Name of teacher/supervisor
Heidi Vierthaler

Period, duration
Block 2, Weeks 43-49
Block 3, Weeks 1-7 Year 1
Block 1 Weeks 36 - 41 Year 2

Study load
63 hours Y1
36 hours Y2

1, 2, 3,

This class will focus on a functional and grounded approach to the body through ballet technique. An emphasis will be placed on deeper movement initiations, proper alignment, coordination, breathe and movement pathways in space. This approach is accessible to contemporary dancers of all levels, from beginner to professional, to the lifelong learner, or anyone interested in gaining more body awareness. The class is rooted in the tradition of Georges Balanchine, by gradually introducing challenging speed, epaulment, timings and use of space. The influence of Heidi’s work with William Forsythe will challenge range of motion, surprising timings and movement phrasings. Risk will be encouraged through understanding the bodily coordination necessary to take the movement further within the dancers own range of motion, and challenging sequences spatially. The working environment will allow safety and support in failure while challenging the body in new ways. Towards the end of the course we will explore how to dissect and deconstruct simple movement sequences, in order to introduce the Forsythe technologies. Another set of valuable tools comes from the Gyrotonic method. It addresses the entire person, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion, and improving strength and movement efficiency. Bridging to other techniques will come more naturally through added awareness and intelligence of the body.

Content and design of the class
The class will follow a traditional build starting at the barre, but may also begin with an improvisation, awakening the senses before we begin. We will then continue the progression to the centre, both with and without partners.

Learning goals
-    Improving and expanding coordination
-    Finding precision in the initiation of the movement.
-    Developing the quality of flow and phrasing.
-    Accessing the body in a more grounded, released and anatomically correct approach
-    Developing inter-connectedness in the moving body
-    Developing hyper-awareness of the body

The influence of Somatics within ballet class creates deeper initiations and quality of movement, whilst making it more accessible to dancers of all backgrounds. Bridging diverse dance techniques, can inform the dancer/mover of the Working method(s) used Individual and group work

Used study material

Assessment criteria
-    Development in relation to class and personal learning goals
-    work ethic
-    attitude
-    communication
-    rigour
-    curiosity and desire
-    personal development and investigation
-    attendance
-    participation
-    openness.

Method of assessment
Self-investigation and reflection. How feedback is either questioned or incorporated in the individuals work and transferred through the body.
Learning goals in the class contribute to the overall development of the competency indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3. 1.4, 1.6, 2.2, 3.1

The overall development of the student is assessed at integral assessment meetings, twice a year, through combined self-assessment and assessment by teachers, coaches and mentors. This course forms a continuous line with the other Contemporary Dance classes, Critical Dance History, Year 1, blocks 2&4.