Pre-Ballet, Pre-Ballet 1 and Intro to Level 1 are an introduction to formal ballet training. Classical ballet classes begin at age 3 with Pre-Ballet. Students will develop a foundation for ballet in a non-competitive learning environment, fostering a love for dance and music. Exercises promote correct posture, technique and flexibility, while expanding gross motor skills and developing balance and strength. Students are introduced to French vocabulary, movement expression, proper ballet etiquette and discipline. Students ages 5 & 6 will move to our Pre-Ballet 1 class. Students ages 7 and up with little to no ballet experience will be placed in our Intro to Level 1 class to help them build the dance foundation they need for their ballet education. Students ages 7 and up with previous classical ballet instruction will be required to take a placement class to determine their level.
Level 1 students focus on basic steps, skills, and movement principles of ballet. There is emphasis on correct placement, alignment, and use of the upper body. Classes utilize slower tempos, which gives the students the opportunity to focus on the correct form and helps them develop the use of the body, legs, and feet. There is a great deal of concentration on musicality, precision of movement, and clarity of line.
Level 1H classes emphasize everything that has been learned from Level 1, while adding faster tempos and more complex combinations. Students will be introduced to different musical accents, greater use of the arms and head, higher legs, and more steps in the combinations. The introduction of spotting the head begins for the understanding of pirouettes. 1H students begin strength and conditioning classes and take more classes each week which helps build strength and muscle memory. Our Level 1H students are introduced to multiple teachers in order to challenge the body within the same system.
Level 2 classes repeat the exercises learned in Levels 1 and 1H in an increased number and difficulty. There is emphasis on the development of strength in the legs and feet through exercises on relevé and balancing on relevé is emphasized. There is detailed emphases on the coordination of movement and how the arms move while dancers are at the barre and in the center.
Level 3 focuses on everything from the previous levels while adding greater difficulty and more complexity. Students begin to do exercises on relevé in the center. Easier exercises are done en tournant, and an in depth study of pirouettes begins. Tempos for combinations are faster and accentuated.
Level 3H gives focused attention to ankle stability and strength on relevé. Students work on articulation of their feet during take offs and landings of jumps and while on pointe. Everything is repeated from the prior years in a faster, more difficult, and timely manner. Complex combinations begin to challenge students minds and artistry.
Level 4 repeats everything from the previous level, but to a higher degree. This level strengthens the stability in various turns, while doing increased exercises on relevé. Students begin to develop the smooth connection of movements between the arms and body. There is a greater focus on speed and more complex combinations.
Level 5 students concentrate on mastering the technique of beats, or beating steps, and various turns in different ways. Students begin studying tours in bigger poses and work on developing smoothness and grace when transitioning from one position to the next. Level 5 students are also introduced to more complicated forms of adagio and work to develop elevation in big jumps.
Level 6 concentrates on the study of jumps in various ways, as well as the development of the ballon quality (bounce, spring, and elasticity of feet) in big jumps. Students begin to perform higher and stronger jumps. This level focuses on complicated combinations with beating steps performed in a quick tempo. The exercises of previous years in combination with multiple turns from 5th, with jumps, and with preparations from different positions are reiterated. Students in this level strive for well-developed technique in the center. They work on expression, character of music, strength, and stamina.
Level 7 is the execution of all fundamental movements is carried through with finishing touches to reach the full potential and progress of classical dance. The accompanying tempo is faster, in comparison to with preceding lessons.