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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.
In Ballet 1, 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.
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.
Ages 8-10 Ballet 2 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 1
Ballet 3 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: Ballet 2
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 Ballet 4 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.
Ballet 4 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 Ballet 4 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: Ballet 3
Students at this level are required to take, at a minimum, three technique classes per week. Entry to the Pre-Professional Ballet curriculum is by invitation only.
Students will continue to bring the following to each class:
- A lightweight yoga mat. Mats should be a single, solid color with no patterns or character printing.
- A copy of the “Technical Manual & Dictionary of Classical Ballet” by Gail Grant (Third Revised Edition or newer)
- A copy of “The Human Body – An Illustrated Guide to Your Body and How it Works” by Amber Books (2017 Edition or newer)
- A 36” firm foam roller and tennis ball
Students who are invited to join the Ballet 5 curriculum will have presented themselves as eager and driven within the classroom setting. Mastery of artistry and performance is expected at this level. Growing strength and control of the trunk and pelvis in adage work will develop into a security that facilitates higher leg extensions. This control of the body’s core will be further called upon to perform the correct throwing action of a grand battement and grand allegro. Petite allegro will become refined. Pointework is expected at this level, and various popular classical variations will be taught. Students will develop a sense of self-critique while also learning how to write about dance. Dance history will also be discussed.
Prerequisite: Ballet 4
This class is open to all Ballet 3 and Ballet 4 students. 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
This class is structured to give our students a feel of what it’s like dancing with a professional company. Classes will start with an advanced level ballet class and end with either a modern technique class or learning and creating original choreography specifically for the dancers. 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. Senior Company is included for students enrolled in Ballet 5, these students do not need to enroll.
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.
Having demonstrated a proficiency in Modern 1, 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 of 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: Modern 1