Our latest assignment is to create two pieces of ballet choreography, each about a minute long to classical music. One piece is for ages 8 to 9; the other for ages 11 to 12. Using American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum as a guideline for what steps to use, we've been given a strong suggestion to tailor the movements to one level below what the students are currently dancing, so they are showcased in the best light.

This exercise, once we start showcasing our pieces and teaching them to each other next week, will allow us to talk about what elements worked well and what could have been done better – not to mention the chance to learn some choreographic ideas from our peers. Check back and I'll let you know how it goes.

So, curious minds want to know: No matter what genre of dance you teach, how do you go about choosing music, and what steps do you take to make sure the student is dancing a piece that’s appropriate for his or her level of development? Share your thoughts on the Dance Teacher messageboard.