Janet Panetta Teaches Développé à la Seconde

Photo by Kyle Froman

Janet Panetta teaches the ballet staple développé à la seconde with an emphasis on functional alignment. To help students find the correct placement of their hips—even, neither tilted nor tucked—she offers the chance within the combination for students to shift in and out of alignment, feeling the difference between correct and incorrect placement.



A native New Yorker, Janet Panetta trained at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School before dancing with American Ballet Theatre in the late '60s. From 1973 to 2010, she ran the Panetta Movement Center in Manhattan. Today, she teaches at Gibney Dance Center and The New School in New York City and has an active schedule abroad, at the Brussels-based contemporary dance school P.A.R.T.S and ImPulsTanz dance festival, and serving as a guest ballet master for Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal. She received a Martha Hill Dance Fund Mid-Career Award in 2008.

Eleanor Hullihan is a professional contemporary dancer in NYC.

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

I often teach ballet over Zoom in the evenings, shortly after sunset. Without the natural light coming from my living room window, I drag a table lamp next to my portable barre so that the computer's camera can see me clearly enough. I prop the laptop on a chair taken from the kitchen and then spend the next few hours running back and forth between the computer screen of Zoom tiles and my makeshift dance floor.

Much of this setup is the result of my attempts to recreate the most important aspects of an in-person dance studio: I have a barre, a floor and as much space as I can reasonably give myself within a small apartment. I do not, however, have a mirror, and neither do most of my students.

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Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

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Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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