Standardized Levels in Ballet:
Progression is based upon taking the appropriate amount of lessons per week on a regular and uninterrupted basis. The “required” minimum amount per week is not mandatory, but taking less will slow mastery, and in turn slow progression to more advanced levels.
Each level in ballet has its own standardized curriculum syllabus and will take from 12 to 26 months for completion depending on age, maturity, inherent ability, adherence and aptitude. Students are moved up when they have mastered the curriculum within the level.
In the beginning levels, correctly learning the basic foundational technique is primary. As the student progresses, more time must be spend on maintenance of strength, balance, stamina, coordination and flexibility.
Preparatory Dance (4, 5 & 6 year olds) Emphasis placed on eye-hand/eye-foot coordination exercises, loco-motor and non loco-motor exercises, lengthening attention span, rhythm and musicality, basic lesson etiquette, developing the teacher/student relationship, working with pier groups & partners in a learning atmosphere and preparation of basic movement functions for beginning levels of dance. Students get the opportunity to see how fun dance is. The enjoyment of the art of dance is started at this level and will last them a lifetime. (2 lessons per week suggested)
Primary Level (6, 7 & 8 year olds) Introduces a basic curriculum to further prepare the student for the beginning levels of dance. Ballet terminology, dance-acting, transitions, and the ability to learn basic choreography are introduced. (2 lessons per week required, 3 suggested)
Ballet levels 1 & 2 start with mastering the placement of body, legs, arms & head, and developing coordination. More advanced musicality & rhythm, “safe & healthy” rotation mechanisms and the proper serious attitude toward the art are introduced. (2 lessons per week required, 3 suggested)
Ballet levels 3 & 4 Demi pointe and basic turns are begun, foundation work for “en pointe” is started, and further development of a smooth & integrated connection of arms, head and body. (3 lessons per week required, 4 suggested, plus 1 pointe-preparatory lesson if pointe work is desired.)
Ballet levels 5 & 6 stress technical mastery of beating steps, complex turns and developing the smoothness & suppleness of graceful movements. Harmonious transitions, more complex adagio & allegro steps, and developing elevation in jumps & development of “balon” quality (bouncing, springiness & elasticity) and the true artistry of dance is highlighted. Execution of all fundamental movements is carried through with finishing touches. (4 lessons per week required)
ADULT BALLET (with real adults!) emphasize adults wants & needs: These are real ballet lessons, not ballet flovored exercise classes. Adults dance to pursue a love of the art, stress-reduction, exercise, or a personal “escape”.
ALL BALLET CLASSES are taught from a healthy and positive point of view using a systematic 5-point development of movement potential:
3. Muscular endurance,
4. Cardio-respiratory endurance
5. Neuromuscular coordination.
The purposes may be corrective, rehabilitative, or developmental, but the principles remain the same, regardless of the purposes of the program. Students are taught to develop their own specific regimen for optimum and safe performance.