Archive for July, 2011

Ballet is Great Exercise!

July 26, 2011

A fellow instructor posted a link to a ballet article on , a website supported and promoted by Lance Armstrong.  The article gave some ballet barre exercises that you can do at home.

What amazed me the most was that this was not the only ballet article on the site. There are at least 20 entries about ballet! And there are also videos that demonstrate ballet moves, although I had trouble viewing them.

All of the ballet-related information is under the fitness section of the website. I know from experience that Ballet and Balletone (a cardio fitness class that incorporates ballet movement and pilates based strengthening exercises) are great forms of exercise. Looks like more people are catching on!


A Must Read Dance Book

July 19, 2011

I just finished the book “I Was a Dancer”, a memoir  by Jacques D’Amboise. What a fun read! I’ve been lucky enough to hear the author give a presentation and have also heard him speak on documentary shows. When he speaks about dance, he has such enthusiasm. And the book is just like that!

You feel as if you are right behind the scenes at New York City Ballet (NYCB); working with George Balanchine and dancing with the NYCB dancers of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

Jacques D’Amboise is an excellent storyteller. If you enjoy ballet, you should definitely read this book!

Simple, Yet Breathtaking

July 10, 2011

Have you ever seen the opening of George Balanchine’s Serenade? It is absolutely breathtaking! The movement is very simple; mostly arms. Yet, you are drawn to the beauty.

I have told my young students that it is not always about the spectacular steps.  Yes, it’s important to be able to do multiple turns without falling out of them. And the leg lifted to split-like heights is amazing to see. But, there is so much more to dance.

I wish my students were at the NYC Ballet performance of Serenade at Saratoga Performing Arts Center the other night.  Then they would understand what I keep telling them.

I did find a YouTube video of Pacific Northwest Ballet performing the opening. However it doesn’t do it justice. It is more beautiful when you see it live.

Video clip of  opening piece of Serenade

New York City Ballet is Coming to Town!

July 3, 2011


Andrew Scordato teaching class

Andrew Scordato teaching class. Photo by Anthony Tassarotti

This week New York City Ballet (NYCB) starts their two week stay at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. That means that the New York State Capital District area gets treated to dazzling dance performances! I’m looking forward to attending several performances and rehearsals as well (SPAC members are entitled to watch certain rehearsals).

The best part is that I get to attend classes taught by NYCB dancers. These classes are held at Total Body Trifecta in Saratoga Springs. We get to learn choreography from the NYCB repertoire. Of course the steps are watered down a bit, but we feel like stars while taking the class. And we get to dance with the real stars of the ballet!

This year classes will be taught by Principal Dancers, Jenny Ringer and Jonathan Stafford, and Corps de Ballet dancer Andrew Scordato.  The ballets include Serenade, Emeralds from Jewels, Fearful Symmetries and more.

Interested in joining in? The classes usually fill up quickly. Some are already sold out, but there are openings in a few. Contact Total Body Trifecta. More info at