Thursday, January 24, 2013


I teach a creative ballet class at several early education schools.  I only see them for 30 minutes each week, and so learning, practicing and retaining any 'formal' ballet vocabulary can be challenging.  So the other day I came up with the idea of a movement wave.

Monday, January 7, 2013


I am a terrible blogger, I'll admit to that.  I certainly have alot more to say in person than I do on this type of format.  But, this year, I will try my best to be consistent in adding weekly posts. 

2013 is going to be a busy year in my household.  Both my husband and I are starting our Masters Programs.  I am excited about the prospect of having a study partner, although we are on two very different academic pathways.  I am also realistic about the commitment that these programs are going to require.  We have three kids, two dogs, he works fulltime and I run a business.  With no family around us, it can be challenging to juggle family life, work, school and play!!

2012 turned out to be a great year for DanceWorld.  We picked up several more clients, and had opportunities to teach in various settings, from public schools to preschools.  There are so many challenges I face when teaching in different school spaces.  Some spaces are really small, and some are reall big.  The one space that I find most challenging is the smallest space of them all.  It happens to be the throughfare between 3 classrooms and the bathrooms.  It is also the kitchen and the space that houses the lizards, frogs and fish!  I teach 6 classes in this space, each class with 10 children. Sometimes it can be chaos.  If one student goes to the bathroom, they all want to go!  One minute we are in the process of learning and leaping, and suddenly all the toddlers are halfway into the bathroom!  This can make for a very long process of trying to gain control and have some kind of lesson.  Any helpful advice on how to deal with this space?

I have a feeling that this year is going to be a busy, challenging  and yet exciting year.  I hope your year holds many wonderful adventures and growth opportunities, both in your personal and professional lives.


Thursday, August 30, 2012


Here is an essay I wrote for my Master's application.  It is in response to a statement that culture affects art.

Dance as art reflects and affects society (Banes 1994, 43).  As society's philosophical view changes, so does the aesthetic form in dance (Banes 1994, 44).  Indeed recent practices in ballet disrupt the classical body and push the boundaries of the philosophical heritage associated with ballet, challenging the ideals surrounding classicism (Parsons 2011, 2).  In an article for the New York Times, dance critic Alistair Macaulay comments on the impact of costuming (or lack thereof) on aesthetic changes in dance. 

When tights are removed from ballet, the art itself is changed…The look of the bare leg drastically changes the entire aesthetics of the form. Muscular details of thigh, knee, calf become suddenly distracting. The leg becomes real, the arabesque not.

Macaulay 2012, online

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I have always believed that dance education and dance as an interdiscplinary subject is undervalued and neglected in our society.  Recent readings not only support this belief further, but lay a case for the importance of movement and dance in education. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Chinese New Year offers a wonderful opportunity to incorporate some form of dance education into almost every socio-cultural school subject and creative dance class.  As I prepare for tomorrow's kindergarten creative dance class, I realize just how many areas of discovery this topic can cover.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


In my recent workshops with kindergartners I have explored 'academic' subjects through movement experiences (active learning).  The lessons are 40 minutes long, and I see them once a week.  I am amazed at how quickly they learn new concepts through movements.  We have explored the water / weather cycle and the food chain.   They can recall the lesson, the terminologies and concepts learnt, and relate the ideas back to me, verbally and through movement.  I wonder whether they would be as competent to recall these modules, had the been sitting at a desk for 40 minutes (passive learning). 

Movement experiences are very limited in the traditional learning environment.  Why?  Sir Ken Robinson, well-renowned educator and creativity expert links this idea of learning in public education to industrialisation.  In this anime adapted from one of his lectures, he goes on to argue why the public education system should change.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Plié Exercise for Intermediate Ballet Class (3/4 music)

 1 count = 1 bar
2nd position starting position
Working leg - Right

1-4       Head roll (down, left, back, right)
5-8       Cambré sideways towards barre
1-4       Recover
5-8       D/Plié, rise to d/pointe, straighten legs, lower heels [arm in 2nd]

1-8       2 Grand Pliés in 1st [with 1st port de bras]
1-4       Cambré forward, recover
5-8       Cambré backward, recover

1-4       Head roll (down, left, back, right)
5-8       Cambré sideways towards barre
1-4       Recover
5-8       D/plié, rise to d/pointe, straighten legs, lower heels [arm in 2nd]

1-8       2 Grande pliés in 4th
1-4       Cambré forward while in a deep lunge (fondu R, pointe tendu L) and recover to L
             tendu derriere
5-8       Parallel lunge, front leg bent, straight back leg calf stretch

Notes:  Ensure the exercise is performed in a slow, controlled manner.  Remind students that it is a warm-up and they need to ‘fill’ the music with the movement.