In the development of our full-time Classic and Contemporary Course and the new Transition Program, there was careful consideration given to what we felt would benefit the development of the young dancer. Our focus was to design such a program that was balanced and progressive with an opportunity for the student to experience tangible results. We very much wanted to encourage the kind of independence and knowledge required for students who are beginning to demonstrate attributes that will lead towards a professional future in dance.
With this in mind the Progressing Ballet Technique Ball series was a perfect choice to compliment our program providing the perfect synergy between technique and applied performance. Having Marie as an integral part of the faculty at VBC NSW it has allowed us to effectively and correctly apply the science of the ball technique in a focused weekly class, consolidating advanced techniques and strength needed for more demanding technical classical variations.
For our Transition students, they benefit from the Junior Ball Technique Program as they begin to build their repertoire of academic knowledge, dance technique and deeper understanding of the physical needs of techniques needed for dance. The results from this training are evident week by week as the students take control of and make considered decisions based on their better understanding of dance mechanics. This encourages self awareness in the student which in turn empowers them to be thinking dancers.
If you are looking to safely educate your students in the subtle art of unseen technique development, I would highly recommend these ball technique programs to be integrated into your weekly timetable.
Co-Director Vocational Ballet College NSW
DipDanceTeachMgt CUA 50311
Cert IV TAE 40110
I have introduced my ballet students to ‘Progressing Ballet Technique’ after recently receiving the DVD. Within my dance school I have students studying RAD Intermediate Foundation, RAD Advanced1 and also a group of adult ballet students who have studied classical ballet previously. After viewing the ‘Progressing Ballet Technique’, in which the rationale behind each exercise is clearly explained and demonstrated, I initially practised the exercises a few times myself prior to teaching it to my students, as I felt that this would enable me to have a better understanding of how each exercise ‘feels’ I introduced the fit-ball exercises to a group of intermediate level students at the beginning of their class.
The initial reaction of the students was a little apprehensive at first! However, once they had practised the exercises a few times and they started to feel the work of their ‘core’ muscles and correct pelvic placement they were able to appreciate the purpose of the exercises. When the students then stood at the ballet barre to commence their plié exercise in first position there was a definite improvement in posture with the students already beginning to feel the correct placement of the pelvis and commented on how ‘everything seemed to fall into place’ once this starts to be felt and achieved. We have since worked on fit-ball exercises at the beginning of each class ( about 15 minutes of an hour class) and will be gently building up to the more advanced exercises as term progresses.
The exercises are invaluable to the students who are particularly weak in the core area – one of my Intermediate students has hyper-mobility for example – the technique has really helped to start to improve their strength and control – even after a relatively short period of training with the ball. I think that the exercises have also changed the way the students approach an exercise as I can see that they are thinking about their posture, correcting it if it ‘feels’ wrong, demonstrating that they have started to develop the ‘muscle memory’ gained from working with the ball. Students are already showing improved placement, improved balance and control – brilliant! In the short time that I have been using The Progressing Ballet Technique programme, I have found it to be an absolutely invaluable teaching tool in the training of my dance students – I look forward to the next DVD! Thank you!
Principal at the Joanne Simmons Academy of Dance
Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing
Professional Dance Course Diploma
Registered with the Health and Care Professions UK
Paramedic Science Degree (Coventry University)
CRB Certified (enhanced)
Since I started using the “Progressing Ballet Technique Program” with the students I teach at the Studio M School of Dance, Avoca, I am noticing students showing increased strength and greater range of turnout ability.
What has impressed me most with using this programme, is the students I teach that are new to ballet are grasping the concepts of correct posture, weight placement and turnout control much quicker than any other training program I have used.
In the 20 years of teaching classical ballet to students of all ages and abilities, I have found Progressing Ballet Technique to be the most effective supplementary training program and looking forward to trailing the junior fit ball program.
I was invited to watch Marie teach the new level Advanced Progressing Ballet technique. Not only did I have the privilege of watching the Progressing Ballet Technique class but I also watched the following Open Ballet class.
The new Progressing Ballet Technique Advanced Level will be of great benefit for advanced level students. The syllabus works on the correct execution of every aspect of a ballet class, barre, turns, jumps etc. It also incorporates the use of the upper body. This style of specific coaching enhances the performance quality. This is a vital aspect of ballet that is often neglected. Marie has designed a syllabus that is supported by Pilates instructors and physiotherapists. Her programs promote the correct muscle usage in the execution of specific movements enhancing technique and the prevention of injury. She has ensured that the music compliments the exercises as well as giving the dancers a challenge musically.
Having the pleasure of watching the students take class straight after performing the Progressing Ballet Technique further proved that this class should be incorporated into every school and executed before every class. The students were working the correct muscles ensuring they were working in a safe manner and enabling them to execute movements to their full potential. Marie’s coaching manner for both her syllabus and open class was encouraging whilst also paying attention to detail. She makes the students want to work hard and they want to impress her. She really is instilling the passion of dance as well as the passion for becoming a strong healthy dancer.
I freelance teach in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and everywhere that I have taught since the Progressing Ballet Technique programme came out on DVD I have added ball classes to the my teaching schedules.
I have introduced this programme to all 3 above countries with absolutely amazing results. Students who previously did not have sound posture or technique rapidly became aware of their core muscles and they also gained strength very, very rapidly. After only a couple of classes all students have started to stand more naturally at the barre, like dancers with correct posture becoming more natural and instinctive.
All of the exercises have a purpose which is explained wonderfully on the DVD, but my particular favorite is the batterie exercise because it is by far the easiest way that I have ever come across to teach batterie to a beginner.
I am looking forward to the Junior Progressing Ballet Technique programme becoming available and being able to introduce into my teaching schedules with more spectacular results.
ARAD, RAD RTS
My Dance School began implementing the ‘Progressing Ballet Technique’ programme four months ago to our intermediate foundation, intermediate and advanced examination students. During this time I have seen much improvement in these students’ core strength and classical technique. I find this programme not only provides specific strengthening exercises to enhance classical technique it also educates students on their responsibly as dancers to mentally connect with their bodies and isolate correct muscles by really focussing on them and feeling them.
On a personal note, Marie has a genuine care and proven world class skills in developing professional dancers. We are fortunate to have this programme to assist both our students and to help us as teachers further develop our own skills.
Kate Histon R.A.D rts
Director, Dance Dynamics Byron Bay & Kate Histon Performance Coaching
Contributor, Dance Life Australia
The Progressing Ballet Technique DVD has provided our staff and students with extended tools for training in dance. The exercises develop the students’ awareness and understanding of body mechanics. The training of muscle memory serves a huge purpose in the achievement of the more challenging movements, such as beats, at all levels.
We have fit balls in each of our studios for easy access and can introduce them at any stage of any class allowing students to directly relate the training exercises to their class work. The students also feel confident to repeat the exercises in their own time with their own balls at home. We are excited about the new Progressing Ballet Technique DVD for junior students. The balls will motivate young students with the exciting challenges whilst developing a kinaesthetic awareness and knowledge of their bodies. This is a fantastic way to introduce further knowledge at a younger age and will again provide extra learning tools for staff and students.
The National College of Dance, Australia
I felt extremely privileged when Marie suggested she use students of The Teresa Johnson Ballet School for her first Progressing Ballet Technique DVD. All the students found it to be an extremely positive and beneficial experience. They have continued to use the tools given to them from this program on a weekly basis to enhance their technical foundations, which have given them the freedom to then concentrate on the development of artistic interpretation and musical dynamics.
Teresa Johnson Ballet School
Belinda Maturo, Perfect Pointe School of Dance, California, USA
Progressing Ballet Technique has quite simply changed the way I teach! PBT introduces the student to the correct muscle activation, allowing the dancer to really feel his or her correct alignment.
PBT assists me, the teacher, in communicating exactly which muscles or muscle groups to engage, or not engage, depending on the movement requirement. Overall, I have seen remarkable progress in my students; from increased core strength, to placement improvement and importantly, the intellectual comprehension to implement the correct muscle activation for turnout and alignment.
I teach PBT to younger and adult students in a class format, but refer to particular exercises in ballet class or coaching sessions whenever I feel the student is struggling with a particular movement.
I love this program!
Humble and warm, Marie Walton-Mahon is knowledgeable, approachable and generous in sharing her work.
Robyn Segel Shifren
Robyn is South African and formerly trained by her mother and after gaining the Solo Seal Award she moved to London to the extend her training at the Royal Ballet School. Robyn joined Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet ( now known as Birmingham Royal Ballet) where she performed for 4 years. On returning to South Africa Robyn joined P.A.C.T Ballet and N.A.P.A.C where she performed many principal roles.
Regardless of wether you train part time or full time this amazing program will help you to understand precisely which muscles you need to engage to create the movement you desire – correctly, safely and relevant to your age and standard. If you are recovering from an injury this program will assist you in engaging the correct muscles and alignment to ensure a safe return to dance. If I had my way this program would be mandatory for all dancers (young, pre-professional and professional), the benefits for safe dance and muscle awareness are so great.
dancetrain Editor. www.dancetrain.com.au