January 2012

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a joyful holiday season. Following The Nutcracker the dancers from YOU dance had a short holiday of their own and will return to the studio on January 10 to begin work on a new piece of choreography. Choreographed by YOU dance Artistic Director Lindsay Fischer and set to the music of Charles Gounod, this new ballet will debut in April with the Thunder Bay Symphony.

YOU Learn

Daniel Cooke, a dancer with YOU dance, talks about the importance of proper nutrition for professional dancers.

Daniel Cooke

Watch  video >

Learn more about Daniel Cooke >


Student and teachers can send questions to any of our YOU dance performers to youdance@national.ballet.ca. Your question may be featured in one of our upcoming newsletters.

A student from St. John Bosco asked: How do the dancers go on pointe?

Answer: Female ballet dancers train for many years to be able to stand on the tips of their toes. A good ballet teacher will let their students know when their feet have developed enough strength to start wearing special ballet shoes called pointe shoes.

Pointe shoes are made with layers of glue and canvas to form a "box" at the toes to support the foot. The shoe is then hardened in a very hot oven and finally covered with pink satin. The sole of the shoe is made of hard leather which prevents the shoe from bending too freely, and also helps to support the feet as the dancer rises up and down off their toes.

Free Workshop for Teachers

Teachers who participated in YOU dance workshops and performances this season have a free opportunity to learn new ways to bring dance to your class. Space is limited. Please email acabri@national.ballet.ca to register.  

Date: Sunday, February 26, 2012 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (lunch is provided)
Location: The National Ballet of Canada, 470 Queens Quay West (Queens Quay, just west of Spadina), Toronto

Connect with Us

YOU Move

Movement and movement sequences for choreographic ideas can come from many places. The ideas can be inspired by music, an image, or the movement around us. How about creating a dance about the movement of the heart muscle? With your class choose a movement that best depicts each part of a healthy heart. For instance would the pumping of the heart be shown in jumps? What movement would work well to show the walls of the heart contracting, or the blood rushing? Connect the movement sequences into a dance about the heart.

YOU Explore

A choreographer can choose to work with the music for their dance before or sometimes after the movement has been conceived. If you did make a dance using the heart action as inspiration for movement, explore what happens when you do the same dance to different styles of music. Watch the choreography once through with one musical choice and immediately repeat the dance with another style of music. Discuss what students felt happened to their dance with the different musical choices. Did their movement quality change while dancing to classical music, or a world beat selection? Did the dance become fluid, more rhythmic or speed up in tempo? Make a chart recording audience observations, likes and dislikes, and which combination of music and dance they liked best.

For more information about YOU dance workshops and performances please call YOU dance Artist Educator/Administrator Annemarie Cabri at 416 345 9686 x377 or acabri@national.ballet.ca.

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The National Ballet of Canada
470 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3K4
416 (1 866) 345 9595