Ballet Pedagogy: The Art of Teaching

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Finally, a ballet pedagogy book for teachers of all training methods

"This book, although written with the ballet teacher in mind, is equally useful to the modern dance teacher. All teachers of concert dance should have it close at hand."–Eileen Cropley, Paul Taylor Dance Company

"An original concept and a work of great necessity in the field of training in ballet. This is the best book on ballet pedagogy I have encountered."–Rick McCullough, Florida State University

There are many different methods for teaching classical ballet–Bournonville, Vaganova, Cecchetti, and Royal Academy of Dancing being the most widely known. All of these methods are effective tools for presenting the technique and art of ballet. Knowing how to use these tools successfully requires more than being a devotee of the technique; it also requires the mastering of various skills.

In Ballet Pedagogy, Rory Foster aims to share his extensive knowledge of how to teach rather than focus exclusively on what to teach. He argues that it is not enough for a ballet teacher to be well trained in technique, but that he or she must also know how to utilize pedagogical skills.

Designed as both a manual for beginning teachers as well as a reference for experienced instructors, Ballet Pedagogy is appropriate for either followers of a single methodology or for those who have adopted a more eclectic approach to technique. Foster believes that effective teaching skills–proper demonstration, counting, correcting, musicality, anatomical approach, etc.–do not come automatically just because one has trained as a dancer.

In this book, Foster–an expert in multiple ballet methods–covers all areas involving dance, from history to injury prevention, from anatomy and kinesiology to vocabulary and music. He even offers pragmatic advice on the business of starting a dance school. The result is an essential addition to every dance teacher's library.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida (March 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813034590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813034591
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces

Customer Reviews

Great (well rounded and encompassing) book for ballet teachers!

3 people found this helpful.
 on January 15, 2014
By AW0421
I have been teaching ballet and jazz for almost 5 years. I wanted to brush up on some ballet history as well as refresh my memory (gain more insight) about the direction my ballet classes should be going. If you have a degree in dance and/or extensive teacher training, this book will probably not give you much extra guidance. If you are like me and grew up a dancer (danced in college as well, but did not major in dance) and are now teaching, this is an excellent resource for the basic structure of ballet class. This book covers ballet history, different ballet teaching/training methods, basic anatomy, class structure, music for class, and much more.

Wonderful book. Give nice insights as to how you …

 on November 5, 2015
By Amazon Customer
Wonderful book. Give nice insights as to how you can teach and what he has experienced in his life without being negative or promoting one way over another.

This guy can write

One person found this helpful.
 on November 1, 2013
By Vik Capella
Very well written and enjoyable to read, it’s not a big book but big enough to get the point across. You do learn how to teach a class in ballet and so much more. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in ballet.


4 people found this helpful.
 on September 3, 2011
By Maggie
If you are interested in being a better ballet teacher, this is a great book. Instead of being one of the many descriptive books on methodology, the organizational information and “thinking” in this book can be overlaid on any of the systems. Inspiring!

Good book for the upcoming teachers of dance

2 people found this helpful.
 on January 1, 2013
By Ei2U
This book is a slow read but is great to have just the same. Taken a little at a time it is VERY informative in many areas of teaching as well as running a dance studio.

Wonderful and informativ

2 people found this helpful.
 on January 24, 2013
By georg malsam
Very profound explanation of ballet work. It is useful for beginner students and advanced teachers. I miss only a little dance anatomy

Very helpful. Just what I’d hoped it would be …

 on November 20, 2015
By Marcia Matthysse
Very helpful. Just what I’d hoped it would be.

Five Stars

 on June 9, 2015
By Anamachaa
You must have this book if you are a dance teacher!

Teaching dance

 on November 14, 2013
By MIchelle R
There were three great pages at the beginning on what teachers want to see from their students. Simply stated dance books need pictures. We need more pictures.

Great gift for dancers and instructors!

7 people found this helpful.
 on November 24, 2010
By L. Urban
This is a great gift for dancers and instructors. It’s also a great book for studio owners to have in their “studio library”. Whether you are looking for basic instructions for the beginner, or more in depth information for the intermediate and advanced, this book has it all. From the classroom to the stage, from the dancer to the instructor, whatever you need to address – it’s all there! It’s easy to follow and makes for a very enjoyable and smooth read. The book sets a nice tone from the start by beginning with a look at the history of ballet pedagogy, and the influences from different countries. Each chapter flows to the next, giving you the complete scope of what every dancer and instructor needs to know. The author did a wonderful job of writing a book that can be helpful and appreciated by all levels of dancers and instructors throughout their career.

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