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Private

Private Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) lessons with the founder & creator

By

marie walton-mahon

Private PBT lessons from the founder & creator of the program, Marie Walton-Mahon. Progressing Ballet Technique is an innovative program developed by Marie Walton-Mahon for students to understand the depth of training muscle memory in achieving their personal best in classical ballet.
Marie has been known for her creative teaching skills for almost 4 decades and has trained many professional dancers and teachers’ worldwide. She has experimented with outstanding success the use of muscle memory to improve students understanding of core stability, weight placement and alignment for over 20 years. Safe Dance training has been a passion of Marie’s as an educator for over 40 years. It is difficult for students to feel what muscles initiate the correct alignment in ballet training, however, as the fit ball is continually mobile under the students’ body it gives the students a sense of posture and weight –placement whilst feeling each correct muscle group.
Each exercise has been developed with care and guidance with a team of physiotherapists.
Marie’s former ballet training was in Newcastle Australia passing all RAD examinations including Honours in Advanced and the Solo Seal award in 1970. In 1971, she continued her studies in France with a scholarship at the Rosella Hightower School In Cannes before being offered a professional contract to join Les Ballet de Marseille under the artistic direction of Roland Petit. The company toured to Paris with the late great Maya Plisetskaya “I was asked by Maya Plisetskaya to join her while she practiced a particular floor barre before classes. I noticed her setting up her mind and body before class each day and I noticed when doing this myself, I performed better. This experience instilled in me the hunger to learn more about the importance of the dancers’ body and their preparation to perform at a high standard and maintain a healthy body.”Marie’s personal career was cut short when in 1973 when her father suffered a heart attack and she was required back home in Australia. She then opened up her own school in 1974.
“I found a new passion in teaching and assisting every child to obtain their personal best in training. I studied books in anatomy and in 1979 trained with Valerie Greig who wrote the book (Inside ballet technique) that inspired my continual learning with innovative teaching styles.”
During the 1980’s many graduates from her school were taking up positions in prestigious Pre-Professional schools and positions in acclaimed ballet companies. Her confidence grew in her ability to teach the students, promoting the feeling of every movement through muscle memory in order to achieve the active movement. In the mid 90’s she commenced working with a group of 10-year-old students with the use of stability balls and after only 3 months the students became so aware of their posture, alignment and weight-placement that it encouraged Marie to explore more exercises around the concept of removing the floor and setting up the proprioception in the mind and body, ready for the classroom.
In 2005 Marie experimented with these exercises, which created the foundation for the PBT program, with a 16-year-old male dancer, Daniel Roberge, who had no former ballet training. He was instructed to practice PBT daily alongside ballet classes in order for him to display the improvement. He improved so much that in 2007, two years after his first ballet lesson, he sat for all senior ballet examinations and was awarded the silver medal at the Genèe International Competition in Singapore. The next year Daniel signed a contract with Washington Ballet. Marie acknowledges that nothing takes the place of good ballet training, however, convinced that alongside ballet training, PBT accelerates technique.
In 2012, Marie was tutoring teachers for the Royal Academy of Dance, showing the teachers a couple of exercises to improve the students’ alignment and stability. It was at this course that the teachers requested Marie to film all of her work and share her findings. Three DVDs and an online training program later, Progressing Ballet Technique teachers courses sell out around the globe and is being officially taught in thousands of schools across 40 countries.

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