Pub. Date:
Human Kinetics, Inc.
Beginning Ballet / Edition 1

Beginning Ballet / Edition 1

by Gayle KassingGayle Kassing

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Beginning Ballet and the accompanying web resource introduce students to the study of ballet as a performing art and provide instructional support in learning foundational ballet technique. Part of Human Kinetics’ Interactive Dance Series, Beginning Ballet is for students enrolled in a beginning ballet class at the college, university, or high school level.

The book features more than 80 photos and concise descriptions covering basic foot and arm positions, barre exercises, and centre combinations. Beginning Ballet introduces students to the structure of a ballet class, including expectations, etiquette, and attire. Students also learn how to prepare for class, maintain proper nutrition and hydration, and avoid injury.

This text outlines the unique history of ballet from its beginnings in the Renaissance to the 21st century and discusses the styles, aesthetics, artists, and significant works that have shaped ballet as a performing art.

In addition, the accompanying web resource presents more than 70 instructional video clips and 50 photos to help students learn and practice beginning ballet. The web resource also includes an interactive quiz, audio clips of ballet terms with pronunciation in French, and assignments. The quiz covers vocabulary of beginning ballet, definitions, and translation to and from the French language. (The web resource is included with all new print books and some ebooks. For ebook formats that don’t provide access, the web resource is available separately.)

Ballet class provides the foundation for learning the dance form, and Beginning Ballet supports that learning through visual, verbal, and interactive instructional tools. Beginning Ballet text and web resource help bring the grace, artistry, and mental and physical benefits of ballet to students.

Beginning Ballet is a part of Human Kinetics’ Interactive Dance Series. The series includes resources for modern dance, ballet, and tap dance that support introductory dance technique courses taught through dance, physical education, and fine arts departments. Each student-friendly text includes a web resource offering video clips of dance instruction, assignments, and activities. The Interactive Dance Series offers students a guide to learning, performing, and viewing dance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781450402491
Publisher: Human Kinetics, Inc.
Publication date: 08/21/2013
Series: Interactive Dance Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gayle Kassing, PhD, taught beginning ballet through advanced ballet for more than 25 years at four universities. Kassing earned a BFA in ballet and theater, an MS in modern dance, a PhD in dance and related arts, and an MAT in K-12 curriculum integrated with technology. She was the 2010 National Dance Association (NDA) Artist Scholar. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). She is the author of History of Dance and coauthor of Teaching Beginning Ballet Technique. Kassing is an acquisitions editor at Human Kinetics.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction to Ballet

Benefits of Studying Ballet

Ballet in Academic Settings

Ballet in Community Settings

Basics of Ballet Class

Expectations and Etiquette for Students

Structure of Ballet Class

Challenges of Learning and Performing Ballet


Chapter 2. Preparing for Class

Dressing for Class

Foot Care and Personal Hygiene

Carrying Dance Gear

Selecting and Fitting Ballet Slippers

Preparing Yourself Mentally and Physically


Chapter 3. Safety and Health

Studio Safety

Personal Safety

Basic Anatomy and Kinesiology

Preventing and Treating Common Dance Injuries

Understanding Dance Fitness

Nutrition, Hydration, and Rest


Chapter 4. Learning and Performing Ballet Technique

Languages of Ballet

Learning Ballet Movements

Learning Ballet Technique

Understanding Musicality

Understanding Artistry

Applying Aesthetic Principles to Ballet

Preparing for Class Performance Testing


Chapter 5. Basics of Ballet Technique

Positions of the Feet

Positions of the Arms and Port de Bras

Movement Principles for Ballet Directions of the Body

Directions of the Feet

Types of Barre Combinations

Types of Center Combinations


Chapter 6. At the Barre

Standing at the Barre

Pre-Barre Exercises

Barre Exercises


Chapter 7. In the Center

Rules and Protocols

Center Barre

Port de Bras


Introduction and Transition Steps




Chapter 8. History of Ballet

Beginnings of Ballet

Ballet Moves From the Court to the Theater

A Century of Contrast: Romanticism to Classicism

Ballet in the United States Before 1900

Ballet in the Twentieth Century

International Perspectives in the Twentieth Century

Viewing Ballet Performances

Distinguishing Types and Styles of Ballet


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“What is most welcome about Beginning Ballet is the multidisciplines represented—dance medicine and science, dance education, and dance history. This, combined with the preparation-for-class information (foot care, dance gear, selecting and fitting shoes, mental preparation) and technique instruction (positions of the arms and feet, barre and center combinations, center barre, port de bras, adagio and allegro), makes it a valuable text for students.”

Gigi Berardi-- Midwest Book Review


Textbook for undergraduate beginning ballet courses in dance, fine arts, physical education, and general education programs. Textbook for advanced high school dance programs.

Customer Reviews