All of our ballet classes stress correct placement (body alignment), and correct classical ballet technique. Class level is determined by the instructor, and is based on an individual assessment when the student takes a trial class. All students receive corrections during class to help them advance. Classes are ongoing except for “From the Beginning Ballet” (see below) with sections added as needed. Students advance to the next level based on the recommendation of the instructor. Our instructor, Heidi McLean, studied with Bobbi Bader for 14 years and incorporates Bobbi’s philosophy and teaching style into the ballet classes we offer.
Once or twice a year ballet students are given the opportunity to perform in a classroom demonstration. No one is required to perform, and the costumes, usually a simple skirt, are provided by the studio.
Children 5 – 12 years old
Ballet I and II - Children 5-7 years old (45 minutes)
Ballet for this age group focuses on the same basic concepts that are covered in our Teen/Adult classes. There is less traditional barre work and more independent movement. Balance, hopping, skipping, jumping, galloping (basic locomotor movements), age appropriate stretches, basic positions of the feet and arms, the concept of parallel vs. turned out legs and feet, and ballet class etiquette are part of the curriculum. Students learn ballet terminology, the names of composers of classical ballet music, and the stories of famous ballets. Our children’s ballet classes incorporate key concepts from the California Performing Arts Framework for Dance.
Ballet II and III – Children 8-11 years old (55 minutes)
Ballet for this age group reinforces the basic concepts learned in Ballet I and then gradually moves the students into the traditional ballet class format of barre followed by center exercises. The process is gradual to ensure that students develop their muscles correctly and do not force turnout. Moving in time with the music becomes more important, as well as memorization of ballet terminology. Character dance steps are incorporated into classes. More complex combinations are given as students progress. Key concepts from the California Performing Arts Framework for Dance are incorporated into lessons.
Ballet III and IV – Children 10-12 years old (1 hour)
This level of training is designed for children who want to advance their studies and, for girls, prepares them for pointe. The traditional ballet class format of barre followed by center exercises is used. Correct placement and turnout continue to be emphasized. Students who want to go on pointe must take class at least twice a week in order to build the necessary strength. Key concepts from the California Performing Arts Framework for Dance are incorporated into lessons.
Pointe class may be taken by students who are not yet on pointe to further develop and strengthen the muscles necessary to go on pointe. Students who are on pointe must take at least two additional ballet classes per week. Readiness for pointe work is determined by each student’s strength and physical development, not by their age. The instructor will advise parents when a student has the necessary strength and maturity to go on pointe. Pointe class may be taken only with the permission of the instructor.
“From the Beginning Ballet” (1 hour)
A special 8-12 week series of classes that is for teens and/or adults who have never had a ballet class, or for those who want to review the basics before starting their studies again. This series of classes introduces the basic exercises and body positions necessary for students to feel comfortable in Ballet I or Ballet II. A minimum of four students must sign up for this class before a time is scheduled.
Ballet I and II – Teen/Adult (1 hour long)
Ballet I and II helps each student create the firm foundation needed to improve and progress to the next level of study. Core body strength, arms (port de bras) and correct turn out based on a student’s anatomy and muscular development are emphasized at the barre. Center work is focused on the basics of adagio (slow controlled combination), preparation for pirouettes, simple turns across the floor, petit allégro and grand allégro. Before advancing to Ballet III students must be able to execute these basic ballet exercises at the barre and in the center safely and correctly.
Musicality is emphasized as students are exposed to a variety of both classical and contemporary composers.
Ballet III – Teen/Adult (1 hour)
Barre and center combinations move faster, and become more complex than they were in Ballet I and II. Different rhythms are introduced. Turnout based on individual ability and strength continues to be emphasized along with posture and core strength. More types of pirouettes and jumps are learned. Proper placement is reinforced by students applying those concepts to the exercises and movements they learn. Head and arm movements are coordinated and synchronized. Memorization of steps and musicality are further developed. The historical and social context of specific ballet movements is explained.
Ballet IV and Ballet V – Teen/Adult (1 hour and 15 minutes)
Barre exercises are more complex and incorporate more combinations using reléve and balances on one leg. Center exercises are longer and require more memorization and stamina. Single and double pirouettes and turns across the floor. Simple jumps are embellished with beats (batterie).
Ballet V & VI – Teen/Adult (1 hour and 30 minutes)
Our most advanced ballet class.
Pointe Class – Teen/Adult
Pointe class may be taken by students who are not yet on pointe to further develop and strengthen the muscles necessary to go on pointe. Students who are on pointe must take at least two additional ballet classes per week. Readiness for pointe work is determined by each student’s strength and physical development. The instructor will tell adult students when they are ready to go on pointe. In the case of teens, parents will be informed as well. Pointe class may be taken only with the permission of the instructor.
Creative Movement – Children 3-6 years old (45 minutes)
We help 3-6 year-olds develop coordination, rhythm, and self-discipline as they express themselves through movement. Teaching aids include scarves, tambourines, bean bags, and hula hoops. The students: learn to listen and follow instructions; learn basic locomotor movements; learn simple dance terminology and concepts; are exposed to different types of music and rhythms; learn to wait their turn. We emphasize a non-competitive atmosphere. We have classroom presentations twice a year.
Taught by Lisa Gardner
Dance Conditioning – Teen/Adult (1 hour 15 min.)
Versatility & Flexibility for your body and mind
Dance Conditioning is a fitness class which works on balance, muscular strength and endurance (stamina), flexibility, grace and confidence. It’s good for our brain, too, because it develops and enhances memorization skills. The class incorporates movements and techniques from ballet and jazz. And it’s fun!!!
Taught by Pamela Lourentzos
Contemporary Dance - (Teen/Adult)
Beginning (1 hour)
Advanced (1 hour 30 minutes)
A contemporary class combining the form and function of technique (pairing earthy/grounded concepts of modern dance with ballet and popular dance styles) with an inventive movement vocabulary. This multi-level class is comprised of: center barre work in parallel and turned out positions-emphasizing clean technique and alignment, across the floor combinations, and class combinations that are added weekly. Music selections span eras and styles.
Taught by Katie Rogers
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