Ballet Level A
Level A1 (Beginner Ballet) – Ages 8-12
Recommended: Attend class 2x weekly
Level A1 is for dancers new to ballet or dancers that are moving up from Pre-Ballet. Dancers begin classical ballet training in a more structured environment. Class begins with floor exercises developing the feet and leg muscles while safely gaining flexibility and building core strength. Barre work includes performing beginner basic positions and steps and learning the names and meaning of them in the French language from which they originate. There is a focus on learning correct posture and placement of arms, legs, and feet. Center work includes balance, jumps, and beginning the study of spotting turns. Dancers move across the floor where coordination and musicality are the focus. Class ends with port de bras and reverence.
Students who want a good foundation in ballet technique benefit from taking class twice a week. Classes are taught to encourage a desire to learn ballet as an art form and appreciate the music that accompanies it. The syllabus is designed to both challenge the dancer as well as give them confidence as they achieve a new goal.
Parents are invited to observe a class each fall and spring semester. Students may be invited to participate in various performance opportunities once they have demonstrated proficiency. There is a separate performance class and it is an additional time requirement to regular class. It will be announced in the spring schedule. Students are encouraged but not required to participate in the yearly student showcase in June.
Level A2 (Beginner Ballet 2) – Ages 9-13
Recommended: Attend class 2x weekly (2x required for future pointe work training)
Level A2 is for dancers who have completed Level A1. Dancers with 1-2 years of previous ballet training can take a placement class to access their knowledge of Level A1. Class will begin at the barre where they will continue to work on basic technique while building their knowledge of ballet repertoire. 2-part and 3-part step combinations and higher level jumps will be taught at the barre before introduced in the center. They will work more on correct turnout and body placement. Coordination of arm and leg movements together will be introduced. The Center work will include combining a few steps and movements to form combinations.
Adagio work for balance, jumps, beginning turns and use of épaulement (arm and head port de bras) will be the given center combinations. Floor exercises and stretching at the barre will focus on form, alignment and increasing flexibility. Moving across the floor will include combinations of 2-3 movements and practicing leaps, turns, and more complicated stage direction. Counting music and using different rhythms will be added.
Classes are taught to both challenge and encourage the dancer while fostering their love of dance. Level A2 is designed to introduce dancers to all the basic steps they need to continue onto Level B. The dancer will acquire the ability to maintain straight legs when standing flat and on relevé, point their feet whenever they leave the floor, know the positions of the arms and feet, and be able to perform plié with the knees correctly placed. Dancers should also be able to recognize the French terminology of beginning steps and be able to adequately perform them. Parents are invited to observe a class each fall and spring semester. Students may be invited to participate in various performance opportunities. There is a separate performance class and it is an additional time requirement to regular class time. It will be announced in the spring schedule.
Students are encouraged but not required to participate in the yearly Student Showcase in June. Dancers attending class 1x weekly may require an additional year to gain skills at this level. Dancers with a goal of wearing pointe shoes must train 2x weekly at this level to begin acquiring the strength and technique needed to safely wear pointe shoes in a few years.