Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Ballet Words of the Week

I am happy to report back with a review of the "Ballet Words of the Week" that I received from Dance Teacher Press in Dance Advantage's giveaway back in February.

We were more then mid-year through our classes when I won the Words of the Week booklet, Ballet Combination Book and Ballet Step by Step.  I brought all three tools into the studio for my teachers to use and I will say the one getting used the most is the Ballet "Words of the Week", probably because it was the easiest to integrate into our syllabus.

The Words of the Week is made out of calendar-sized sturdy cardstock and is spiral bound.  It fits nicely in a dance bag or it could be hung on a wall.  We keep ours on our studio bookshelf.  The colors are bright and not too girly, which was nice since I have a few boys at the studio.  It includes 50 terms, which cover basics to more advanced vocabulary.



I ended up using the word booklet once a month with my Ballet I class and they always looked forward to it.  This class is age 7-9 and it is their first year of ballet.  I would bring out the book after our stretching time.


The first time we used it, I showed the word and covered the definition. Students guessed what the term was.  If they couldn't get it, I would read the definition and give a few hints and then there would be more guessing.  It was a fun way to integrate the written ballet terminology and review the steps we had learned during the year.

The students looked forward to this part of class each successive time we used the cards.  I would go around the circle and show the first student the name on the card and they got a chance to guess.  The next student would have to do the step.  They seemed to think it was a game and would get excited whenever I brought the booklet to class.  My younger dancers (second graders) struggled more with sounding out the french terminology, but still enjoyed the activity.  They wanted to read all the words each time, but we have only covered basics, so it was put on the shelf until next time.

Some of the definitions were worded differently than how I had taught the movement in class.  It was a great opportunity to discuss with my students that there is not always "one right answer", and we also compared the definitions we knew to the ones on the booklet.

Overall, I definitely recommend the Words of the Week booklet - could you make ballet flashcards yourself?  Probably.  But for $22.95, I'd consider purchasing the pre-made booklet and you'll be ready to start the year with some new ideas!

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