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Ballet & Contemporary Curriculum

 

Core Ballet Classes

Level 1 (1 – 2 years of training)

Ages 5 – 8
These first years of training will begin to develop the student’s physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression, and musicality using a range of sounds and musical styles. This strong foundation prepares students for a successful transition to more formal ballet classes. In Level 1, students should be able to respond to the elements of music, perform expressively, and be able to demonstrate use of appropriate movement dynamics, coordination, elevation, and awareness of space. Parents may choose to have their students participate in no more than two sections of Ballet 1 per week, if desired. 

Level 2 (2 – 3 years of training)

Ages 6 – 8
Training will continue to develop the student’s physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression, and musicality using a range of sounds and musical styles. In Level 2, 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. This class will include some contemporary and character work. Level 2 students must have passed Level 1 or be placed by Director’s Permission.

Level 3 (3 – 4 years of training)

Ages 8 – 10
The training received in Level 3 will encourage the development of an 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, turn-out, and line, while beginning to hone the student’s awareness of artistry and dynamics. This class will include some contemporary and character work.

Level 4 (5 – 6 years of training)

Ages 10 – 12
Students will be expected to demonstrate consolidated technical skills, and an increased range of movements and sequences of increased length and complexity. They should also show a clear understanding of the mechanics and purpose of the required vocabulary. Students should show the ability to sustain an appropriate sensitivity to varying musical qualities. Technically clean Pirouettes will be asked for, and speed in petit allegro work will increase. This class will include some contemporary and character work at the end of the class.

Level 5/6 (7 – 8 years of training)

Ages 11 – 14
In adage movements, instructors will be watching for the develop¬ment of weight placement over the forefoot of the supporting leg in order to facilitate correct turnout and strength. Single Pirouettes should become refined and strong, and doubles will be introduced. Ballon in petit allegro should be cleanly established. Grand allegro will become refined. Pointework will be incorporated into this class if the student has met the guidelines set by the Dance Arts School staff.

Level 7 (8 – 10 years of training)

Ages 14+
Artistry and performance will be insisted upon at this level. Further development of strength and control of the trunk and pelvis in adage work will become secure to facilitate an above 90 degree leg. This control of the body’s core will be further called upon to perform the correct throwing action of a Grand Battement and also in grand allegro. Double Pirouettes should be easily attained at this level. Pointework and men’s grand allegro will be incorporated into this class if the student has met the guidelines set by the Dance Arts School staff.

Level 8 (9 – 11 years of training)

Ages 15+
Pointework and artistry will be further strengthened. Use of epaule¬mente, strength and flexibility to perform advanced phrases and sequences of movement will be called upon. Students will develop more confidence and height in their grand allegro and adagio work.

The Dance Arts School staff strongly encourages pre-pointe shoes or pointe shoes (if student has met the guidelines) in Levels 5, 6, 7, and 8. Practice tutus are encouraged in Levels 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Junior Company (5 to 7 years of training)*

Ages 8-12
This is an additional class for those students who wish to perfect their technique. Student must be enrolled in a core ballet class.

Senior Company Bootcamp (6+ years of training)*

Ages 13+
This class will include stretch and conditioning exercises to improve student’s success and further improve their technique. Pointework is included in this class. 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 already enrolled with the Dance Arts School, and attend two or more ballet classes per week.

Photo by Nick Owens

Contemporary Classes

Beginning Contemporary 

Ages 10+
Classes will be structured much like classical ballet and will include a warm-up, strengthening, floor work, technique training, and movement combinations.

Intermediate Contemporary 

Ages 13+
This class follows the same structure as Beginning Contemporary, but with lengthier and more complex combinations including basic contemporary partnering exercises. Students must have previously taken Beginning Contemporary and been approved by Dance Arts staff.

Improvisation And Composition

Ages 13+
Students will utilize their prior technical training in ballet and contemporary to learn the fundamentals of how to create dance through Postmodern methods. Class time will be divided between lecturing and application of ideas. Throughout the course, students will create several small works which will be shown and critiqued by their classmates as part of a collaborative learning experience. Placement in this course must be approved by Dance Arts Director. Younger students may be considered with permission.

CPD DANCE INTENSIVE

Ages 13+
This one-week dance intensive is intended for serious dancers with at least 6 years experience in ballet and contemporary technique. Instruction will be given at an Intermediate/Advanced level. Each day will include an hour and a half each of ballet and contemporary class, followed by two hours of focused rehearsal and repertory which will be used to learn an original dance written by the Dance Arts Director. At the end of the week, a brief, informal showing will be held for students to perform this dance for family as a way of celebrating their hard work. Interested students do not need to be enrolled in other Dance Arts programs to participate. Current Dance Arts students may not replace weekly Summer classes with this Intensive. Students may only register upon receiving permission from the Dance Arts Director.

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.

Continuing Education

Supplemental technique classes are given in the “freework style”. Instructors will give the combinations of dance steps and the students will perform them. Supplemental dance classes are for the once a week dancer, or for students who are eager for more class time to perfect their ballet technique.adult ballet

Adult Beginning Ballet 1 (0-2 years of training)

Ages 16+
This class is for adults with 0 to 2 years of experience, or for students with former education who want to get back into training. Fundamentals of formal ballet will be taught. Necessary skills such as core stability, weight placement, turnout, and alignment will be introduced.

Adult Ballet 2 (2-4 years of training)

Ages 16+
This class continues to build on the information learned in Adult 1. Students should have 2 to 4 years of continuous training and teacher recommendation. In adage movements, instructors will be watching for the development of weight placement over the forefoot of the supporting leg in order to facilitate correct turnout and strength. Single Pirouettes should become refined and strong, and doubles will be introduced. Ballon in petit allegro should be cleanly established. Grand allegro will become refined.

Adult Ballet 3 (4+ years of training)

Ages 16+
Students should have 4+ years of continuous training and teacher recommendation. Further development of strength and control of the trunk and pelvis in adage work will be concentrated on. This control of the body’s core will be further called upon to perform the correct throwing action of the leg for a Grand Battement and also in grand allegro. Double Pirouettes should be easily attained at this level.

Adult Pointework

Ages 16+
Pointework will be included at the end of the Adult 2/3 class and is designated for adults who want to work on strengthening their feet and work in pointe shoes carefully. Students must be enrolled in at least 2 ballet classes a week. Must be approved by Dance Arts staff.

Adult Beginning Contemporary

Ages 16+
So you think you can dance? Feel inspired to try something new? This beginner class will introduce you to several basic concepts of Modern dance technique that will encourage strength, coordination, and a spirit of adventure. Classes will include warm-up, technical training, and movement exercises. Younger students will be considered with permission from the Dance Arts Director.

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