Beginning Ballet introduces students to ballet through participation and appreciation as an academic study. This resource details etiquette, class expectations, health, and injury prevention and explores ballet’s history, major artists, styles, and aesthetics. Photos and descriptions in the text plus photos and video clips in an accompanying web resource help students learn and practice beginning ballet.
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Beginning Ballet and the accompanying web resource introduce students to the study of ballet as a performing art and provide instructional support in learning foundational ballet technique. Part of Human Kinetics’ Interactive Dance Series, Beginning Ballet is for students enrolled in a beginning ballet class at the college, university, or high school level.
The book features more than 80 photos and concise descriptions covering basic foot and arm positions, barre exercises, and centre combinations. Beginning Ballet introduces students to the structure of a ballet class, including expectations, etiquette, and attire. Students also learn how to prepare for class, maintain proper nutrition and hydration, and avoid injury.
This text outlines the unique history of ballet from its beginnings in the Renaissance to the 21st century and discusses the styles, aesthetics, artists, and significant works that have shaped ballet as a performing art.
In addition, the accompanying web resource presents more than 70 instructional video clips and 50 photos to help students learn and practice beginning ballet. The web resource also includes an interactive quiz, audio clips of ballet terms with pronunciation in French, and assignments. The quiz covers vocabulary of beginning ballet, definitions, and translation to and from the French language.
Ballet class provides the foundation for learning the dance form, and Beginning Ballet supports that learning through visual, verbal, and interactive instructional tools. Beginning Ballet text and web resource help bring the grace, artistry, and mental and physical benefits of ballet to students.
Beginning Ballet is a part of Human Kinetics’ Interactive DanceSeries. The series includes resources for modern dance, ballet, and tap dance that support introductory dance technique courses taught through dance, physical education, and fine arts departments. Each student-friendly text includes a web resource offering video clips of dance instruction, assignments, and activities. The Interactive Dance Series offers students a guide to learning, performing, and viewing dance.
How to Use the Web Resource
Chapter 1. Introduction to Ballet
Benefits of Studying Ballet
Ballet in Academic Settings
Ballet in Community Settings
Basics of Ballet Class
Expectations and Etiquette for Students
Structure of Ballet Class
Challenges of Learning and Performing Ballet
Chapter 2. Preparing for Class
Dressing for Class
Foot Care and Personal Hygiene
Carrying Dance Gear
Selecting and Fitting Ballet Slippers
Preparing Yourself Mentally and Physically
Chapter 3. Safety and Health
Basic Anatomy and Kinesiology
Preventing and Treating Common Dance Injuries
Understanding Dance Fitness
Nutrition, Hydration, and Rest
Chapter 4. Learning and Performing Ballet Technique
Languages of Ballet
Learning Ballet Movements
Learning Ballet Technique
Applying Aesthetic Principles to Ballet
Preparing for Class Performance Testing
Chapter 5. Basics of Ballet Technique
Positions of the Feet
Positions of the Arms and Port de Bras
Movement Principles for Ballet Directions of the Body
Directions of the Feet
Types of Barre Combinations
Types of Center Combinations
Chapter 6. At the Barre
Standing at the Barre
Chapter 7. In the Center
Rules and Protocols
Port de Bras
Introduction and Transition Steps
Chapter 8. History of Ballet
Beginnings of Ballet
Ballet Moves From the Court to the Theater
A Century of Contrast: Romanticism to Classicism
Ballet in the United States Before 1900
Ballet in the Twentieth Century
International Perspectives in the Twentieth Century
Viewing Ballet Performances
Distinguishing Types and Styles of Ballet
References and Resources
About the Author
Textbook for undergraduate beginning ballet courses in dance, fine arts, physical education, and general education programs. Textbook for advanced high school dance programs.
Gayle Kassing, PhD, taught beginning ballet through advanced ballet for more than 25 years at four universities. Kassing earned a BFA in ballet and theater, an MS in modern dance, a PhD in dance and related arts, and an MAT in K-12 curriculum integrated with technology. She was the 2010 National Dance Association (NDA) Artist Scholar. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). She is the author of History of Dance and coauthor of Teaching Beginning Ballet Technique. Kassing is an acquisitions editor at Human Kinetics.
“What is most welcome about Beginning Ballet is the multidisciplines represented—dance medicine and science, dance education, and dance history. This, combined with the preparation-for-class information (foot care, dance gear, selecting and fitting shoes, mental preparation) and technique instruction (positions of the arms and feet, barre and center combinations, center barre, port de bras, adagio and allegro), makes it a valuable text for students.”