The Conservatory utilizes the teaching methods of the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD) and of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. The RAD syllabus emphasizes pure movement devoid of affectation. Dancers from this tradition are known for their clean footwork, simplicity of movement and regal carriage. Dancers trained in the Vaganova method are known for their expressive movement quality, extended lines, and most of all, the exquisite use of their back and shoulders (Fr: “épaulement”).Younger students will learn the fundamentals via the RAD system. Gradually, as they pass to higher levels of training, they will be taught in the Vaganova tradition.
Students are assessed on their abilities and their level of maturity commensurate to the level to for which they will be assigned. The assignment will take place subsequent to the audition process. After the student receives notification of acceptance into the pre-professional division, the student, parent and Conservatory representative will meet to discuss which level is deemed appropriate for the student and what the specific program entails. Ultimately, the program will consist of 7 levels that span from beginning to advanced.
If the student needs financial assistance for tuition, the Conservatory will assist the student and parent in the scholarship application process.
In addition to technique class (traditionally known as ‘ballet class’), advancing students will take classes in: pointe (girls), pas de deux (partnering), variation, repertoire, character/folk and tap dance. Character dance and tap dance are excellent forms for learning rhythm and is vital for students who wish to participate in musical theater. For boys, there is ‘men’s class’ where they will learn the essentials of jumping and turning and will learn the choreography to classic men’s solo variations. Pas de deux (partnering) class is also required for our advancing male and female students. Male dancers are required to be strong in order to lift female dancers overhead; therefore boys will learn the fundamentals of weightlifting. It is part of the Conservatory’s vision to build a gym wherein all students may utilize fitness equipment to correct physical imbalances and improve overall strength.
Current Ballet Classes
Because the Conservatory is newly formed, the ballet class designations as listed below are fluid and will change over time depending upon the enrollment and the technical level of the student body. We offer the following classes:
Preparatory Ballet Students learn the basic classical positions of the legs and feet as well as the arms and hands. They are introduced to the actions of "turn-out" of the hips and "rotation" of the legs. Focus will be given on proper posture, flexibility, and the classical line and stretch of the feet. Attention is given to musicality and improving listening skills. Exercises are designed to strengthen students' core muscles and develop coordination and timing.
• 60 min class, three (3) times per week
Ballet I In this class, students learn "barre" exercises such as plie ́and battement tendu, battement degage ́, rond de jambe, sur le cou-de-pied, frappe ́along with various port de bras positions (carriage of the arms). Combinations are designed to test a student's concentration and to ultimately increase the overall understanding of how a body moves through space and in time with music. Students will develop greater use of their "turn-out" and "rotation" muscles and will take responsibility of making good lines in the classical positions. Basic exercises performed without the barre ("center work") are practiced to develop the student's muscular strength for balancing without assistance and to execute movements with clarity, smoothness and agility. In an effort to increase a keen sense of musicality and memory training, tap-dancing is taught as part of Ballet I.
• 90 min class, three (3) times per week
Ballet II Students learn and perform the entirety of basic exercises at the barre from plie to grand battement. Center work includes adagio, peroettes, petit allegro and grand allegro. In addition to exercises with greater complexity of movement, the class emphasizes artistry and quality of expression. As soon as female dancers have developed the requisite leg and feet flexibility and strength, a portion of the class is allotted to pointe work.
• 90 min class, four (4) times per week
Ballet III Students tackle greater complexity of movement at the barre and in the center in Ballet III. To assist with the student's expressiveness of movement, a demand for increased flexibility is emphasized. Epaulement, the plastique quality and expressive use of the shoulders is taught. An examination of the kinetic forces involved in jumping and turning is discussed in order to improve the student's performance.
• 90 min class, four (4) times per week
Adult Ballet I Adults with or without experience in ballet class are welcome to take this class. There's something for everyone. In a congenial atmosphere, the teacher leads the class through basic barre and center exercises. Advanced adult students have the option of upgrading the difficulty of movement by performing exercises faster, higher, or on demi-pointe. Adhering to a "no-judgment" zone policy, students have the opportunity to exercise, learn and enjoy themselves in a community of people who love to dance.
• 90 min class