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Teachers: Your favourite tips for teaching Grade 1 RAD Ballet?


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How long is a piece of string?!?!?!?!?! I find Grade 1 so hard! Firstly - the warm up ARMS! OMG most kids really struggle with this! I've tried so many things to get them to keep the right shape. In lockdown at home I ended up sitting them on the floor cross legged with cushions piled up in their laps! It worked great for a week...... 


Other things I do with this age group is spend a lot of time trying to get them to tendu with straight knees without taking their weight onto the pointed foot. (This happens in legs and arms, and in demi plies and to a certain extent, in walks). I also do a lot working on maintaining turnout as if it's not understood on a basic level here things like walks and sautes are icky! 


With demi plies I talk about being in a toaster and going down and up like a piece of bread which is nice for keeping bodies straight. In legs and arms I find they can't keep their bodies still in the fondu action, a lot of them sit in the hip too so I try balancing things on their heads! Bean bags used to work great pre-covid. 


I do transfer of weight exercise without the closing into 3rd for AGES! And make sure that the transfer technique (turnout, stretched leg and foot at the side, actual weight tranfer, posture, arm and head co-ordination etc etc etc) is really secure before even thinking about adding in that dimension!


I practice sautes sitting on the floor with feet against the wall and have lots of 'pushing off the wall' competitions especially in turnout. 


I use small hurdles or rubber spots for kids to jump over in springs.  


Feel free to drop me a PM if you're stuck at any point! I've been teaching it for 5 years straight now 😄

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