The Adult Beginner received this comment/question yesterday, and thought, why not open this up to the universe?
Love your blog… I frittered away a whole afternoon at work (just kidding, boss!) reading all your posts. So… I’m not adult beginner, but I am going to be a beginning adult beginner teacher (does that even make sense). One of my friends has conned me into teaching a beginning ballet class for teens/adults at the local rec center. I’m excited, but scared because I’ve always been on the other side of the barre! So… as an esteemed adult beginner, do you have any suggestions? Keep in mind that this class is going to be mostly all non-ballet people, so I’m thinking no on the sink or swim method since there won’t really be any people to follow. Would love any thoughts you (or any of your fellow readers) may have. Keep up the awesome blog!
Ok, well first of all, Aw shucks, I’m flattered.
Second of all, I do have some thoughts!
Ok, if they are brand new to ballet, let them follow you. Like, mark the exercise, say the names of what your doing, tell them what the French words mean in English, and then go to the front of the barre and lead them.
Maybe when you work the second side you can call exercises out, and walk along re-positioning people, but don’t worry about them remembering the exercises on their own until they’ve been at it for a while.
My first few classes, the teacher would mark, say the words, then stand back and let us go for it and I’d just be like, oh crap, which leg do we start with?! What exercise are we doing?! Where am I?!?!
Like, there was just so much to think about that I couldn’t keep even a simple series of a barre exercise in my head, and I would cheat by craning my neck around and following the girl behind me, and sometimes get cold-busted.
Also, physically repositioning is really helpful, ’cause, you know, sometimes us beginners can’t quite feel if what we’re doing is correct, and sometimes we’re afraid to check in the mirrors.
And funny ballet imagery rocks!
Adults love a good metaphor!
And make ‘em sweat! Endorphins equals repeat business! Works on me!
Ok, Gentle Reader, you got opinions? Oh yeah you do!
Lay ‘em down!