AGES 7 TO 12
The Preparatory Division consists of the first four levels of our progressive, methodically designed program of ballet training. Students are placed in the appropriate level of ballet according to their ability whereas age consideration is a minor factor in placement determination. Training hours increase with level advancement. Foundational steps and concepts will be introduced and developed prior to moving onto more difficult vocabulary. Focus will continually be on the principles of placement, alignment and turnout as these concepts are instrumental in establishing sound technique.
Alongside the required ballet classes there is an array of extracurricular classes that students can choose from to expand training and increase versatility. These include Youth Jazz, Youth Hip Hop, Youth Contemporary, Youth Sampler and Youth Ballet.
Ballet 1 (Ages 7+) is a stepping stone between the classes in the Children’s Division and the more formalized class structure within our Preparatory Division. In 1 hour class sessions, students will learn exercises at Barre and in Center Practice that begin to train the musculature and prepare the young dancer for methodical ballet training to follow.
Ballet 2 is a continuation of Ballet 1 with increased focus on the principles of placement, alignment and turnout. Classes are 1.5 hour in length with equal division between Barre and Center Practice. Exercises remain simple as students work on refinement as well as learning the proper French terminology related to the dance form. Ballet 2 (session 1 only) will contain a .5 hour jazz segment for students interested in being introduced to the high energy form of jazz.
Ballet 3 continues the process of developing proper alignment and placement, extending ballet vocabulary, Barre, Center Practice, spatial awareness and coordination. More complex exercises are introduced as well as concepts of rotation (pirouette) and petit allegro.
Ballet 4 continues ballet training at the intermediate level with more complex material. Students work on rotations (pirouettes), jumps, finishing on one foot and developing carriage of arms (port de bras). This level is critical in a student’s training as he/she begins to refine and add flow and expressiveness to movement. Jazz dance becomes a requirement at this level as it benefits the dancer in developing core strength and diversity.
Boys Class (ages 8 -12) Young Boys will be introduced to a basic ballet technique class designed for the male dancer, based on strength, coordination, flexibility, and athleticism. Exercises will focus on correct placement and repetition. The class will also build overall strength as well as upper body strength to prepare the young male dancer for partnering. The structure of the class will be engaging and inspire young boys to continue with dance.