How many little ballerinas do you have in your life? With four daughters and two granddaughters, it seems like I’ve always had someone in the house who was passionate about being a princess AND becoming a ballerina. At a certain age, each of the girls lived in pink or purple and had to wear dresses or skirts that would “spin”, so there dance moves would be even more beautiful. I think that’s sort of every little girl’s idea of what dance is, when they are young. I have been treated to hours of grand performances and elaborately choreographed “shows”, over the years, where little girls mimicked dance steps they had seen on television or in plays and imagined themselves as beautiful, and as accomplished, as the dancers they copied.
When our older girls were young, dance lessons were simply not in the budget, but our youngest enjoyed dance for several years, during elementary grades, and our oldest granddaughter is taking dance lessons, now. We also have a five-year-old granddaughter who has the same ballerina aspirations and will be ready for dance class at the beginning of next school year. So you can see, dance is sort of a big deal at our house.
After watching our daughter and granddaughters in dance class and recitals, I am a firm believer in its benefits; including motor skills and balance, exercise and discipline, plus the unadulterated joy they exude when they are doing it. The problem is that when I was growing up, formal dance training was not even on our radar. My deficiency in personal knowledge of the technical aspects of dance (and, possibly, a slight lack of gracefulness – lol) make it difficult for me to be of any help when it comes to practicing and fine-tuning the dance steps the girls are learning. I didn’t understand the terms they used and could not help them to duplicate the steps they had been learning in class.
That’s why I am so excited about Janet Jerger’s, Ballet: Step by Step products! There are three wonderful items in the series: a coloring book, an illustrated children’s book and flashcards. They were the tools that took me from being a dance “dunce” to being able to understand and pronounce the terminology, as well as showing the girls the steps that each word commands. The book moves from beginner positions to center work, arabesques and body facings for advanced dancers. I am finally able to help our “ballerinas” practice, at home, so that they develop greater skill than they would only dancing once or twice a week in class and so they can more easily recall what their dance instructor has taught them. Ballet: Step by Step is the tool that busy moms (and dads) need, in order to give them the confidence to guide and help their kids with ballet.
The illustrated children’s book is as much for mom and dad as it is for the student. It contains Ballet Etiquette, instructions for hand and turnout positions and ballet basics in the first few pages. After that, each page (The book has 59 pages!) is devoted to illustrating and describing a single ballet position or step. The name of the step, as well as a carefully written pronunciation, spans the top of each page. The illustration in the center is of a dancer performing the step and the bottom of the page is a detailed description of how to perform it. It is well-written and easy to understand, even for the layperson. I REALLY appreciated that!
The coloring book is really an extension of the information in Ballet: Step by Step. The black-line illustrations are large and show positions or steps. This will be a great way to reinforce what’s being learned for younger dancers and I could see them becoming “posters” in a dancing “tweens” room. Our granddaughters have loved being able to let their creative imaginations go when coloring and I see them “teaching” each other the steps that they have observed in the process.
I found the flashcards to be particularly helpful. They cover the same foot positions and steps as the book, are beautifully illustrated and have pronunciations and a descriptive reminder of how to coordinate each step or position. The cards are 10.5″ by 3.75″, printed on heavy, laminated cardstock, plus the print is large and easy to read. They will be great for random practice of terms, but I can also see how one or two could be hanging on the fridge each week, as a reminder to mom, dad and dancer to work on those terms and positions. There are 40 flashcards in the set.
Janet’s company website, Dance Teacher Press, offers other dance resources for dance teachers, students and parents, too. There are reproducible coloring sheets for ballet and tap, flashcards for both ballet and tap, plus books and posters, bookmarks, even ballet wallpaper! Are you stuck for a new theme, or dances, for this year’s recital? Dance Teacher Press has fresh, new options for you.
I and my girls are excited to have found these fun, high-quality resources to reinforce the terms and concepts they have been taught in dance class. I know that all of you with children in dance will enjoy them as much as we have. Even more great news? Janet is providing the same set of three ballet items, that I reviewed, for a reader giveaway! One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win Ballet: Step by Step, a My Ballet Coloring Book, and a set of the Ballet Flash Cards. That’s an over $40 value!
You must be 18 or older, and a resident of the United States, to enter. Winner will be selected by random drawing of all entries recorded through the Rafflecopter app at the bottom of the page. Winner will be notified by email and must respond, by email, within 48 hours, to provide their shipping address for the prize. If 48 hours expires without receiving a reply email, the winner forfeits the prize and a new winner will be selected.
Visit Dance Teacher Press and look at all the products available. In a comment on this post, tell me which one you would like to try first. Register your entry in the Rafflecopter app by clicking DO IT! Then I COMMENTED! That’s it. You’re entered and that entry will unlock several optional entries to increase your odds in the drawing. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received a three product set of Dance: Step by Step products in order to test them in my own home and collect data for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product. Busy-at-Home is administering the giveaway and prize fulfillment will be made by Dance Teacher Press.