Classical ballet curriculums include:
A Pilâtes derived exercise is introduced in each classical ballet level to strengthen ‘Core’ and legs.
Basic flexibility exercises are a part of the curriculum to encourage 'safe' limber practices. NB Flexibility exercises are examined too - not for actual extension achieved but rather for the correct execution of them. It is expected teachers will add extra flexibility exercises to these in class.
Flexibility has 3 functions
1. Aids the freedom of movement and allows the dancer to make the beautiful shapes of the body required in dancing.
2. To the lengthening of muscles as they increase in strength rather than build short “bulky” muscles.
3. Assists re-composing the body after a strenuous work out which in itself helps avoid injury.
The four curriculums:
Did you know there are 7 different Movement Components a child needs to develop physically in every area?
Beth Bluett, founder of Living Dance, studied ‘MOVEMENT AND THE YOUNG CHILD’ at The University of Southern Queensland. The course was to enable teachers to develop a comprehensive movement program of gross motor and fine motor skills designed to covered all areas of physical development, the composite of these seven areas would give the young child (2-5yrs) every movement type to aid development of:
2. MUSCLE TONE
5. HAND-EYE COORDINATION
6. BODY AWARENESS
All which aid neural pathway development. The outcome would be to prepare a child for participation (and achievement) in dance or sport by the age of 6 years.
Beth devised a way to put these seven movement types into dance form and added:
9. SAFE FLEXIBILITY
10. DANCE STORIES (MIME)
Ascending levels of complexity were devised for each category.
PRE DANCE 1 has three levels of the ten skills. PRE DANCE 2 has three tiers or levels also.
One level for each of the first three terms of each year.
Each step in a category builds on the skill learnt in the previous level. This enabled children to progress from level to level with a sense of achievement and joy of being able to master the movement!
The idea is not to aim for perfection but to give the child exposure to each skill type. Parents watching Pre Dance through viewing windows or at Open Days are often astounded at what their child can do! Some parents we encouraged NOT to drill their child at home to perfect a skill!
Also added are:
From 3 years of age children are mostly ready to socialise.
Listening games - to aid future learning. Nothing much progresses until the child learns to listen to the teacher!! Term one really focuses on this!
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Games show how to work as a group.
Develops a sense of what is ‘fair’!
Each child is expected to (ahem!.. is learning to) respect others. “No Emma, Natalie doesn’t want you to pull her hair ribbon!”
Mimes develop use of the imagination and expression. Story telling is recognized as important in all cultures. We learn in pictures and it’s how we ‘learn’ our culture!
Successfully implementing of Pre Dance can become a microcosm of a mini ‘functional’ society.
Props, such as tambourines, bells, skipping rope, mats, sea shells, steamers, dress up costumes and more, are used to great effect and enjoyment. Often parents report that their child asks every day ‘Is it ballet?’ or ‘How many sleeps 'til ballet?’ [A great way to have children start at YOUR dance school!]
Pre Dance has proven VERY EFFECTIVE for boys and girls!
Living Dance International has permission to use children's classic music - Psalty ‘Kids Praise’ by Ernie Rettino. Original Psalty CDs are supplied with every music pack of materials a teachers receives.
By term 4 a teacher has a list of steps children can do to choreograph a short dance. TEACHERS LEARN PRE DANCE at conclusion of DAY 1 & 2 of JUNIOR BALLET SEMINAR.
PRE DANCE 1: 3 & 4 yr olds
PRE DANCE 2: 4 & 5 yr olds