It's that time of year once again. Time to go back to school!
While this transition might be a little hard hitting, there are still plenty of opportunities for fun on the weekends!
For this month's issue, we thought it would be fun to talk about what back to school is like for ballerinas in different training programs!
The Russian School
The Russian School is though to be the most strict of all schools, with a highly selective admissions process.
A Typical Day At The Vaganova Academy
9:30–11:00 am: ballet technique
11:00 am–1:00 pm: academic subjects
1:00 pm: lunch
2:00 pm: character dance or dance history
4:00 pm: academic subjects
5:00 pm: rehearsal
The Balanchine School
The Balanchine School is very famous because that is the school of the New York City Ballet. George Balanchine graduated from the Vaganova School in Russia and came to the United States to form his own technique. He was known for his abstract ballets and breaking of the typical ballet 'lines'.
Watch soloist Lauren Lovette explain this concept here!
RAD: Royal Academy of Dance
RAD or Royal Academy of Dance was developed in England and has since made its way around the world.
This technique is extremely codified and specific, containing manuals and certifications for educators.
Several dance schools in the United States teach RAD technique as it is typically the most commonly used method.
Cecchetti Training Program
The Cecchetti Program is rather interesting. It is taught at several schools around the world that have the right certifications. Here are some details:
-Each day of the week has its pre set class so every Monday the class is the same and so on
-There are levels and exams (just like in your school!)
-The corners and walls of the room all have numbers
The French School
The French School is perhaps the oldest of all the schools. Developed under Louis XIV in 1713, this school now houses the training program of The Paris Opera Ballet.
The French school captures and preserves the essence of the 'Romantic Period' of ballet.
Jack Cole, another student from the Denishawn School, is said to be the father of Jazz Dance. He took his education and created a style of movement that emphasized body isolation, grounded stance and difference between quick sharp movement and slow elongated movement. Watch some of his work here!
After Jack Cole's style was popularized, Broadway took off and curated its own form of Jazz seen in several different musicals such as A Chorus Line , West Side Story, and Newsies
Jazz Dance still continues to grow and evolve with current trends. It is an exciting style of dance to learn and train in given the variety and possibilities that it offers!
Isadora Duncan is said to be the 'mother' of Modern dance. She danced barefoot and wore simple tunics. Her movements were sweepy and fluid. Watch a video of one of her dances here!
Two of the most famous Modern Dance choreographers to come out of the Denishawn School were Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey. Although they were not particular rivals, their approach and interpretation to modern dance were polar opposites.
Martha Graham's movement and dances were inspired by the deep psyche and tended to be more sharp and direct.
Doris Humphrey's dances were more superficially driven and her movement was soft and gentle.
These choreographers found their voice by discovering their own personal movement technique and style. This trend continues today into contemporary modern!
Why Break Away From Ballet?
Come the early 1900's, several budding artists wished to create dance that shed the superfluous qualities that ballet came with. These artists wished to present dance in a more 'raw' format void of stories and characters, as well as create a physical form of expressing more grounded and heavy emotional qualities through movement.
Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn were soon to follow Isadora Duncan's ideas. Together they started the Denishawn School, a training academy that incubated several up and coming Modern dancers. St. Denis was interested in oriental styles of movement and music. Watch one of her dances here!
Our Flavors of Dance Camp is in full swing and we have lots to share with you!
Our sous-chefs are focused on the task at hand!
Voila! Today we made Time Step Trail Mix combining ingredients that make NOISE just like our tap shoes
Now we want to share with you an actual recipe from the Music House Cookbook- our campers made this recipe after learning all about the history and technique of Ballet!
FLAVORS OF DANCE
‘After the Ballet’ pastry
It’s midnight in Paris and the Ballet just ended. You leave the theatre and smell the sweet smell of baked treats. What is your favorite bakery treat?
Unfold the defrosted (but still refrigerator cold) puff pastry sheet on a piece of parchment paper
Roll out the puff pastry sheet in both directions to create a slightly flatter and even surface
Evenly cover the surface of the puff pastry with the jam
Fold the long sides of the puff pastry towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half.
Put the folded puff pastry in the freezer for 30 minutes to allow the butter to harden before cutting
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C)
Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices, this should yield approx. 25 hearts
Bake for 15-20 minutes. The hearts are done baking when they're golden and will continue to harden as they cool
A Ballerina’s Story: from first tendus to pointe shoes!
Do you ever watch beautiful ballerinas twirl and leap in their pointe shoes and wonder how they do it? Do you one day dream of dancing en pointe? Believe it or not, all of those professional ballerinas started out in taking classes just like you! This edition of beyond the studio will walk you through the progression of ballet training, giving you an inside scoop on what it takes to make it to the big leagues!
Part 1: Learning the Basics
This is the time period where students learn ballet vocabulary, proper alignment, and how a ballet class is structured. This phase can take up to three years, as there is lots to learn. Learning ballet is like learning a new language!
Part 2: Patterns and Strengthening
Once ballet students have all the basics down, they focus on applying the steps that they have learned to longer sequences, working on transitions and expression. This is also the time that they begin to focus on strengthening the ankles and legs so that they are strong enough for pointe work.
Part 3: Intro to Pointe
Your first pair of pointe shoes is an exciting accomplishment, but there is lots of work ahead. Once you put your pointe shoes on, more strengthening and understanding of how to get on and off pointe is the focus. Students continue to take classes in their soft shoes to maintain their current training.
Part 5: Advanced Training
During this time students begin to seek out professional trainee programs, intensives and classes to take in order to network and career build. There are programs all over the world that accept these dancers and sometimes even offer company positions! Excelling in ballet takes many years of hard work, but if it is your passion, then it is all worth it!
Part 4: Variations and Dedications
As students progress en pointe, they begin to learn short dances from classical ballets also known as variations. This allows them to combine their technique from regular class with their pointe training. This is also when training becomes more serious and dancers are asked to commit more time to developing