This weeks word is for one of my students who loves to question things in class. "What does that mean?" and "Why do we do it that way?" are always floating in the air. I was not one for asking questions as a young dancer. I was a little on the shy side and also raised by a generation that didn't necessarily encourage dancers to have a strong voice. I did however always love it when a teacher explained "why". I also questioned in my own way by not applying corrections if I didn't agree. Whether I have an answer right away or not I love that my students ask questions. It makes me a better teacher and them smarter dancers. To question why we do things, is a practice I feel, that should not be confined to the classroom. So for little Miss Jackie who said, "Miss Jenn, next week you better come in with the definition of Failli", I thank you. I will probably not forget again, but just in case I have already written it down in my notebook that Failli means "giving way".
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Term of the week
For people who are complete beginners to ballet, it can all be a little overwhelming. You are asking your body to do things that are completely foreign and you're asking your brain to work in a completely different way. On top of that your instructor is spitting out terms you have never heard before. Even for people who have been dancing a long time and hear the terminology every day from your teacher, you may never learn what all the different terms mean. Most ballet terms are derived from the French language. I am going to post a ballet term each week with it's meaning and a little bit about it. I am no ballet god so I am hoping that if any of my ballet nerd friends have anything to add, or disagree with anything I say, that they chime in and leave a comment. To be honest, with teaching ballet twice a week and only taking it about once a week I feel the vocab slowly slipping away from me. Not only is the purpose of this to educate others, it is meant to help me to keep up with what I feel is important to know. I am using Gail Grant's Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet as a source for the direct translations and or definitions.
JENNIFER D. YACKEL