The Pre-Ballet I class is a very structured class designed for children who are pre-school age, and who have not yet entered Kindergarten. Because children at this age thrive on consistency, every class follows the same format and within that format, movement patterns are varied or newly introduced.
A typical class consists of a warm-up sitting on the floor in a circle, traditional ballet exercises standing in straight lines, free movement or exercises for creative expression, traveling steps, and ﬁnally Reverence. The students are practicing eye focus, rhythms, patterns, counting music, and moving in unison, and they are learning how to stay in line and wait their turn.
Ballet technique is very carefully included but is presented in a way that will engage a child of this age. Periodically during the year, we learn classical ballet stories.
The Pre-Ballet II class is designed for children who are currently in Kindergarten. At this age, children develop a greater attention span. Taking advantage of this, the warm-up is executed with the children sitting on mats in straight lines. It requires greater coordination and focus. The exercises stretch and strengthen the students in a manner similar to the barre exercises in a traditional ballet class. Following the warm-up, the children stand in straight lines, and perform simple ballet exercises as well as steps that introduce musicality, rhythms, patterns, and coordination.
At this level, hip rotation is introduced, and the children begin to use ﬁrst and second positions of the feet. Following the center work, the children are given a much deserved opportu-nity for creative expression. Children of this age will notably execute very sophisticated movements when given the chance to express themselves freely. In the ﬁnal portion of the class, the students learn basic movement concepts while traveling across the floor.
The dancers are encouraged to remember proper ballet class etiquette during the class. All music used is classical music, and correct ballet terminology is introduced throughout the class. Beginner Ballet classes have their ﬁrst opportunity to perform in The Littlest Gala.
In the Beginner Ballet class, students begin to work at the barre. Working in parallel, ﬁrst, and second positions, the students stand with two hands facing the barre and learn simple exercises. An emphasis on posture, placement, and clean technique is maintained throughout the class.
It is at this level that the children are expected to remember steps on their own, as the teacher will begin to minimize the amount of time he/she executes the steps with the students. Following the barre, the children may be given a short stretch-ing exercise sitting on the floor. The center exercises expand upon the exercises that were given the previous year in
Pre-Ballet II; however, the quantity and complexity of the exercises increase. In addition, the children are now given instruction to include classical port de bras (arm movements) with each exercise.
The ﬁnal portion of the class is devoted to traveling steps. Although the steps are simple, there is a continued focus on musicality, posture, and maintaining the attitude of a dancer. The class concludes with Reverence. Reverence is a ballet class tradition that typically includes a bow or curtsy and gives the dancers an opportunity to pay respect to the teacher. Towards the end of the school year, the dancers are carefully introduced to third position. The dancers are ﬁrmly guided towards proper ballet class etiquette during the class. All music used is classical music, and correct ballet terminology is introduced throughout the class.
See the Primary Classes Schedule pageSEE SCHEDULE