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Sample Ballet Lessons for Virtual Learning


Teacher article


Dance Teachers

Here are some of my suggestions for online learning opportunities. Use these ideas to create lessons for your students that they can do at home, safely. Lessons can be catered toward the level of the student for each topic (below lessons geared toward middle and high school students).

-Differentiate the port de bras from the various schools/methods of classical ballet
-Clarify the 8 body positions in ballet that are common, and used in every ballet school.
-Create a lesson that requires the student to know the numbers for the corners and sides of a room
-Break down common transitional steps between movements in ballet
-Explore using articulation of the foot when “presenting the foot” with each step in ballet and provide exercises for the foot to compliment the lesson
-Have students breakdown a barre exercise and how it correlates to a specific center exercise and note why
-Perfect the Promenade by defining which muscles must engage to create the action; have students explore Promenade in a variety of positions
-Define anterior and posterior muscle groups and how each work with regard to flexion and extension
-Classify the weight distribution for a series of barre and center exercises and note similarities between steps that require the same weight distribution for execution
-Work on balance through controlled stationary exercises. Note which muscles must engage to execute the balance
-Define through abdominal work how the work of the extremities is initiated from the core; explore the layers of abdominal muscles
-Define where your center of gravity is anatomically. Create a lesson that explores placement of the center of gravity

These are just a few ideas for lessons I have created for my students. Feel free to add your own ideas to share in the comments. I have also compiled a list for Modern. See those, below

-Understanding the “head, tail connection”; create exercises on the floor and standing that establish the connection between the head and tail
-Understanding release and rebound and how weight plays a part to create a swing. Explore swings of the arms, body/torso, legs. Both standing and traveling
-Describe how the articulation of the spine plays a part in rolling down and coming back up; do various movements on the floor and standing that require articulation of the spine. Learn how many vertebrae are in the spinal column as well as the parts of the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, coccyx) and explore which parts of the spine have the most/least ability to move.
-Explore over curves and under curves and be able to differentiate between the two through movement patterns.
-Use nature as your stage and find inspiration in the outdoors for a short improvisation
-Explore various body parts to initiate movement sequences.
-Choose one of the modern pioneers as your inspiration and learn what concept they created in modern dance. Explore that in your own body (ie Graham contraction, Duncan’s natural movement, Humphrey fall and recovery etc)
-Challenge yourself to create sequences that are not in 3/4, 4/4 or 6/8 time. create short movement sequences in 5s and 7s
-Explore different qualities of movement
-Play with shift of weight. Standing, on the floor and traveling
-Create movement sequences using the Movement Alphabet created by Ann Hutchinson Guest in the Language of Dance


Laura Ward-Moran

Laura Ward-Moran

LAURA WARD-MORAN is the owner of Harford Premier Pilates, LLC and the director of the John Carroll School College Preparatory Dance Program and the John Carroll Ballet Academy. A dancer, choreographer, Pilates Instructor, and educator, she earned her BA in Dance Education from Goucher College in 1999. With 20+ years teaching experience, she has taught for many schools throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania as faculty and guest artist. Her involvement with dance education goes beyond the classroom, as she has been invited as a consultant to write dance curriculum as well as has implement dance programs in public and private high schools; most recently she implemented the College Preparatory Dance Program at the John Carroll School. Mrs. Ward-Moran received her certification as an Authentic Pilates Instructor in New York, NY, in 2001, and is a level V+ certified authentic Pilates instructor through Romana’s Pilates, New York, NY. For six years she had the pleasure of teaching Pilates in the Dance Department at Goucher College, and she became the Assistant Director of the Pilates Center, prior to opening her own Pilates studio in Harford County in 2005. In addition, she also spent a valuable summer in Dallas, Texas at Southern Methodist University where she obtained her Fundamentals Certificate in the Language of Dance (Motif), as developed by Ann Hutchinson Guest, and she enjoyed studying closely with LOD instructor, Tina Curran. In 2018, Mrs. Ward-Moran received her certification in Progressing Ballet Technique, a fitness program to help dancers achieve their technical goals. Her work in Harford County has been extensive. In July 2001, she opened The Maryland School of Ballet and Modern Dance, Inc. where for 15 years she successfully built and grew a dance program for children and adults producing 29 original ballets and modern dance concerts through her school and company, The Maryland Dance Project. In 2016 she successfully executed the sale of her school. Now, as a guest instructor, she continues to teach dance and Pilates, as well as choreograph throughout the region. Mrs. Ward-Moran has contributed to her community as a panelist, guest speaker, volunteer and columnist with regard to dance, education, and business. Most recently, she was appointed to serve as a board member for the Harford County Cultural Arts Advisory Board. Prior, she was interviewed by Lisa Okuhn, for an article in Dance Studio Life Magazine about the importance of Mission Statements. She is a member of the NDEO, the Maryland Dance Council, and the sponsor for the JCS NHSDA Chapter. Contact info: Mrs. Laura Ward-Moran College Preparatory Dance Program, Director Ballet Academy, Director

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