Classical Ballet Training for Ages 7-18
Our comprehensive, traditional approach incorporates Vaganonva and Balanchine methodologies. Whether your child just loves to dance or is an aspiring professional, all of our students are encouraged to attain their highest level of accomplishment.
Level A (2nd grade) Dancers will begin learning the structure of a traditional ballet class and the terminology and order of the exercises. Each class begins with a gentle warm-up for mobility and postural awareness. Then, dancers are introduced to barre work, which lays the foundation for all future ballet training. In center work, arm patterns, basic positions, simple turns, jumps, and steps across the floor are taught with classical music accompaniment. We encourage children to use imagination and artistic expression in our holistic approach to ballet education. 1-3 classes per week recommended.
Level B (ages 8-10) is a two-year course with two classes per week recommended. Following the longstanding tradition of classical ballet education, the elements of barre and center technique will be established along with the concepts of “turnout” from the hip, “stretching” the feet, and “lengthening” the spine. We learn the proper terminology of the exercises at the barre and center and put steps together in combinations that are memorized and repeated to classical music. Repetition of the positions, exercises, and combinations is vital at this stage. This is why we require two years of mastery in Level B. Our teachers nurture a sense of accomplishment, musicality, and artistic expression throughout the class, which concludes with big traveling steps across the floor.
Level C (ages 10-12) is a two-year course. We highly recommend two classes a week or more. Dancers reach an early Intermediate level of ballet vocabulary and proficiency. Classes are traditionally structured and longer in duration, with barre and center exercises that increase in complexity and difficulty. We will focus on the crucial elements of technique: posture and placement, turnout from the hips, strength and articulation of the legs and feet, extension of the body line, flexibility, arm positions, balance, control, and turns and jumps that are unique to classical ballet. Musical rhythms and tempi become more challenging. Building whole-body coordination and sense of accomplishment are goals. Repetition of the positions, exercises, and combinations is vital at this stage. This is why we require two years of mastery in Level C, unless dancers are recommended to the Conservatory Division in their second year. Teachers encourage artistic expression within the structure of the exercises.
Level D is an Advanced Intermediate class for middle and high school dancers who have significant ballet experience and who are unable to commit to the rigorous Conservatory class schedule. Two or more classes per week are suggested. Teachers will guide each dancer toward a proficient level of accomplishment in classical ballet technique as a means to artistic expression. Our goal is for dancers to continue ballet studies through high school and beyond, and to instill a lifelong love for ballet and dance with all of its physical, intellectual, emotional, and social rewards. Dancers not ready for pointe shoes may attend the Pointe/Variations/Repertory classes in soft shoes.
Level E classes are for dancers aged 15-18 who have significant classical training and a thorough knowledge of ballet vocabulary. Our faculty will teach and mentor each student towards the fulfillment of their specific dance goal, whether it be a professional career, college admission, or for the physical, emotional, artistic, and social rewards of formal dance training. Advanced Technique classes are offered six days per week and are supplemented with Character, Pointe, Classical and Balanchine Variations, and Contemporary Repertory. Classes are physically demanding and require stamina, strength, and mental focus. Artistic expression and musicality are further developed while stylistic differences are discussed and explained. Dancers may be invited to participate in the YAGP, which will require additional fees and time commitments.