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Class Descriptions

Ballet Arts Studio offers classes in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, theater dance, contemporary and hip hop. Ballet training is emphasized, as ballet is the foundation for many forms of dance. Private coaching and performance and audition preparation are also available. Class Placement is determined according to a student's age, maturity, physical development, technical proficiency and experience. Each class has a minimum age requirement. Every year, the faculty assess and place each student in the class level that is best for that student's growth and progress.

 


Preparation for Ballet
Katie Bissinger, Sara LaPadula

Preparation for Ballet is geared to three to five year olds who are just starting out on their journey into dance. Dancers must be at least three years old on the first day of class to take Preparation for Ballet. The class is designed to teach children a love of dance, encourage artistic creativity, and gently set the foundation for the discipline that is classical dance. This class meets once each week.

 


Lower School Ballet [I-IV]
Katie Bissinger, Claire Deane, Mila HartogSara LaPadula

Lower School Ballet, Levels I through IV is generally designed for children ages five through 12. Generally, dancers must be five years old on the first day of class to take Lower School I Ballet. In these classes, large and small motor skills and coordination are developed using conservatory-level standards. Students are introduced to the French vocabulary associated with ballet, and are also introduced to specific ballet steps utilizing proper ballet technique. Creative and expressive movement, teamwork, music appreciation, and encouraging a love of movement are emphasized. Depending on the class level, students study two or more times per week.

 

Middle School Ballet focuses on dancers aged 12 and up, depending on ability, maturity and technical level. The primary goals remain developing coordination and encouraging a love and appreciation of proper technique and of movement and music. Class work continues to include the development of large and small motor skills and the French language vocabulary of ballet. Students begin to learn more and more complex ballet steps using proper technique. Students are introduced to specific expressive concepts of movement, and how to communicate through movement. Multiple classes are offered, and students are strongly encouraged to take more than two or three classes per week. 

 

Upper School Ballet focuses on teenage dancers, depending on ability, maturity and technical level. The training continues to meet conservatory standards. Progress is guided and measured by classroom evaluation and appropriate placements. Students may work on more than one level simultaneously, or stay in one level for more than one academic year. Multiple classes are offered, and students are encouraged to take class every day, and to take more than one class each day.

 

Pointe placement is made following an individual assessment by the Artistic Director, in consultation with faculty members. Dancers wishing to dance on pointe at Ballet Arts Studio must take a minimum of three ballet classes per week at the studio. This requirement helps each dancer develop the strength and technique needed to safely progress on pointe. 

 


Private Coaching & Audition Preparation
Guest Artists

Private Coaching and Audition Preparation addresses individual development with specific corrections and coaching. Whether regular or occasional, private classes are an excellent tool for enhancing progress. Students who require audition choreography should speak with Ballet Arts' staff and faculty at least 12 weeks in advance of an audition date.

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Modern [I-III]
Claire Deane

 

There are three levels of modern at Ballet Arts Studio: Modern I, Modern II, and Modern III. Dancers must be at least seven years old on the first day of classes to take Modern I. Our modern classes focus on "off center" use of the legs, arms, spine, pelvis and head, as well as using weight in curves, spirals and floorwork. Musicality, phrasing, and movement generated by a wide range of dynamic energy is emphasized.  Ballet technique is important in this class, and dancers must be taking at least one ballet class to take a modern class.

There are three levels of jazz classes at Ballet Arts Studio: Jazz I, Jazz II and Jazz III. Dancers should be at least seven years old on the first day of classes to take Jazz I. In the Jazz classes, students learn isolations of all body parts, turned-in and turned-out positions for the legs, and all fundamental and advanced jazz movements, including the classic jazz traveling steps, turns, jumps and leaps. The class emphasizes technical accuracy and performance quality in complex jazz combinations. Ballet technique is important in this class, and dancers must be taking at least one ballet class to take a jazz class.

 


Theater Dance [I-III]
Katie Bissinger

 

There are three levels of theater dance at Ballet Arts Studio: Theater Dance I, Theater Dance II, and Theater Dance III. Dancers must be at least seven years old on the first day of class to take Theater Dance I. This class focuses on "Broadway" style jazz floorwork and technique for warm-up, but includes other jazz styles as well, including Luigi and Simonson techniques. In center, the students explore classic Broadway dance repertoire, with an emphasis on legendary Broadway choreographers such as Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse and Michael Bennett. Students are encouraged to incorporate acting and singing into their dancing, although these skills are not required to take the class. Ballet technique is important in this class, and dancers must be taking at least one ballet class to take a Theater Dance class.


Tap [I-IV]
Katie Bissinger

There are four levels of tap at Ballet Arts Studio: Tap I, Tap II, Tap III and Tap IV. Dancers must be at least five years old on the first day of class to take Tap I. Tap classes at Ballet Arts present a unique combination of both Broadway and rhythm styles of Tap. Students learn the fundamental building blocks of both forms of Tap, in the steps and the melodies and rhythms used in class. As they advance, students are encouraged to add improvisation and focus on dancers as musicians.

 


Contemporary [I-II]
Sara LaPadula

There are two levels of Contemporary at Ballet Arts Studio: Contemporary I and Contemporary II. Dancers must be at least eight years old on the first day of class to take Contemporary I. This class will explore shifting weight in grounded, highly physical phrases. Emphasis will be placed on floor work and the ability to play with gravity. Students will work on moving through space, while maintaining alignment, musicality, and artistic expression. Improvisation will be used as a tool to allow students to find their own authentic way of moving. Ballet technique is important in this class, and dancers must be taking at least one ballet class to take a contemporary class.

 


Hip Hop [I-II]
Kelly Zitka

There are two levels of Hip Hop at Ballet Arts: Hip Hop I and Hip Hop II. Dancers must be at least seven years old on the first day of class to take Hip Hop I. In our Hip-Hop classes, dancers will focus on their groove, musicality, rhythm, dynamics, and isolations. The combinations will greatly emphasize different kinds of movement textures, and this is a skill that can be further applied to all styles of dance. They will also learn various steps and terminology of the House dance style, a street dance style that weaves footwork patterns and rhythms with a smooth grove. After some time to learn this vocabulary, dancers will have opportunities to freestyle and improve their confidence with improvisation.