting fact is no one is even sure of the story’s true origin. This is why I decided to write my own version and include the elements that I love to use in my classes.
Swan Lake was Peter Tchaikovsky’s first ballet score. Up until this point ballet scores were merely there to service the dancing. However this score by Tchaikovsky changed all that. Even though it was his first ballet. It was not only danceable but it was inspirational to listen to.
The score was first produced in 1877 and choreographed by Julius Reisinger for Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet. This first attempt was not received well. Some believe that it was just ahead of its time because it had a more elaborate score. It wasn’t until 1895 when Marius Petipa staged a production, with assistance from Lev Ivanov, for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg that it achieved its fame. This production was a tribute to Tchaikovsky who had just past away the year before.
Pierina Legnani, who became famous for being the first dancer to perform 32 fouettés in Cinderella in 1893, again performed her famous 32 turns in the 1895 production of Swan Lake. These 32 fouettés are still choreographed in many productions of Swan Lake today! Let’s all dance and spin around together!