Teaching Tips

VOM Winner Tracie Stanfield's Progression Video Challenges Dancers to Stay Grounded

"If I hear another dancer say, 'I don't like to plié,'" says Broadway Dance Center contemporary teacher Tracie Stanfield, "I am going to scream!" This frustration was the inspiration behind Stanfield's progression video, which focuses on level changes. The combination, demonstrated by dancers Gaby Blaney and Lexie Childers, starts with an over-crossed passé and builds into floorwork and landing on the tops of the feet. The series challenges dancers to build strength while staying grounded. "They learn to let the body soften on contact with the floor before throwing themselves from the air to the ground," she says.

In addition to building strength, Stanfield teaches her dancers how to safely work through progressions. "The process of breaking down the steps of each 'trick,'" she says, "will give dancers confidence with transitions and, ultimately, spark a love of the learning process."

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