Recommended: Plié, Pirouette, POP!

Digital album and audio CD

by The Modern Ballet Pianist

28 tracks, approximately 50 minutes; $22 for digital download, $25 for CD

Justine Leigh founded The Modern Ballet Pianist—a collective of talented musicians who have played for American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group and The Juilliard School, to name a few—with the goal of breathing new life into music for ballet class. The group’s first CD, Plié, Pirouette, POP!, will be a surefire hit with your teen dancers: Each track is a pop hit, played by a solo piano, and an accompanying ballet exercise is suggested (beginning with pliés at the barre and ending with révérence in center). Your students will love doing slow tendus to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” ronds de jambe to Beyoncé’s “Halo,” changements to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” and grand allegro to Katy Perry’s “Firework.” (And no need to worry about editing out inappropriate song lyrics, for once.) It’s the next best thing to having a live accompanist in the room!

Both the digital and CD versions of the album come with a track listing that includes the tempo and number of measures in each song, to help you create combinations easily. The Modern Ballet Pianist releases a new album each month, and regular customers receive discounts. Ordering information can be found at

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Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

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