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Geeky Ballerina curriculum FAQ 4

the Geeky Ballerina logo, a line drawing of a dancer in arabesque

Q: Why does the curriculum include only a few expectations to advance to the next level?

A: The expectations to advance are either a foundational step for the next level or show mastery of a foundational principle. Each level of ballet training covers a lot of vocabulary and it isn't realistic to expect students to be excellent at each one of them within the 9-12 months they spend in a level. If they can consistently execute the vocabulary listed in the expectations to advance it is a good indicator that advancing to the next level will be a positive challenge.

For example: one of the expectations to advance from Level 3 is clean assemblés--no flapping or over-crossing feet. When a student can do this, they are showing good awareness (intellectual understanding) of their center line and the control (physical understanding) required for aplomb. Without this, students will struggle to comprehend and perform the key principle in Level 4 (épaulement).

The expectations to advance are a great tool when you are evaluating new students or holding team auditions. Rather than try to fit in as many vocabulary as possible, you can focus on a few specific things and get a clear idea of the foundations the dancers are working with. They are also very valuable when you are having a difficult conversation with a parent or student about why they are not placed where they had hoped to be. "You are not ready" is less valuable feedback than "You are still working on alignment and core strength. One of the ways I can tell is your your body is not moving as one piece in your pirouettes from 5th. You still have improvements in your core strength and coordination that you need to work on." The bottom line is the same either way, but the second option gives the student needed information and the ability to affect change.

The expectations to advance in the Geeky Ballerina curriculum are another tool to help make your teaching simple to plan, clear to communicate, and effective.

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