What’s up in the dance community
After nearly 20 years of running the Virginia-based Ashburn Academy of Dance, Anne Marie Kimmell and Katie Beliveau determined that ballet is a hard sell for today’s kids. So based on ballet teacher training they received at the University of Utah, the pair created and trademarked The Ballet Method, a program designed to help instructors teach age- and skill-appropriate ballet technique with greater skill and confidence—while also getting kids excited about ballet.
“Kids nowadays want immediate gratification, and ballet is definitely not a quick learning process,” Beliveau told Dance Studio Life. “Teachers need to make it exciting enough that kids don’t think it’s boring.”
The Ballet Method is a Vaganova-based curriculum that incorporates French, Cecchetti, and Royal Academy of Dance styles. It’s divided into four modules by age, and covers “what to teach, how to teach it, and at what tempo,” Kimmell said. It also focuses on presentation. “You don’t have to be a dry ballet teacher,” Beliveau added. “It’s teaching the teachers how to put out their energy, use their voices, and ask students a lot of questions.”
The curriculum is available for purchase on The Ballet Method website; Kimmell and Beliveau will also teach The Ballet Method workshops in Minneapolis, July 26 to 28; Phoenix, July 31 to August 2; and Ashburn, Virginia, September 7 to 9. For details, see theballetmethod.com.