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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 and perform expressively, and be able to demonstrate use of appropriate movement dynamics, coordination, elevation, and awareness of space.  Level 1 students have the choice of 1 or 2 days a week of training.  Use both ID numbers if you choose twice a week.

Level 2 (2 – 3 years of training)

Ages 6 – 8
In Level 2 the 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.  Level 2 students must have passed level one or be placed by Directors 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.

Level 4 (5 – 6 years of training)

Ages 10 – 12
Students will be expected to demonstrate consolidated technical skills, and as 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.

Level 5/6 (7 – 8 years of training)

Ages 11 – 14
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. Pointework will be incorporated into this class if the
student has met the guidelines set by the Dance Arts School staff.

The Dance Arts School staff strongly encourages pre-pointe shoes or pointe shoes (if student has met the guidelines) in Levels 5 and 6.

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 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 epaulemente, 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) at Levels 5 on.

Junior Company (5 to 7 years of training)*

Ages 10-13
This is an additional class for those students who wish to perfect their technique and further develop their strength, coordination and flexibility.

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.

Variations (5+ years of training)*

Ages 11+
This class is open to students that have reached level 5 and up. Classical repertoire from ballets including Swan Lake, Nutracker, Ramonda, Sleeping Beauty among others will be viewed, taught and performed. Students that have had at least one year of pointework will be asked to dance on pointe during this class.

Photo by Nick Owens

Contemporary Classes

Beginning Contemporary 

Ages 12+
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.

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 strength and stability, weight placement, turn-out, 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 have 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+
This class continues to build on the information learned in Adult 2. Students should have 4+ years of continuous training and have 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 Ballet Pointework

Ages 16+
This class is designated for adults to work on strengthening their feet and working in Pointe shoes carefully. Must be approved by Dance Arts staff. Must be enrolled in an Adult Ballet 2/3 and/or Adult Ballet 3 class immediately prior.

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