Teaching Classical Ballet (Hardcover)
From his experience of 40 years in ballet as a student, performer, ballet master, and dedicated teacher, John White offers this work of inspiration and step-by-step instruction on the art and craft of teaching classical dance.
Stressing excellence in both the creative and the practical aspects of teaching, White discusses what it means to be a "master teacher"-someone with both a deep love for dance and an appreciation for the grandeur of the human spirit.
Good art is usually uncomplicated, he says. Illustrating with 97 photographs, he presents a method of study that includes such aspects of teaching as constructive warm-up exercises, when to begin pointe shoes, the beneficial aspects of pain, and appropriate music for the classroom, as well as elements of the basic lesson. He discusses how to recognize talent and to refine and develop it. He offers guidelines for establishing and organizing a well-run studio. And he presents his personal insights into the art of classical ballet pedagogy-shaped in particular by his study with ballet masters from the Kirov and Bolshoi ballet companies and by concepts from the famous Vaganova Choreographic School in St. Petersburg.
In this book, White also argues that poor training often brings about the loss of talented students and the premature forced retirement of professional artists from unnecessary injuries. By contrast, White says, good teaching can be an exhilarating challenge and a profound joy.