Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ballet

This year, in addition to Tap, Abi wanted to try ballet. Since she was little, she has dreamed of learning ballet, and since she is strong, flexible and willing to practice detailed techniques, I figured she would be pretty good at it. 

Her dance teacher was a little hesitant, not ever having had a blind student before. Ballet is a visual medium, and she didn't know how it would work. Luckily, she is open minded and willing to try. So we dove in. 

It was soon apparent that Abi would need both a private lesson and a class in order to keep up. I was right that she is naturally very strong and flexible. It was also apparent that she needed someone with her to translate the teacher's visual directions into tactile ones, or give verbal instruction when the teacher forgot. 

The hard part is just giving her the information she needs to create the forms with her body. Once she gets it right, her muscle memory is good enough she will repeat it correctly. 

Sometimes I move her hands or feet. Sometimes she touches the teacher's feet. Sometimes verbal instructions work. Sometimes we use an artist's mannequin to show her. She is patient and so are we, and she is doing amazingly well. She can make the forms correctly, can skip around the space, either using echoes or following another dancer, and can jump and turn, including spotting with her face pointed the right way. 

Best of all, she absolutely loves it! She loves the concentration and focus that it takes, and she loves the grace and beauty. 

 


    

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