This fourth video in the Mary Lynn series made me want to go back and be a child learning to dance again. Miss Lynn gives clear simple instructions in a friendly voice, then demonstrates herself. Drawing upon various styles from Cecchetti and Vaganova to Balanchine, she explains each step directly to the camera and to three young students. The barre is performed facing into the room, with two hands on the barre so students can see and hear at the same time. In the center work, which includes pas de bourées, sousous, and port de bras, Miss Lynn encourages precision without frustration or mannerisms. She is caring and attentive, and talks about the importance of passing along a love for dance.
The sequences are slow and simple enough so that they sink in. Miss Lynn, whose former students include New York City Ballet's Darci Kistler and San Francisco Ballet's Stephen Legate, points out that each new level of technique links with what they have already learned.
This refreshing video provides a semester's worth of ballet training. Plus, many professional dancers would benefit from going back to these basics.
Dance Magazine review of Teaching the Most Important Levels in Ballet with Mary Lynn - Ballet II, April, 2004, by Peff Modelski, instructor at Steps on Broadway. Reprinted with permission from Dance Magazine.
Mary Lynn shares her ballet syllabus in Ballet II, the second in a three-video series. Her curriculum, which is endorsed by David Howard, has benefited dancers such as New York City Ballet principal Darci Kistler and San Francisco Ballet principal Stephen Legate. The video contains demonstrations of how to teach the key steps that should be introduced in the second level of training.... Teachers in need of guidance, affirmation, or advice will appreciate this access to Lynn's proven syllabus.
Dance Teacher magazine review of Teaching the Most Important Levels in Ballet with Mary Lynn - Ballet II, December, 2003 (excerpt).
... Mary Lynn brings the expertise she has developed training stars like New York City Ballet's Darci Kistler and San Francisco Ballet's Stephen Legate to her three-part video series for instructors teaching beginner-level ballet. Lynn both demonstrates basic barre and center routines with students in real time and talks directly to the camera to share detailed explanations of her methods. Students move through basic stretching, foot and body placement exercises in Semester I, progressing steadily toward chaîné turns on demi-pointe and glissades in Semester III. A wonderfully clear, evenly paced and informative video catering specifically to teachers' needs.
Dance Teacher magazine review of Teaching the Most Important Levels in Ballet with Mary Lynn - Ballet I, July, 2002 (excerpt).
Take some tips from the teacher who taught Darci Kistler. After being invited to teach directors and teachers at Regional Dance America/Pacific's Festival 2000, Mary Lynn decided that a good way to use her thirty-plus years of experience to continue raising standards -- even from a distance -- would be through a fine series of easily accessible videotapes.
The trio of tapes covers Mary Lynn's syllabus for three semesters of training at a level she calls Ballet I .... They are ... sound from a pedagogical point of view in that they progress slowly and methodically. Mary Lynn has thought through the basics of beginning ballet and she presents them to the three children on the video simply, clearly and imaginatively. The pace allows the viewer time to follow her explanations and to see how the children apply the information. Her past students who have applied her teaching well include Kistler, principal at New York City Ballet, and Stephen Legate, principal at San Francisco Ballet....
Mary Lynn suggests that these tapes be for teachers but will also help parents to judge good teachers. Certainly, both will find in Mary Lynn an example of a teacher who is knowledgeable, thoughtful and generous with children.
Dance Magazine review of Teaching the Most Important Levels in Ballet with Mary Lynn - Ballet I, December, 2000 (excerpts).