“The author, Cheryl Ale, speaks passionately from her heart about the origins of Revolutionary Principles of Movement. RPM is a method that was discovered by Jo Anna Kneeland, documented and developed by Ruth Petrinović, and was originally financed and endorsed by Rebekah Harkness. The Harkness School and Company of New York became the training ground for Ms Kneeland’s discoveries. Multitudes of teachers and dancers have been impacted by this wisdom. Ballet is not just the pretty steps and pictures, it is also the motivating patterns of energy that flow through and connect those steps and pictures, making them into dance. Like anything, ballet has its ebbs and flows, and Ale helps reintroduce these important principles to the World of Dance.”
– Mary Price Boday
“This book has had a profound effect on me on three levels: as a dancer, as a teacher, and as a parent.
As a dancer, I emotionally decided that ballet was a calling around 12 years old. However, physically I did not have a typical ballet body type, and fought issues with turnout and posture. I struggled with where to train to further my pursuits. Certain training styles took me backwards around 14, and I became more stiff and tense, which hindered all my work, especially my turns. Luckily, a new school opened with teachers who brought RPM to us. Although I had a lot of bad habits I now had to overcome, the RPM techniques empowered me, and I was able to go farther in two years than I ever thought possible. Everything I have been able to do since then has been thanks to RPM principles.
As a teacher, I looked for years on where and how to train with RPM, but could not find it until a few years ago when I was able to attend the teacher training. Although I knew the principles on certain levels from my training, I was able to gain yet another level of understanding when approaching it as a teacher. I have personally witnessed these principles at work on my students and the amazing results that can be gained from them. I have also witnessed how certain areas of the dance world are still very unaccepting of this philosophy, which is discussed in the book.
As a parent, I still find it incredibly difficult to navigate where to take my child for additional training. To try to free him from the mistakes I made, I have and continue to seek out teachers and programs associated with RPM. I know that no matter what style of ballet is taught, the underlying spirit will add, and not detract, from what he needs.
This book provides an excellent history of RPM. Anyone who dances or teaches will be inspired by the author’s story of how she overcame injury and was still able to dance professionally. Having ballet be accessible for everyone is a wonderful thing, but presents challenges to teachers, who have to be able to adapt ballet training to any body type. This is the kind of book you will want to go back to again and again, any time you are in need of inspiration. Dance can require us to be like a phoenix. We feel at times like we have crashed and burned, yet once we pick ourselves up again, we can come back better and stronger. This book will pick you up out of the ashes to help you rise again.”
– A. Hudgins
“Cheryl’s passions for life and dance illuminate though-out the book and bring back cherished memories of our childhood at the ballet studio under the tutelage of “Mrs. P”. We were so fortunate to be the beneficiaries of expert training that evolved into the “Revolutionary Principles of Movement” that afforded us a livelihood in the world of dance! There is no one more equipped to tell this story, than Cheryl, who through blood, sweat and tears, blossomed from a young girl with a broken leg into an exquisite ballerina, Dance Teacher and now Teacher of Teachers. This book should be a pre-requisite for dance teachers who desire to be “The Spark” for their student’s realization of their highest potential and fulfillment of their dreams. Thank you Cheryl for being the “Spark” in so many of our lives!”
– Mary Nutt
“Loved this book. Cheryl is a treasure to the dance community. Her ideas are so clear and mature that they are readily assimilated by novice dancers as well as experienced dancers. After applying one “idea”, both of my coaches saw significant improvement. She helped me rediscover, better understand, and apply what I thought I already knew.”
“The Spark, by Cheryl Ale is truly an asset to all those former ballet dancers who have been fortunate enough to become teachers. Ms. Ale draws the reader in with her passion for the art and leads into the specific techniques of the methodology and principles of movement that are the foundation developed by Ruth C. Petrinovic. This brilliant system of training developed to perfect quality of movement for kinetic efficiency has produced many dance artists. The system not only optimizes the quality of movement but prevents injury. The Spark is a great tool for teachers who are passionate about preserving the legacy of sound American classical ballet training. Thank you Cheryl for your wonderful work.“
– Pamela Agudelo
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Ballet is an exquisite form of art that expresses the truest passion. The Spark by Cheryl Ale is a one-of-a-kind book that rewrites the age-old traditional teachings in ballet. Ballet is perceived simply as moving and creating perfect lines with the body.
Most ballet teachers follow the archaic method, which doesn’t hold any scope for experimenting. These techniques are not only ineffective but also cause countless emotional and physical damages. Cheryl Ale is the proponent of a new technique known as Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM).
This is a combination of kinesiology and anatomy applied to dance. RPM is a method that frees your body and allows its natural expression.
The controlled flow of energy eases our body to all styles and patterns of movements. This is the true embodiment of passion that helps us live our dream.
Author Cheryl Ale herself is an extraordinary success story. Her transformation from a girl with a broken leg to one of the best ballerina in the industry is no less than a miracle.
The credit of her success belongs to Ruth Petrinovic, who developed the RPM technique. She applied the teachings of Jo Anna Kneeland and revolutionized this art form completely. Jo Anna used laws of physics to create a more understandable method in dance. With proper discipline and focus, anyone with any type of body can master ballet. You may think this is an exaggeration, but no, it is very much possible.
Teaching art is different from performing it. It’s because only a good mentor can create a true ‘spark’ in a child’s mind. Ballet is an ocean of complexities with different styles and levels. It is a a very difficult art form to master. In a world of fast-paced and ever-changing dance forms, a teacher needs to adapt to these developments. The true ‘spark’ only comes when we bring together our body, mind, and spirit to one goal. RPM is the technique that creates ‘spark’ in every performer’s body and mind.
Ruth Petrinovics’s students, including Cheryl, are the first generation of educators who mastered RPM. Every concept in RPM is conveyed with utmost clarity and conviction in this book. The accompanying illustrations certainly help the readers to form a better understanding of this method. This ground-breaking technique aims to create a healthy connection between the art and its performer. Because that’s where the magic lies…
– The Moving Words Review