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Learning new skills...

So we are fast approaching the end of June, which normally would mean we would only have three weeks left of term and would be starting to wind down a little for the summer holidays, although there would be our group of dancers preparing for their end of term exams. This year is a little different and so we have been working on learning new skills, as well as consolidating our learning throughout the year thus far. We thought we would share with you some of the aspects we have been working on this term.

Our ballet lessons remain very busy - there is always an enormous amount of work to get through at all levels, but we have been focusing each level around specific themes: Miss Jess has been working on performance skills with the pre-schoolers, as well as developing tendu a la seconde; this is when children start developing their basic pointe to a push across the floor, forming a technical step. Tendus, as well as plies, are the most fundamental movements in ballet, so this is a very important step for our tiny ones. Much like Miss Jess, I too have been working on performance skills with the preliminary level ballet pupils through the movement of arms: trying to create a continuous flow of movement, as well as introducing the use of breath. We have also been introducing new floor exercises to encourage hip mobility, as it is around 6 years old when a child's natural flexibility will begin to reduce if it is neglected. With the intermediate school (grade 3-5 ballet), Miss Jess has been leading one technique lesson per week, focusing on core strength, alignment and balance, plus a performance based lesson per week, which focuses on the introduction of more advanced movements such as pirouettes and grand allegro steps such as assembles, sissonne tombe/ferme, which make up some of the most common larger jumps. In the senior lessons, we have been focusing on more complex balances and the importance of the strength in the back of the leg to maintain stability and safe practice. Furthermore, we have been concentrating on pivoting on the standing leg, correctly and confidently, in order to maintain alignment and avoid twisting the knee.

We have move forward in our street lessons: junior streeters are developing their strength through more vigorous warm ups and have been learning more basic street dance skills involving isolation and rotation; we have also started a new routine, which is very fast paced. In advanced street, we have also started a new routine, which focuses on speed and full body coordination.

In our tap lessons across the board, we continue to work on a mixture of technique, rhythm, set exam work, show dance work and basic skills. For example: junior bronze tappers have been working on having a "loose" ankle and "soft" knees, their set exam warm up and rhythm, perfecting a basic timestep (which will be used throughout their tap dancing days!), practising some trickier movements such as double pickups, and rehearsing their show dance.

We have been lucky enough to also continue with our weenie boppers and preliminary jazz classes. During our weenie bopper lessons we have been working on isolation, basic locomotor skills and also left and right and our preliminary jazz dancers have been developing their limbering skills with full length kicks, both on the floor and standing; their rhythm skills, including waltz rhythm and step ball changes, and also rehearsing all of their exam and show material, as they would have been performing their show work this term and also entering for their preliminary jazz exam. We are unable to lead full blown advanced jazz and contemporary lessons at present, but continue to subsidise these with conditioning classes, which are based upon the warm-ups for these two lessons, as well as our popular flow and tone classes, which enhance strength and flexibility.

I hope this gives you a brief insight into some of the lessons we are continuing to offer this term and what our objectives are when teaching these lessons. We continue to try and make these classes as interesting and as fun as is possible with the resources and space that we have.

In the meantime, we would obviously love for all Attitude pupils to continue getting involved with what we have to offer... We would love to submit a piece of creative works for MK Gallery's The Big Make, which is an opportunity for young people all over the city to get creative and be a part of the community. So as part of the Attitude community, we would like to invite all of our members from the baby classes all the way up to senior level to take part with us. This has been advertised on our social media platforms for the last week, but today is the final day when you can sign up to be a part of this exciting project, so please don't forget to message us any way you can! Also, look out over the forthcoming week for workshop announcements. We plan on holding some free workshops in a variety of genre and different age groups on zoom before the summer term comes to an end, so if you or your little one would like to be involved in these then please respond to any of the posts regarding the workshops.

If you have any other queries or feedback for us, then please do get in touch. It is nice to hear that our messages are reaching you and also if there is anything else that we can do to help or provide you with for the rest of the term.

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