Adult

Ballet Level 1 with Michelle Ballentyne

£120 / £114 (enrolment) £14 / £12 (drop in)

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My teaching style focuses on developing a solid foundation on Ballet technique from the Barre right through to the Centre work. Working to strengthen the core, securing a beautiful posture and constantly improving on alignment and extension in the legs and feet are key elements, along with core movements such as pirouettes, petite and grand allegro, and travelling sequences. I also work to encourage a strong emphasis on movement quality and expression, to enable the dancer to experience the wonderful sensation that this art form can bring.


Michelle won a scholarship to study at Laine Theatre Arts for 3 years, where she gained her Associate in Cecchetti Ballet with Distinction. During her time there, she also won a scholarship to the Royal Ballet Summer School. After her studies, she immediately gained a place as a principal dancer with Union Dance Company, with whom she toured both nationally and internationally. Michelle then went on to perform in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals ‘Cats’ and ‘Starlight Express’. Michelle was also a principal dancer with ‘The Carol Straker Dance Company’, and worked extensively in both Theatre and Television productions. In 2008, Michelle graduated from Middlesex University with a BA Hons in Dance Studies. Upon graduating, Michelle continued to demonstrate ‘Martha Graham Technique’ at Middlesex and went on to work very closely with Robert Cohan and Anne Donnelly on the first drafts of the ‘Rescen’ projects, documenting Martha Graham technique for future resources. Michelle currently teaches on the Tring Park Associates Programme and also teaches Ballet and Contemporary Dance at Degree  & Diploma Level 6,  at Emil Dale Academy.


Class description:

Ballet Level 1 is for students who hold a basic understanding in contemporary or ballet and are looking to develop their technique and increase their dance vocabulary. This class comprises of a variety of exercises at the barre, warming up your muscles and giving your body time to investigate traditional ballet structures. The class continues in the centre, applying the techniques used in the barre warm up into longer sequences, such as allegro and travelling phrases. 

My teaching style focuses on developing a solid foundation on Ballet technique from the Barre right through to the Centre work. Working to strengthen the core, securing a beautiful posture and constantly improving on alignment and extension in the legs and feet are key elements, along with core movements such as pirouettes, petite and grand allegro, and travelling sequences. I also work to encourage a strong emphasis on movement quality and expression, to enable the dancer to experience the wonderful sensation that this art form can bring.


Q&A

Can you tell me a little bit about your background in dance?

My background in Dance is mainly Classical Ballet. I also have a lot of experience in other disciplines such as Contemporary (Martha Graham Technique), and Jazz.

What can we expect from your class?

From my class one can expect a strong focus on establishing a firm foundation in all aspects of the basics  of Ballet. Working on developing  a strong core, a lovely posture and working to secure correct alignment. Also working to enhance lovely extension in the legs and feet to enable the to create a vision of length and beauty. Then working to improve the core movements within Ballet, such as Adage, Pirouettes, petite and grand allegro.  My main focus however is a strong emphasis on Movement quality and the freedom of finding a deep sense of expression within the movement, which will hopefully inspire the Dance to just connect with the love of DANCE!!

What do you like most about teaching?

Inspiring others to share my love of this wonderful art form and for them to experience the passion, love and enjoyment that can be transferred from it. Not to mention the physical and mental benefits!

Who was your most influential teacher?

Richard Glasstone MBE

What has been your biggest challenge as a dancer?

When I was at the beginning of my career, all I wanted was to dance in a Ballet company, but at the time there were many limited prospects for black classical dancers in the UK. Thankfully, this situation is slowly changing!!

Times: 18:30-20:00
Duration: 90 mins
Venue: at The Place
Day: Tuesday
Level: Level 1
Style: Ballet