Friday, July 16, 2010

Ballet Week

Miss Olivia's Ballet was open for business this week with summer ballet camps. I hosted two camps at a local gym for girls ages 3-6. It was really fun, and I love being able to spend that kind of time with my oldest; she's happy being with friends and we're both happy dancing.
As I thought about telling my blogging friends about the camp, I realized that anyone could frugally recreate what I've been doing this week right in their own home. Why not have a ballet week of your own?
**To begin with (of course) go to your local library and check out a big stack of ballet books, or you could order a few from Amazon. Here are a few that we enjoyed this week at ballet camp (during our rest time):
Hen Lake won the "most entertaining" award from both groups of girls that I taught this week. A group of hens put together a ballet complete with ballet vocabulary like "bourree" and "fouette" to show a proud peacock that they too can be special.
Ballerina or My First Ballet Book would be a great way to introduce ballet terms and learn a few ballet steps.
My Ballet Class is also a great simple book (great for the younger crowd) with ballet terms blended into the story of a girl attending her ballet class.
Angelina Ballerina is always a favorite!
For the more serious ballerina, a book like the Language of Ballet: A Dictionary is a must.
To add in the visual arts side of ballet, check out this book:
Degas and the Little Dancer (the girls also gave this one high marks).

**Next up is coloring! Every day at ballet camp began with students trickling in. To avoid starting without someone and to avoid the chaos of having little excited girls wait for something, we began with ballet coloring sheets. We decorated the walls of our little room with these pictures. These were also great for naming the positions as a review.
**Then of course there is the dancing. Begin with stretching (maybe add in a few of these animal yoga positions; we did, and the girls loved them!) Then proceed (with the help of a glossary) to name and try a few ballet positions. I recommend starting with the positions of the feet and then moving on to plies (bends), sautes (jumps), and arabesques. Don't forget to gallop, march, and skip to music.
**Feel free to use songs such as this one by the Wiggles to have fun with dancing!
**The most important thing with ballet is to learn a little but to have a lot of fun. I recommend ballet for age 3 and up to teach body awareness, motor skills, following directions, and much more!
**Oh, and if you'd like to add a little extra punch to your ballet week, why not end with a trophy or medal to award your little ballerina!
Linked with Friday Finding BeautyFiner Things FridayTickled PinkFabulous Friday and Frugal Fridays and Fun Mom Friday over at Please Pass the Salt.
(And for those of you coming over from Frugal Friday: My goal with teaching ballet is to pay for my kids' school this fall. It's also wonderful that instead of paying for my oldest to take ballet, I'm making a little money by teaching her!)


  1. My nearly 3yo has been an on-and-off ballet dancer around our house all summer long. She cracks me up!

  2. That is a GREAT idea. Kudos to you for being creative with ways to earn money!

  3. Madeline has two left feet. Ha. I'm sure she would have loved it anyway!

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  5. I love ll the ways you incorporate the ballet into something other than just the dance aspect. I really would like my daughter to take ballet - she refuses, maybe if I get some of those books she'll find the interest!