By: Robert Scheiderman, Instructional Paraprofessional
OA students in the 11th grade English class, as part of their reading and enjoyment of “The Nutcracker Suite”, complete with the score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky took a ballet class taught by local ballet instructor Jennifer Cali from Standing Ovations Studio. A dancer since childhood, Jennifer has been a dance teacher/instructor of ballet and tap for twenty years. After a brief introduction to dance and ballet history, she showed the students a pair of real ballet point slippers and explained that a hard wooden insert stuffed with wool for padding is how ballet dancers are able to achieve such tremendous effects on the tips of their toes.
Afterwards, books were closed, pencils were put down and desks were pushed aside as staff and students took part in a dance lesson! OA students were first warmed up with a review of the Five basic positions of ballet, a lesson which was part of their “The Nutcracker Suite” introduction. The positions of the feet are a fundamental part of classic ballet technique and defines the standard placements of feet on the floor. Then participants pranced, pirouetted, leapt, kicked and strutted for the remainder of class as dance was brought in varying styles and technique by Jennifer. A fun and informative time was had by all in a jolly, holiday season themed lesson.