The DVD: Caterina & Her Baby Ballerinas
The Details: DVD for teaching children ballet. 30 minutes. Cost is $19.95 + $2.99 s&h
The Review: This is a cute DVD, featuring a “grown up” dancer dressed as a cat and two ballet students. I think it would be something that young children would find appealing, and you can tell that thought was put into how to capture their attention. “Caterina” has a cute demeanor and is very encouraging, and the use of creative dissolves where she speaks directly to the camera is sure to be a hit with little ones. (She says things such as “purrfect” and “cat-tastic”.)
Things covered include a warmup, stretching and the ballet positions as well as some barre work and center work. I appreciated the fact that safety was emphasized–things such as not forcing turnout, and proper plie technique.
I’m not sure about the difficulty level–the age group that this video is best for is a bit hard to determine. Most of the dance information is at a very basic level, but she also teaches pirouettes and combinations that are best left for older, more experienced dance students. (That said, it doesn’t mean that your child couldn’t sit those out and do the rest of the video, as it’s pretty obvious which exercises are more difficult.)
All in all I found this to be a cute video that kids would enjoy. Very clever concept–I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.