Petra’s Assisting Experience

Every Thursday afternoon this school year I assisted my instructors in teaching a level one class at my ballet school, Ballet Academy East on 92nd and third avenue . The students in the class were between the ages of six and eight. Most of them live or go to school in the neighborhood and have completed a year or two of pre-ballet classes at Ballet Academny East. Level one is the first year in which they can begin their pre-professional training. They were asked to face the mirror at the free standing barres in the center of the studio. My teachers taught them the names of the most basic steps and the ways in which they must be done. My role was to catch and fix their mistakes and demonstrate new exercises. The teachers and I emphahised that they listen to the music, develop their turn out muscles, and improve their flexibility. It was a wonderful experience to watch the students pick up the language and expectations of ballet. The class also reminded me of the principle ideas and goals of the artform that I have sometimes lost in taking more advanced classes.  I was happy to be able to share a passion and discipline with younger students. I am confident that the class will shape how they approach whatever they end up doing in life.


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