Images, impulses, instincts and ideas are the precursors of movement — the instigators of movement.

They are present before music is played, before a story is read, and before the body even moves.

Yet, where do they come from and how are they integrated in the lesson to produce movement which releases a young dance student’s imagination?

Miss Bailay, who has been teaching for over 25 years, carefully nurtures the creative and original gifts of each child. Before a student begins to move, underlying images, impulses, and instincts are already present within the child’s being. When these are tapped and brought forth, they can produce movement and provide the young dance student with the ability to be creatively expressive using the body as an instrument. Through her child-centered teaching, Miss Bailay creates a context for this process to happen and gently encourages each child. Miss Bailay believes that each child’s unique essence produces “internal images” which are the seeds of originality and individuality. Ultimately, these combine with impulses and instincts to become the movement and the dancing that the young student creates with distinct expression.

From here, the continuing student enters a new stage that cultivates higher instincts. These higher instincts allow images, impulses and ideas to enter a student’s awareness. Miss Bailay then assists the student through conscious movement exercises (such as the roving mind’s eye) which enhance self-knowledge and enable a student to witness their own experience. Within this deep internal creative process, the student can discover and explore their original ideas through movement and find self-confidence within. The self-confidence building in this teaching approach is done from the inside through hard work and play.

At both stages, a student’s imagination is influenced by the complex interactions of their unique set of images, impulses, instincts and ideas. Of these four, the greater fulfillment of a student’s creative and original potential comes from “internal images”. The closer a student comes to their own internal images, the closer they come to their own essence. The entire process, which may be repeated endlessly, requires utmost respect and begs to be honored. The impact on the creator — the student — is enormous.

A young dancer’s imagination always yearns to be alive — to find a way to soar! Through images, impulses, instincts, and ideas, the student’s imagination is born. Creativity thrives — and the creative process is well under way!

“Her interest and devotion to each and every student are truly great qualities in her teaching.”
– Miss Mary Day, 1986, Founder of The Washington School of Ballet.

©Copyright Deborah Bailay 2009; Edited by Nicole Flender