TDE uses a carefully constructed ballet syllabus designed to build upon technical mastery before moving into the next level. The syllabus draws from the Royal Academy of Dancing in the primary division, and from Cecchetti and syllabus work created by Raymond Lukens and Franco de Vita, of ABT for the Children’s Division and the Upper Division. In the Upper Division students are also introduced to work from the Vaganova syllabus.
All students wear Body Wrappers pink footed or convertible ballet tights and pink ballet slippers (canvas or leather- no pirouettes please). See Level for leotard/optional skirt color . Ballet wrap sweater, legwarmers suggested for winter months. Sweats are not acceptable. New pointe students will be told when they are ready to purchase pointe shoes. Hair should be in a bun for all classes. A hairnet is your friend!
PRIMARY DIVISION ages 3-6
Children in the Primary Levels are developmentally not ready for the rigors of classical ballet training. The aim of classes at this age is to prepare them to begin ballet training. Children start with basic coordination and movement patterns, clapping rhythm, and an introduction to using the feet properly. Work is done on slowly strengthening the body, working on small and large motor movements and on gaining a familiarity with the structure and patterns of a typical class.
Pre-Ballet, ages 3-6 45 minutes
Pre-Ballet classes work on fine motor and large motor skills, rhythm, hopping, skipping and begin to learn a few basic ballet steps as well as fundamental exercises to develop their readiness for ballet. They start to work on developing the feet, stomach and back muscles and they work on marches, skips, chassés, and small dances. We dress up in princess costumes or tutus and use props to aid our dancing. Leotard color pink
CHILDREN’S DIVISION ages 7-11
In the Children’s Division, dancers begin to learn classical ballet. The foundations of placement and turn-out and correct use of the feet are established and the basic movements of ballet are introduced and gradually built upon during the four years of study to prepare the dancer for the more advanced Upper Division.
Ballet 1A, ages 7-8 60 minute class
Level 1A is the introduction to fundamental ballet technique. Students will begin to work at the barre. Proper stance, turnout and proper use of the feet are emphasized at this level. All exercises will initially start with two hands on the barre. Students will work in parallel, 1st, and 2nd position during the first half of the year. As the class progresses, they will learn to work at the barre with only one hand and will add 5th position. Steps learned include: demi-pliés, tendus, dégagés, retiré, rond de jambe, fondu preparation, developpé, grand battement, relevé, spotting turn on two feet, sautés, pas de chat, polka, triplet, classical walk, chassé, skips, petits jetés, adagio, first and third port de bras. Leotard color lavender
Ballet 1B, ages 8-9 60 minute class
Level 1B is the continuation of level 1A. Students will add grand plié in 1st, 2nd and 5th and will learn 4th position. They will be introduced to frappé, sur le cou de pied, fondu, petits battement, ballet body positions: croisé and effacé, arabesques a terre, chainée turns, polonaise, mazurka, introduction to pirouettes, sissones, assemblé, jeté, glissade, balancé. Leotard color lavender
Ballet 2A, ages 9-10 60 minute class, twice per week recommended
Students in level 2 continue to study the body positions and add écarté. They also continue to learn additional arabesques and 2nd port de bras. Introduction to beats is learned as students begin entrechat quatre. Waltz turns, and more work in petit allegro and pirouettes is added.
Leotard color light blue.
Ballet 2B, ages 10-11 60 minute class, twice per week
Ballet 2B is the bridge to the upper division. Students begin to work more on demi pointe with changes of feet and direction. Épaulment is introduced, and grand jeté is introduced. Students at this level are doing grand plié in 4th with port de bras, and are learning double frappé. Students work on strengthening their feet in preparation for pre-pointe and pointe in level 3. Leotard color light blue.
UPPER DIVISION ages 12-18
In the Upper Division, dancers begin to study more advanced ballet and learn pointe. Emphasis at these levels is not only on technique but on developing artistry. Elements from the Vaganova system are introduced.
Ballet 3A-3B, ages 12-18 60 minute class, 2-3 times per week recommended
Beginner Intermediate level ballet. Students do grand plies in all positions with port de bras, students use changes of feet and all the body positions, and prepare for pointe work. Some students may get their pointe shoes in the second half of level 3A, others may get them at the beginning of Ballet 3B. Each student will be individually assessed and told when they are ready for pointe. Leotard color burgundy.