Classical Ballet Classes

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!

Pre-Ballet ages 3-6
45 minutes

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 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 

Ballet 1, ages 7-9                                  
60 minute class                 

Level 1 is the introduction to fundamental ballet technique.    Students will begin to work at the barre. 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.    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, arabesques a terre, chainée turns, first and third port de bras.   Leotard color lavender

        

Ballet 2, ages 9-11                              
60 minute class

Students in level 2 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, mazurka, introduction to pirouettes, sissones, assemblé, jeté, glissade, balancé. 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 3-5, ages 11-18            
60 minute class, 2 times per week       

Elements from the Vaganova system are introduced. 4th port de bras is added.  Students do grand plies in all positions with port de bras, students use changes of feet. Ecarte is added to the body positions. Students begin to work more on demi pointe with changes of feet and direction.  More petit allegro and batterie is studied. Épaulment is introduced, and grand jeté is introduced.  Students work on strengthening their feet in preparation for pointe work and pointe work is added around the 2nd year of Level 3.   Leotard colors: Level 3- burgundy, Level 4-navy, Level 5- hunter green

Pointe and Pre-Pointe, ages 11 and up
30 minute class

In Level 3 students, by invite, may take pre-pointe. Students will work to strengthen feet, core and turn out in preparation for pointe. Each student will be individually assessed and told when they are ready for pointe, which is a function of technique, strength, and age/bone development. When ready, students will be told they can purchase their pointe shoes. Please DO NOT buy pointe shoes until told to do so. Shoes must be fitted professionally and styles selected to best suit each dancer’s individual needs. They should NOT be purchased online. The teacher will advise which shoes and stores to try and will often attend the first fitting. Do NOT sew ribbons or elastics onto shoes until the teacher has seen the shoes on and checked that they fit, in case they need to be returned.