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The French School of Classical Ballet: The First Year of Training Paperback – August 27, 2013

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The French School of Classical Ballet: The First Year of Training + The 1st Three Years of Dance: Teaching Tips, Monthly Lesson Plans, and Syllabi for Successful Dance Classes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813044510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813044514
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“A finely written, detailed description of the first year of classical ballet training and its importance in the French School of Ballet. A worthwhile read for any ballet teachers interested in providing their students with a strong foundation in the French classical technique.”—François Perron, Artistic Director at the French Académie of Ballet


“An instant and valuable treasure. With an insider’s depth of knowledge, the program is clear and detailed and provides both the teacher and serious students a ‘bible’ from which to work and refer. Definitely one to add to resource collections!”—Dean Speer, author of On Technique


One of the most commonly taught systems of classical ballet instruction is that of the French school. This thirty-three-week training manual parallels the presentation of basic steps, positions, and alignment that first-year, pre-professional students are taught. Critical elements of placement and alignment are fully described with proper French terminology, and more than one hundred photographs illustrate key positions.

Well organized for ease of use, The French School of Classical Ballet presents poses and sequences in the order in which a ballet instructor would present them in a typical course—starting with the simplest positions and movements and building on them to gradually increase the level of difficulty.

This volume serves as a blueprint for a complete beginning ballet curriculum or simply as a source of reference for certain steps, positions, or exercises that exemplify French ballet training. Weekly lesson plans, measurable goals, and an easy-to-follow progression make this a must-have instructional manual, as well as a practical tool for the serious student away from class.


About the Author

Vanina Wilson studied with some of the masters of the Paris Opera Ballet Company and School. After having taught many years in the United States, she now teaches privately in France.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Lane on September 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I just purchased this book and I have already found a number of exercises in it that I intend to incorporate into my own instruction program. The feature that I found most surprising about this manual was the incredible detail in which the lessons were described. My best characterization of it is as a "recipe book" for ballet lessons. While lesson plans that are described literally day-to-day appeared at first intimidating, I found that with only a little study I could fit them into my own lessons.

My only criticism of the book is that it would have benefitted considerably from an accompanying DVD showing the positions and steps described in the manual. Perhaps a DVD could be offered as a supplement, or subsequent editions of the manual could include one.

All in all, I highly recommend The French School of Classical Ballet for any serious ballet instructor, and any ballet school or university ballet program with a library.
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