Betty Oliphant: The Artistry of Teaching

Betty Oliphant: The Artistry of Teaching

Nadia Potts- Betty Oliphant- the Artistry of Teaching- A Series of Ballet ClassesA Series of Ballet Classes by Nadia Potts
DanceForms Illustrations by Rhonda Ryman
Published by Dance Collection Danse Press/es
Author Nadia Potts, former National Ballet of Canada principal dancer, was a student of Betty Oliphant’s for over a decade. Before her death, Oliphant spent five years recording her unique approach to ballet training in collaboration with Potts. Descriptions of the classes are accompanied by DanceForms figures, which serve to clearly illustrate the exercises. Oliphant’s views, observations and insights about teaching are offered along with a collection of captivating photographs.

EXCERPT by Nadia Potts
Betty Oliphant created the following ballet classes for Grade 10 boys and girls at the National Ballet School of Canada in 1990, near the end of her sixty-year teaching career. These are the first five of a series of twenty classes that Miss Oliphant and I selected from the numerous notebooks of her lesson plans dating from as early as 1955 up to 1993 when she retired. The students who would have taken these classes were between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, and most of them still had an additional two to three years of training to complete. Many had joined the National Ballet School in Grade 5 where the first level of ballet training was offered.