Academy Ballet Classes
Pre-Ballet (ages 3-4)
This class is meant to introduce young children to the structure and environment of a ballet class where they learn to take simple direction from the teacher, while developing flexibility, musicality, and refining large motor skills. Emphasis is placed on:
- Eye-hand/eye-foot exercises for basic coordination
- lengthening attention span
- timing, rhythm and musicality
- basic lesson etiquette
- simple terminology
Children gain body awareness and begin to master group work, for example, moving in a circle or working with partners. Basic movement themes such as jumping, balletic runs, walks, spinning and skipping are explored as an introduction to classical ballet.
Ballet 1 (ages 5-7)
Ballet 1 is where the basic building blocks of ballet are introduced, and classes become much more structured. Students start to learn more ballet vocabulary. This level introduces the basic curriculum to further prepare the student for the beginning levels of dance. Children now learn to work in lines and on the diagonal. Coordination and control of the body, arms, hands and head are improved.
Ballet 2 (ages 7-9)
Building on what was learned in Ballet 1, the number of steps is increased. Steps are combined to form new ones. This level introduces elementary exercises for mastering the placement of the body, legs, arms & head, and developing elementary skills in the coordination of the steps. Basic musicality & rhythm, “safe & healthy” rotation mechanisms and the proper serious attitude toward the art are introduced. Students are introduced to the foundations of barre work in order to develop proper alignment and classical technique. Aplomb is further developed with the use of demi –pointe. Quarter and ½ turns on the whole foot are commenced.
Ballet 3 (placement required)
Students continue to build their vocabulary with new exercises at the barre and in the centre in order to develop proper alignment and classical technique. Class work continues to improve the dancer’s spacial awareness and orientation of the body. At this level an emphasis is placed on turning, jumping, and linking steps. Students are expected to show awareness of basic technique, appropriate timing, and musicality. Classical ballet lines should be established along with a new vocabulary for traveling steps, elevation and pirouettes. This level continues to consolidate the basic elements of posture, aplomb, transference of weight, with an increased use of the demi-pointe.
Ballet 4 (placement required)
Students at this level have a strong understanding of classical vocabulary and can now adequately demonstrate use of line and musical performance. They are given extended barre exercises with increasing demi pointe work, stretching and strengthening. Placement is refined, and big jumps are introduced. The use of correct arms and heads is emphasized. Students strengthen their ability in various turns and develop smooth connection of arms and body. There is an increased emphasis in this level of turning both on the the demi-pointe and en l’air in allegro steps. There is also an increased emphasis on the flow of movement from the various learned poses. Steps begin to be linked in more complex and expressive ways. At this level an emphasis is placed on detail and artistry, therefore, increasing stamina, concentration and discipline are required. Dancers will learn to communicate expression and feeling in their movement. Pre-pointe work will be considered at this level at the discretion of the teacher.
Ballet 5 (placement required)
This level is designed to give the necessary training to students wishing to study seriously. This level consolidates all of the basic elements of classical ballet training, with a continued emphasis on posture, coordination, stability and expressiveness; it encourages the technical requirements along with establishing artistry, musicality and feeling. Stresses technical mastery of beating steps, more complex turns, developing smoothness of graceful movements & suppleness, harmonious movement transitions, more complex adagio and allegro, and developing elevation in the big jumps. Good stance and placement required for pirouettes and grand allegro. At this level, articulate footwork and secure use of legs is crucial. Dancers continue to work on coordination of the whole body with the addition of fluidity of movement. Added steps include multiple pirouettes and beating jumps.
Ballet 6 (placement required)
Students at this level have a vast knowledge of classical ballet vocabulary. In this level, the study of jumps in the various ways and the development of the “balon” quality (bounce, springiness & elasticity) is stressed. The artistry of dance is highlighted. Here, technique and artistry start to fuse into one. Complex combinations with beating steps performed in a quick tempo are also given. The execution of all fundamental movements in adagio and petit & grand allegro are carried through with finishing touches. Refining technique continues to challenge as students are now expected to perform at a professional level.
Non-Academy Ballet Classes
This class meets in sessions.
Mom* and baby (up to any baby-wearing age)
This class offers a low-impact, fun, toning workout for moms, soothing movement and music for babies, and a great bonding experience for both. It’s also a great place to meet other new moms! Come enjoy the beauty of ballet while reaping the benefits of post-natal exercise including (but not limited to): restored and strengthened muscles, increased energy, and stress release. Class time will focus on warm-ups, modified barre and center exercises, and stretching. Feel free to address the needs (nursing, changing, etc.) of your little one during class; if you have an older baby who wants to get down and explore dancing on her own, that’s fine too!
Wear comfortable exercise clothes; dance shoes are recommended, but socks are fine. Please bring a blanket, towel, or yoga mat for you and baby to sit/lie on during stretching time. We also highly encourage bringing your own water bottle.
*Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure you are okay to exercise.
**Make sure you bring a supportive, age-appropriate baby-carrier; wraps, soft-structured carriers, and mei tais are best. Baby should be worn on the front; whether baby faces in or out is at your discretion. Please follow carrier instructions for safe baby-wearing.
Mommy & Me Ballet (ages 2-3 + Mom)
Mommy & Me Ballet is designed for children who are 2-3 years of age to take class with Mom. Together we will learn basic ballet technique, and also work social skills such as taking turns, playing together, and listening to instructions.
Beginner Ballet (ages 8-12)
This class is specifically for the older beginner, and students who need to perfect basic ballet technique. Geared toward ages 8-12, this class will focus on fundamental ballet technique at the barre, in the center, and across the floor.
Teen/Adult Ballet (Beginner & Intermediate)
Teen/Adult Ballet is a safe and fun environment for dancers of any level to cultivate grace, balance, discipline, and basic ballet technique. We will focus on body alignment, flexibility, and strength as we learn the movement and philosophy foundational to classical ballet. The class will include exercises at the barre, stretching, and movements across the floor. No experience is required – come ready to work and find joy in the journey.
Ballet & Tap 1 (ages 5-7)
Students will learn basic ballet and tap skills through both structured technique instruction, as well as dance games and exercises. Students are encouraged to be creative, and enjoy learning in this less structured environment. The class will focus on grasping basic skills, and also learning creativity and expression.