Monday, May 7, 2012

Dance Imagery, Illustrated

Finally got around to posting this for the April Challenge - favorite Dance Imagery!

I was reading Moira's response to the challenge about Irish Dance imagery (or lack thereof) and realized that all of my imagery happens when I teach modern, jazz or ballet... not too much in tap class.  I am going to pay attention in the next few months and see if I can't come up with some tap imagery.

In the meantime, here are my favorite images, which all happen to be in ballet.  Probably because my youngest students are my ballet class and I try to use a lot of imagery to help concepts stay in their minds and bodies.  Enjoy... and please don't laugh too much at my drawing skillz :)

Balloons on the ears!
Balloons tied to your ears:  To keep necks long, and ankles, knees, hips and shoulders over toes in releve, I ask my students to pretend they have balloons tied to their ears to keep them lifted up.

Sticky Tendus
Sticky Tendus - I have written a post about these before, but the idea is that you have gum stuck to your shoe as you slide your foot open and close for tendu.  It encourages students to work through their feet, keeping the heel and ball of the foot on the floor as long as possible rather than just sloppily sliding feet in and out.

Pencil legs
Pencil Ronde de Jambes - We imagine our legs are pencils (sometimes colored pencils "what color is your pencil") with the point being the big toe.  Using our pencils, we slowly draw half circles for rond de jambes.  The pencil imagery helps them remember to keep their legs straight - "no broken pencils!" -, toe pointed - "sharp pointed pencils!" and on the floor the whole time.

What are some of your favorite dance "images" for teaching?


  1. Kasia KruczynskaMay 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    My name is
    Katarzyna Kruczynska and I am a master student at Uppsala University, Sweden, writing my
    dissertation from sociology. The topic of my thesis is :Why do dancers
    communicate? " and I am interested in the relation between nonverbal and verbal
    codes in dancing as well as the way in which the experience of dancing is
    transferred into the world of online blogs.
    I would like to ask you if it is possible to conduct a short interview
    with a few of the bloggers about the experience as a dancer and blogger. I
    understand that the actual meeting maybe difficult but what about an interview
    via email or skype?  I would love to be given a chance to hear about the experiences and I am
    sure your contribution would mean very much to the progress of my
    Of course any of the contact details would remain anonymous and would not
    be included in the text. I am also more than happy to send  the dissertation
    once it is finished.
    I'm looking forward to hearing from you
    Best regards
    Katarzyna Kruczynska

  2. Hi Kasia, I would be happy to help - I will send you an email.

  3. Imagery is awesome! I don't know what I would do without it. I love these drawings too! Did you draw them? I alway catch myself using food as imagery but my littles relate to it so well, it always seems to do the trick! :) 

  4. I tend to use food imagery for modern (flat like a pancake, dripping like syrup...). They do relate well! And yes, I did draw them - can't draw faces very well though!

  5. Love the drawings!!! 


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