For children ages 5 to 8, start the class with moving steps, before they stand still for demi-plié or tendu. Suitable steps would be gallops, runs on a high demi-pointe, and what I call “picked-up runs,” which are running movements in which the raised knee bends and the foot is lifted behind the body.
It is important for young children to practice the head movement, and to spot, before starting to learn pirouettes. Here is a useful way to achieve this:
To get the correct placement of the fingers, place a pencil under the dancer’s first (pointer) and ring fingers so that it passes over the middle finger. Make holding the pencil without dropping it a game.
To explain turnout of the leg raised in front: The dancer sits on the floor with legs extended in front, parallel to each other. The hands are on the floor, slightly behind the line of the shoulders.