Senior and Junior Scholars' Days
7 April 2011
Reports from the two scholars' days in November and December 2010
Andrew Wilson reports from the Senior Scholars’ Day
I would like to take this opportunity to say how much my colleague, Lai-Sheung Chan and I, enjoyed teaching on the Scholars’ Day for the Imperial Ballet at ISTD2 Dance Studios on Sunday 7th November. We both enjoyed our time teaching and found the students to be hard-working, determined, focused and they had a desire to learn and further their understanding of Classical Ballet technique. They commenced their day with a two and a half hour Ballet class (with moments to breathe) and seemed to value the joy of being able to break down some of the vocabulary and adapt it to varying body types and varying requirements. We broke for lunch and then had the contentment of being able to carry on the above aspects of technique within a coaching session including pirouettes/allegro and pointe work. We were able to cover a small amount of vocabulary within the pointe work section of movements that would be required in the ‘variation’ coaching session in the afternoon. In the afternoon we were then able to coach the Bluebird Girl’s Variation from Act III of The Sleeping Beauty and I think the girls felt the value of learning repertoire to aid the connection between training within a studio environment and then relating it to the classical technique within a Classical Ballet. The girls worked all together for the main classical class and then were divided into two groups for the coaching session and variation session to allow my colleague and I to ‘home in’ and give individual help to all the girls. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Miss Fish and Miss Saxton for helping to arrange the day, to my friend Lai-Sheung who is ever the perfectionist and to Julia Beattie just for always being there. No day would be complete without such fantastic musicians and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kate Dickson and Matthew Gregory for their inspirational accompaniment. They always make me want to dance again! How lucky the students are.
Caroline Barrett and Stephanie Brangwin report from the Junior Scholars’ Day
I was thrilled to be invited to teach the Junior Scholars at ISTD2 Dance Studios on Sunday 12th December 2010. The day started with a free Ballet class and I was given the older students to teach. Their eagerness to learn and mature response was evident throughout. In the afternoon I continued with Repertoire classes. The younger children took on the role of Swanhilda from Coppélia and particularly loved acting out all the mime parts. I taught the older scholars the Silver Fairy Variation from The Sleeping Beauty. The precision of the details required proved a challenge for all but you would never have guessed it as the faces remained eager and willing. We finished with a mini performance with the older students watching the younger ones and vice versa. Throughout the day I was accompanied by the fabulous Kate Dickson. Thank you Imperial Ballet for inviting me and to all the students for making my day such an enjoyable one.
I arrived at ISTD2 Dance Studios on a chilly Sunday morning, Pilates mats in tow, uncertain of what to expect. I had been asked to teach a Ballet class in the morning to the younger set of girls, who were finalists from the ISTD Ballet Awards held last March, followed by an afternoon of Pilates for all of the scholars. The girls were professional, polite and extremely hard working. They worked with such enthusiasm and were eager to learn and accept new challenges. We were also so privileged to have Keith who brought inspiration through his music. I could not believe how fast two hours could go. The Pilates Classes gave an insight to the junior scholars into core stability and development through exercises of how this can give strength and control towards their technique. The girls were eager to understand new concepts and feel the benefits of Pilates, which will support their training. It was a pleasure to see the girls working together, enjoying their experience throughout the day. They were a credit to their teachers. I would like to thank everyone involved for such a wonderful day and hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. Good luck to you all.