New Ballet Teacher Training Curriculum Announced
Though Anne Marie Kimmell and Katie Beliveau of Ashburn Academy of Dance have run a successful dance studio for seventeen years, they recently decided to share their knowledge with other teachers and studio owners by creating The Ballet Method, a ballet teacher training program.
After many years of being active in the dance world, Kimmell and Beliveau saw a growing need for enhanced teaching skills in ballet. They noticed that ballet was losing popularity among students because of the rigorous training that it takes to become a ballet dancer, as well as the technique being compromised at conventions and competitions for an entertainment value. Kimmell and Beliveau met while dancers at the University of Utah, where Kimmell says they were lucky to go through one of the most thorough teaching programs offered in the country at a university.
"We were specifically taught what to teach when and how to break each step down. We were taught what technique faults to look for as well as what needs to be mastered before progressing to the next step." Kimmell said. "Ballet is becoming a harder and harder 'sell' because of the time that it takes to make a ballet dancer. Today's students have everything at their fingertips and there is no easy button to press in ballet. It is a slow and thorough process and needs to be treated as such."
Right now, The Ballet Method offers 2½ day teacher training workshops held as regional events or as private workshops at individual studios. Created for studio owners and instructors, most of whom have extensive dance training and backgrounds, The Ballet Method teaches former dancers to become better teachers, implementing or strengthening age and skill appropriate ballet techniques at their studios.
The Ballet Method officially launched in August 2017 with a 2½ day training workshop at Shapes Dance in Carrollton, Missouri. Of the inaugural workshop, studio owner/director Tracey Wonzy said, "Getting our team certified through The Ballet Method has been a huge asset to our studio! This in depth curriculum is backed with years of research and experience from two of the most respected ballet teachers in the industry. Our foundation in our students has definitely improved and this certification has brought a standardized method to our studio with our ballet program. This program has been a valuable asset in our studio!"
Beliveau describes their style as Vaganova based, although a melting pot of all styles that are taught all over the United States. She believes this will expose dancers to the most common styles in the US, building a versatile repertoire that will serve them well in pre-professional and collegiate environments.
"We believe ballet is a beautiful tradition, worthy of modern-day respect and practice," she said. "Our goal is to pass down this tradition to instructors and their students. At a time when contemporary dance and TV- and video-driven influences get more attention than traditional attire, music and movement, The Ballet Method reinforces age-appropriate progression, a solid technical foundation, and the self-discipline that dancers need."
In addition to the workshops, The Ballet Method curriculum is divided into 4 modules: ages 2-6, 7-10, 11-13 and 14 and up. All of the modules are available for purchase through the website theballetmethod.com
"We're excited about this new opportunity to share our love of ballet with others," Kimmell added, "We've seen how quickly and confidently dance instructors can learn our ballet curriculum and use it for consistency and success at their studio!"
Upcoming regional events include workshops in Minneapolis, MN July 26-July 28, 2018; Phoenix, AZ July 31 - August 2, 2018; and Ashburn, VA September 7 - September 9, 2018. For registration details, visit www.theballetmethod.com.