Create your own Dance of the Cygnets

This week we wondered if our ballet students would like to have a go at choreographing their own Dance of the Cygnets. If you would like to have a go please read on to find out what to do…

First watch these different version of the dance of the cygnets.  They are all done to the same piece of music by Tchaikovsky.

  • Traditional ballet version by the Royal Ballet
Dance of the Cygnets by the Royal ballet
  • A funny Chinese versionwhere the dancers are frogs instead of cygnets.    
Chinese Swan Lake
  • An upside down version:
Little Swans by Takane Dance
  • A male version of the cygnets choreographed by Mathew Bourne
Mathew Bourne Dance of the Cygnets

Next you can watch some real cygnets walking on land and getting into the water to see how it compares to the dance.

  • Real cygnets walking and getting into water
Cynets walking and getting into the water.

Now you are ready to have a go at making your own dance.  As you are by yourself it will need to be a solo dance rather than with other cygnets.  Here is how to do it:

  1. Watch the videos again and see if you can choose 3 movement ideas that you really like
  2. Have a go at dancing these movements. If you like the movements from the Mathew Bourne version with the male swans you could watch this video that teaches some of the movements.
Learn some Cygent moves with Paul Smethurst

Now to make it more interesting make up 1 movement of your own.  It could be any of these:

  1. A jump
  2. A turn
  3. A way of travelling
  4. A movement of the arms and head

Now add this to what you already have and try dancing this to the music. Try to think about:

  1. Where you are moving in space – do you travel around the room.
  2. What are you doing with your arms and head.
  3. Is this a serious or funny version of the cygnets?

Group Dance Opportunity

We would love to see and share what you have done within our createmovedance community.  So we would like to give you opportunity to join with us to create a createmovedance version of Dance of the Cygnets. The aim would be to edit all of your work together to create a single video to Tchaikovkys amazing music.

If you would like to be a part of this, here is what you need to do:

  1. Video your dance: it should be no longer than 30 seconds of movement
  2. Save the file and label it with your name
  3. Then either:
    1. Send the video to [email protected]
    2. If it is too big you can upload it to our dropbox folder here.

Live Ballet Classes

Hi Ballet Students,

We have found some great free ballet lessons online that you might enjoy led by a dancer trained at The English National Ballet School. Below is a link to her latest 2 – 5 year old class and a timetable for her weekly online classes. There are also adult classes if any parents are interested.

Swan Lake Continued

As we move into the second week of this term here are some new resources on Swan Lake for you to use.

For the younger students here is an activity pack you can download from English National Ballet. It includes activities to help you get to know the characters and the story. You will need a printer to print out the activity sheets

You can download the activity pack here here.

For the older students here is a beginners guide to ballet mime. Ballet mime was developed during the 19th century, the aim of ballet mime was to tell a story through gestures and was often used in action ballets to move the story along. 

Below is a video that explains how ballet mime is used in Swan Lake. It will help you to understand what is being communicated when you watch the ballet. Enjoy!

Summer term: Swan Lake

In our Ballet classes this term our theme would have been Swan Lake we would have been learning the story and looking especially at the Dance of the Cygnets. So instead, over the next few weeks we will be posting ideas and activities onto our website for you to learn and practice a bit about Swan Lake from home.  

Below are some resources to get you started:

  • Click below to downlaod and read the story of Swan Lake
  • For the younger students: click here to down load a colouring page of the cygents from Swan Lake. We would love to see your pictures and share them if you would like to take a photo and send them in.

Watch the dance of the cygnets from Swan Lake performed by dancers from the Royal Ballet

Watch Rumpelstiltskin Ballet

Here is a link to a showing from Sadlers wells this Friday This Friday on Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage, Ballet Lorent brings the beloved tale of Rumpelstiltskin to life in a magical dance theatre production. This story of love, obsession, grief and reconciliation is made to be enjoyed by grown-ups and kids of all ages. Gather the whole family for a pretend trip to the theatre (from home), for some much needed joy & escapism! Choreographed by Liv Lorent, retold by Carol Ann Duffy and narrated by Game of Thrones’ Ben Crompton.

Ballet Tech and Ballet Form – Week 30th March

Hello All…

I hope you are all managing to stay active and are finding ways to have fun. I thought I’d follow up with some more practice notes for you.

You already have your Winter Dances and Coordination practice you can do so I thought this week I’d set some more technical exercises for to do practice.

Firstly, can you find somewhere in your home that would work as a barre? Something steady for you to use, a table, a chair or kitchen unit with a safe space around for your legs and arms to extend.

See the source image

Plies: Facing the barre practice your plies in first and second positions, think about the corrections and pointers I give during plie practice:

  • Knees must be aligned over the feet
  • Don’t let the feet roll in or out and keep the heels down
  • Keep the back straight

Ballet Form students can also practice grande plies in 1st and 2nd

Click here for some music tracks.

Plies version 1

Plies version 2

Tendus: Facing the barre practice your Tendus to the front on both sides and to the side using both legs. Think about stretching to a full pointe through the working of the feet, this helps you tendu without bending the knee or raising the hip. Also remember to rotate/turn out the leg from the hip (remember the smiley face I draw on my ankle to help you see the correct positioning of my leg?)

See the source image

Some helpful Youtube clips and tips:



Finding some space practice your skips, gallops, marching and hopscotch, maybe you can create a pathway around your home to do the these.

Keep Dancing….I’d love to hear how you get on!

Click here for music.

Music for tendus version one

Music for tendus version two.

Music for marching and hopscotch.

Music for gallops, skipping.