Ballet Classes, Ballet Tips, Dance, Dancers Life, Students

Planning Classes #2

Follow a syllabus or your own path?

The first thing I think about when planning my classes is the syllabus I’m going to follow. Will I be proposing students to ballet exams this year? Wich grades? Because I’m a RAD registered teacher and, in my country, ballet exams are highly valorized, most of the time, I teach with that purpose. 

I don’t think that teachers should think of the syllabus as a way to reach an end. I think that they should think of it as an end for wich we need to find our way. So, each time I’m going to teach a particular grade, I study the syllabus and then I creat my own exercises to introduce it to my students. I plan carefull goals for each grade and exercise and work with my students step by step. This way, the approach to the syllabus would be simpler and easier for them. They have already learned the technique and, therefore, they can concentrate on other aspects of their dancing. 

On the other hand, if you don’t follow any syllabus in your ballet classes, don’t leave planning aside. It’s important for you and it’s important for your students. For you because it helps you to keep track of each class and the evolution of your dancers. And for them because, that way, they can understand the “whys” and “hows” of each step and their progressions. Their work will be much better :) 

Ballet Classes, Dance, Dancers Life

It made my day ❤️

Do you know that feeling when the least thing you want to do is to get up and go to classes? Do you also have some of THOSE days? Well, I do. Not very often, fortunately, but every once in a while. I don’t like those days and today was one of those. 

Then, in my first class of the day, a little girl (about 4 years old) approaches me and says she wants to give me a gift because is almost International Womans Day (!!). And she  hands me a flower with the brightest smile on her face 😀 

Well, if I could receive a flower everytime I feel down, the world would be a much better place. Thank you to my students for making me feel happy, even when I don’t feel like teaching!! ❤️

Ballet Classes, Ballet Tips, Dance, Dance Trivia, Dancers Life, Uncategorized

Planning Classes #1

Planning for your classes

There are several things that, as a ballet teacher, need careful planning. Of those many things, classes are the most important. How can we plan our classes? How SHOULD we plan our classes? And what if something goes wrong with our meticulous planning? 

I think planning is the most important thing in my job and also what makes me love it the most. In paying attention to every single detail in our planning we are telling our students how much we care for them, their work and their evolution as dancers. It’s as simple as that. 

I have a rule of my own that is: plan month by month and never plan to much ahead because, sometimes (most of the times, actually), something is going to happen that will need a new or a different approach. So, every class I jot down a few notes about how it went, how the students were feeling and how they are adapting to the exercises and technique required. Then, at the end of the month, I study what needs to be changed for the next one. I’m not saying that I change every exercise, every month. The students won’t beneficiate from that, since ballet is a discipline based on repetition. But, sometimes we think that one approach is the correct one for a particular step and, turns out, it’s not. 

My advice, pay attention to your class and your students and adapt your planning to their needs 🙂

Ballet Classes, Ballet Tips, Dance, Dancers Life

Organising your (ballet) life

As the new year smoothly takes place, we all begin to apply our resolutions or to adapt old ones. One of mine is “to keep everything organized. So, each year, I get a new planner and start to prepare my life. Each year I change something about the way I plan things and, mostly, about the way I plan my classes, shows and everything around my ballet life. I feel that I learn something different each passing year and I tend to get a better method each time 🙂
How about you? How do you feel about keeping everything organized in one place?


Birthday, Christmas, Dance, Dancers Life, Friends&Family

Giving and Receiving

Yesterday was my birthday! It was a really great day, with lots of love from my friends and family and some surprises from my students 🙂 i’m very blessed for having the life I have!

This cake was a surprise from my students at the kindergarden! You can see the teacher (that’s me) and the students dancing around…
But, today, among all the joy and happiness that I had, I received a letter that made me even happier…

This letter is from Associação de Apoio à Criança (which is an association that helps children in need) and it thanks me (my school, Escola de Dança de Papillon) and my students for our donation, telling us that we gave the children a better christmas 🙂 Our christmas show was to raise funds for this association and we made it!! Nothing makes me more happier and I think my students will also love this thank you note 🙂

I would like to leave here my personal thank you to my family and friends who really made my day with their love and care! (the beautifull picture was my father’s gift. He is a great photographer and that’s me in my last show. The drawing is from a great friend of mine)

Ballet Classes, Dance, Dancers Life

Nomad Ballet Life

How many of you teach ballet? And how many of you have to spend your week travelling to teach in other cities or villages? I counted it and I travel about 465 km per week! That’s a lot!! I could go almost to Algarve and sunbath for a while…
As from today I will be teaching at five (!!!) different schools and kindergardens. The big challenge for me is that I’m not in charge in every single one of this places. In three of these, I have to respond to an Artistic Director and she is the one making the decisions. Sometimes, in the same Grade, I’m different phases of the syllabus. Not that I can’t do it, it just takes an extra effort so I don’t mix everything. Two days a week I travel by train and it takes me more than one hour to get to my destination. In these days, I take my work with me and I spent the travelling time organizing and planning classes. I have a notebook that I carry with me every single day…
At the same time, this can also be good for me as a teacher, because I’m learning really valuable organizing skills that have been helping me a lot!
I think that I can only do it because I really love my work and that is a really good feeling 🙂