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Ballet & Contemporary Curriculum

Registration Information:

Winter/Spring 2020 Class Chart

2019-2020 Dance Arts Conservatory Handbook – Fillable

2019-2020 Parent Information & Participant Forms – Fillable

2020 Performance Agreement


Core Ballet Classes

Students enrolled in Core Ballet classes are required to take, at a minimum, two technique classes per week.

Ballet Concepts

The Ballet Concepts block will focus on building physical strength, stamina, creativity, musicality, and expression. Class work will begin to encourage the development of core body strength and hone both fine and gross motor skills. Students at this level will evolve their ballet terminology and musical interpretation. This block will start with the introduction of the ballet barre and end with a level of comfort in the engagement of a complete classical ballet class. Girls are required to wear pink tights with their class leotard, pink leather ballet shoes (no canvas ballet shoes), and have their hair pulled back neatly in a classical ballet bun. Boys are required to wear black dance shorts, a white shirt, and black leather ballet shoes. All students are expected to arrive for their dance class with a neat and tidy appearance.

Ballet Concepts A

Ages 6-8
In Ballet Concepts A, students will begin the transition into a formal ballet class. Training will continue to develop the student’s physical skills and develop core strength, stamina, creativity, expression, and musicality using a range of sounds and musical styles. Students should be able to respond to the elements of music and perform expressively, and be able to demonstrate use of appropriate movement dynamics, coordination, elevation, and awareness of space. Students should also be able to demonstrate a competency in both fine and gross motor skills, as well as demonstrate the mental preparedness to move on to more formal ballet technique classes. Engaging correct ballet technique will become a focus within the classroom.

Prerequisite: Ballet 101 or Director’s approval

Ballet Concepts B

Ages 7-9
The training received in Ballet Concepts B will continue to encourage the development of appropriate and sound technique. Each year of training identifies and teaches the necessary skills that result in secure technique, such as core stability, weight placement, and turnout while beginning to refine the student’s awareness of artistry and dynamics.

Prerequisite: Ballet Concepts A

Primary Ballet

In the Primary Ballet block, students will become increasingly comfortable with a complete classical ballet class and will begin adding to their repertoire of terminology and execution of compound steps (en enchaînement). Vocabulary and note taking will be an important element in these classes, as well as notation of exercises and musical theory. Knowledge of basic anatomy will also be emphasized. At this level, students should display an eagerness to learn and develop a sense of self-motivation to master new material.

  • Students are required to bring a lightweight yoga mat to class. Mats should be a single, solid color with no patterns or character printing.
  • Students are required to bring the “Technical Manual & Dictionary of Classical Ballet’” by Gail Grant (Third Revised Edition or newer) to each class.

Primary Ballet A

Ages 8-10
Primary Ballet A is the stepping stone toward demonstrating consistent use of consolidated technical skills, with the expectation of working for an increased range of movements and sequences of increased length and complexity.

Prerequisite: Ballet Concepts B

Primary Ballet B

Ages 10-11
Primary Ballet B students will begin broadening their ballet vocabulary and will be expected to utilize correct terminology in discussion during ballet class. Efforts in this class are geared toward building technique and increasing the ability to use the muscles within the body correctly to direct movement, as well as interpreting the music that is heard and expressing those qualities through the movement produced.

Prerequisite: Primary Ballet A

Primary Ballet C

Ages 11+
Students exhibiting the strength necessary to begin preparation for pointework may be invited to purchase and wear pre-pointe shoes for their technique classes. The information provided for Primary Ballet C is not only about the training that is unique to this level of dance, but will highlight the qualities that the Program Administrators are looking to identify within each new group of young dancers, indicating a readiness to be invited to attend the pre-professional ballet curriculum. Primary Ballet C students should have a solid foundation of ballet terminology and should regularly demonstrate a healthy work ethic. The expectation is that students at this level of training should be actively seeking out information on how to improve their technique and performance as a display of ownership over their artistry. Without exception, students in Primary Ballet C should be taking care of their personal and dance related needs: putting up their own hair, sewing elastics and ribbons on shoes (when indicated), and caring for themselves properly. Students should be independently arriving early for class in order to warm-up their bodies and prepare for a rigorous lesson, as well stretching and keeping instructors informed of any unusual soreness, injury, etc.

Prerequisite: Primary Ballet B

Junior Company

Ages 8-11
This class is open to all Primary Ballet B and Primary Ballet C students. Primary Ballet A students must receive special permission or an invitation to attend. Note that consideration will be given to those students who have expressed an interest in participating in an additional class each week. This class will include components of stretching and conditioning. This is an additional class for those students who wish to perfect their technique and demonstrate their desire to be invited to join the Pre-Professional curriculum.

Senior Company Bootcamp

Ages 11+
This class includes stretching and conditioning exercises with contemporary dance, a standard ballet technique class, and pointework. Students who have not met the guidelines set by the Dance Arts staff to safely move into pointework, and male students that are enrolled, will participate on demi-pointe and be provided further strengthening exercises. Junior and Senior Company classes are only offered to students who are currently enrolled with the Dance Arts Conservatory and attend two or more ballet classes per week.

Contemporary Classes

Beginning Modern

Ages 10-16
With a structure similar to a classical ballet technique class, this beginner level Modern Dance course will include warm-up, strengthening, floor work, technique training, and movement combinations. Offering a wide foundation in Modern Dance vocabulary, this class is perfect for students who want to try dancing without the rigidity of classical ballet.

Intermediate Modern

Ages 13+
Having demonstrated a proficiency in Beginning Modern, students may move into this Intermediate technique class which operates in much the same way. Classroom combinations will be lengthier, more complex, and include basic partnering and weight sharing exercises. Movement concepts in this class are heavily influenced by a variety several Modern Dance influencers, such as Doris Humphrey, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, and more. In addition, there will be a historical research component to the curriculum for this course.

Prerequisite: Beginning Modern

Dance History – NEW!

Ages 13+
In this lecture-based class, students will receive lessons in the foundations of both Classical Ballet and Modern dance. Through course work, students will gain a deeper appreciation of the beginnings of the genres they study, and acquire a more thoughtful approach to dance theory and its applications. Dancers will be asked to do small amounts of independent research on chosen topics to cultivate dance research and dance criticism skills.


Ballet Examinations

Each spring, Core Ballet students will participate in an Examination. Students will be asked to perform the curriculum work learned during the past year of training. Occasionally, a student will be held back to gain a better understanding of the work represented in the curriculum. A student may also be encouraged to repeat a level, should the student experience a sudden growth spurt. The Dance Arts staff is trained to recognize developments that may impair physical control of the body. To prevent injury, a student may need slower training until the muscles, tendons, and ligaments have lengthened enough to match bone growth in a young dancer’s body. Core Ballet Class examinations will take place during the week of May 11.


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