Programs / Classes
We have classes for all levels
Ballet Theater of Phoenix currently offers two programs for the young dancer: the Children's Program and the Classical Ballet Program.
The Children's Program or Primary Program focuses on developing musicality, artistry, imagination and creativity through dance, conditioning the body to prepare it for classical ballet, and developing a fundamental understanding of classroom comportment and etiquette. Our curriculum provides developmentally appropriate content that gives students a strong foundation from which to grow when they graduate into the Classical Ballet Program.
Our Classical Ballet Program is a unique program that focuses on training students for a professional career in classical ballet by providing a deeper understanding of the kinesthetics of ballet, as well as their own bodies. Students learn fundamental knowledge about the body as an instrument as well as the tools to care for and hone their instrument to reach its fullest potential. There is a great focus on building artistry, musicality, and intuition - the skills that set apart the professional from the amateur. *Please note it is not uncommon for a student to spend more than 1 year in a level to ensure that all students develop a strong classical foundation.
Creative Movement (ages 3 and older)
In Creative Movement class, your child will learn skills to help their development and enhance their ability to grow and learn in their own special way, at their pace. Each class begins with a greeting and ends with our goodbye song. We do a gentle warm up, develop the them for the week, and play a game with a prop like scarves, ribbons, or improvisation with costumes.
Ballet Theatre of Phoenix runs by semester so each class is a lesson that leads to another concept for your child to learn. Though it is mostly fun for your child, each class has a specific theme. New themes are slowly added on to previously learned concepts. Our concepts will be:
September: Miming (using imagination to move like certain animals, etc.), Class etiquette (greeting, goodbye song)
October: Music/ Rhythm (clapping, using rhythm sticks to learn about beats; fast, slow songs, etc.)
November: Balance (pretending to walk a “tightrope” made of ribbon, using bean bags to test balance)
December: Shapes (learning to walk, run, skip, in a circle, make our arms and legs into shapes)
January: Dance Friends (learning to dance with a friend, teamwork)
February: Your Body moves! (learning about the parts of our body we use to walk, run, jump, hop, skip, bend, and how they work together to keep us safe and healthy)
March: Springtime (Review of all concepts based on spring, using flower props, gardening mimes, flying like bees, etc.)
April: Memory (memorizing small movements set to music using previous class lessons as the basis)
May: Expression/Performance (learning about performing in front of others, facial expressions
Primary Ballet 1-3 (ages 5 and older)
In the Primary levels, students continue their preparatory development as dancer by further enhancing the skills introduced in Creative Movement. Primary students are introduced to the structure of a ballet class. In this level, goals are to stand in a poised manner, develop musicality and spatial awareness, build strength and flexibility, and, demonstrate a sense of grace and love of dance and movement. More complex musicality and spatial configurations are learned, exercise length is gradually increased to build focus and stamina, and beginning ballet vocabulary is introduced.
Level 1 Technique (ages 8 and older)
In Level 1, students are introduced to the structure of a full classical ballet class. Beginning barre work is introduced with a focus on developing a strong sense of aplomb (center) and placement, as well as developing turn out and articulation through the feet and legs. Exercises in the center are given to develop movement quality, strength, and coordination. There is a strong focus in Level 1 on developing vocabulary as well as an understanding of proper technique. Students also explore musicality and artistry through movement and mime.
Level 2 Technique (ages 9 and older)
In this level, students continue to develop their vocabulary and understanding of the principals of classical ballet. One handed barre work begins, and in the center, more complex movement is introduced with a focus on developing use of port de bras. Patterns and spatial formations increase in complexity, and students develop the foundation of allegro work.
Level 3 Technique (ages 10 and older)
In this level, students solidify the foundations of classical ballet technique. More work is done on one leg to develop the strength of the standing leg and center with a continued focus on developing use of port de bras and simple epaulement.
Level 4 Technique and Pointe (ages 11 and older)
In Level 4, more complex vocabulary is introduced. At the barre and in the center, a strong emphasis is placed on the use of epaulement to develop coordination and grace of movement quality. Combinations increase in complexity and rigor as students are challenged to develop their technique, coordination, and stamina. Level 4 Pre-Pointe: In this class, students build strength and flexibility in the feet and ankles in order to prepare their bodies for the physical demands of pointe-work. Level 4 Pointe: Students are introduced to beginning pointe work. Exercises are designed to develop proper alignment of the ankles and toes and build strength.
Level 5/6 Technique and Pointe (ages 12 and older with at least 1 year of pointe work)
In Level 5, students further develop their ability to execute complex series of combinations, using the head, port de bras, and epaulement in coordination with the legs. Exercises increase in speed as well as in difficulty regarding control, grace, musicality, and quality of movement. Level 5 Pointe: Students are given exercises to further develop the strength and suppleness of their pointe work. Pointe work is now introduced in the center and with more speed and rigor.
In conditioning classes, students are given strength and flexibility exercises designed to develop proper posture and alignment as well as help students overcome their individual weaknesses, making it easier for them to dance without unnecessary tension.
In Jazz class, students learn level- and age-appropriate jazz movements including turns, isolations, and footwork.
Please call the office to schedule a level placement class for your child.