Elementary Division Classes
Ballet I-A, I-B, I-C
Ballet II-A, II-B
Pre-Teen & Teen Ballet
Our Elementary Division provides instruction specifically tailored for the special needs of young developing students, ages 5-9. Classes introduce students to skills necessary for classical ballet training. Gentle discipline and encouragement are combined to nurture each child’s natural creativity. Terminology and the basics of technique are gradually introduced.
Beginning Ballet uses similar principles and techniques that are taught in Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet. Correct placement and body alignment are now of utmost importance. Class structure greatly advances as barre work is introduced. All exercises, skills, and steps become faster and more complex. Many new steps are introduced at this level. Students are more disciplined and eager to learn at this level; therefore, more literal terminology is used, and basic ballet terms are introduced.
The aim of Ballet I is to produce a proper understanding and execution of basic ballet technique. Emphasis is placed on the discipline and classroom etiquette required of all ballet students. Classwork begins at the ballet barre. Students are guided through a series of exercises designed to strengthen the leg muscles and train the torso and upper body in order to maintain proper ballet placement. Simple conditioning exercises are begun to ensure suppleness in the muscles necessary in the years to come. Center combinations are kept simple and appropriate. Center work incorporates technique, coordination, awareness of space, and sensitivity to music – all vital to the understanding of classical ballet.
Once the student has completed the Ballet I level, more serious training can begin. Two technique classes per week are required with entrance into level II-A. More emphasis is now placed on proper turn-out of the leg (outward rotation of the entire leg from the hip socket), lengthening of the muscles, and correct stance. Students continue barre work and time is spent increasing the balance on one leg. Center combinations become more complex, focusing again on balance with the addition of two-footed turns. More attention is given to jumps through acquiring greater strength for increased elevation. Entry into the II-C level requires pointe work: students in level II-B are evaluated at the end of the year to determine their readiness to being pointe classes.
Pre-Teen and Teen Ballet offer a pathway for students wanting to further their passion for dance and continue their ballet training on a recreational basis that does not involve pointe work. Teen ballet focuses on strengthening, conditioning, flexibility, and agility. As ballet is the foundation of all dance genres, teen ballet provides a solid technical platform for those studying multiple dance disciplines. This is a non-performing class.