Our Curriculum

 

Here you will find the class descriptions for all that we offer here at BASV. We are proud to have registered teachers with both the Royal Academy of Dance and Cecchetti USA, and we offer the opportunity for examinations for those students interested in the Cecchetti graded system. Learn more about the Cecchetti syllabus here.

We offer classes for men and women, boys and girls in Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Ukrainian Folk Dance, and PBT for ages three and up.

 
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Parent & Me (ages 2.5 - 4)

This class is a great way to introduce your little one to a structured class setting with the comfort of having you with them! They will be encouraged to move and play with you, while listening to a variety of music. They will learn the basics of dance, along with teamwork and listening skills, all while having lots of fun! Mom, dad, grandparents, and babysitters are all welcome to attend with your child!

Pre-Ballet (ages 3-5)

Pre-Ballet uses a creative syllabus to explore the world of ballet. This program fosters musicality, body awareness, and movement. During this class your dancer will be introduced to ballet terms and ballet etiquette while nurturing their imagination, and while also preparing them for formal ballet training and other technical styles of dance. The Pre-Ballet curriculum is structured to introduce fundamental movements and the variety of ways to use them. This class will build a love for dance while teaching a strong foundation.

 
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The Primary grade marks the beginning of the Cecchetti syllabus series.  Maestro Enrico Cecchetti created a series of exercises that begin from the very foundation of ballet and build throughout the grades and levels: Primary through Grade 7, then the Pre-Professional Majors grades 8 & 9, and finally, Diploma.

Primary (ages 5-7)

Recommended: 1 day per week

This class aims to develop physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression and musicality by using a range of exercises and music. Building on the Pre-Ballet foundation work, the dancer begins to learn exercises at the barre, learning the discipline, focusing on proper body alignment and maintaining form. The dancer will move into center work that repeats movements learned at the barre, adding in arms and head. The syllabus covers simple patterns and exercises, awareness of our body, arms, and feet.

Ballet Grade 1/2

Recommended: 2 technique classes a week

The two lower grades will develop proper placement of torso, hips, and legs without exceeding their anatomical limitations. The coordination of arms and head are developed with a concentration on smooth transitions throughout the exercises. Grades 1 & 2 aim to develop the knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals and relevant technique required of the dancer.

Ballet Grade 3/4

Recommended: 3-4 technique classes a week

A more mature sense of musicality and quality of movement is emphasized in the third and fourth levels. Students develop strength and stability in the demonstration of pirouettes and grand allegro. Suppleness and smooth, graceful movements are developed in these levels along with the coordination of the head, arms, legs, and body. Rhythmic patterns are emphasized and attention is given to aiding the dancer’s ability to “tune in” to muscular feelings. Emphasis is placed on greater stability and complexity in the study of adagio and developing the graceful and subtle qualities in movement. Study of turning in open positions is part of the daily routine at this level, as is the study of battu, petite allegro, and grand allegro. Regular and repeated reference will be made to facilitate the dancer’s understanding of movement goals and ability to “self-correct”. Evaluation for pre-pointe work is normally conducted at the end of the 2nd year of this level.

 
 

The upper levels of BASV ballet students are self-motivated and take ballet technique classes an average of 4 to 5 days per week. Grades 4 & 5 are sometimes combined and other times separated as needed by the dancers to best challenge and refine their technique. Advanced dancers are encouraged to wear pointe shoes when requested by the instructor.

Ballet Grade 4/5

Recommended: 4-5 technique classes a week

In progressing through to this level, Grades 4 and 5 focus on developing an understanding of technique reflected in the ability to coordinate movements in a series of sequences with an increasing vocabulary and awareness. Students will have an increased level of performance skill, interpretation of music, developing spatial awareness, responsiveness to an audience, and an ability to work with others.

Pre-Professional Grades

The Higher Grades Syllabus encourages a sense of performance and style. Female advanced dancers at this level are encouraged to wear pointe shoes to every class and male dancers are expected to participate in extra strengthening for lifts and jumps. Students wanting to pursue a pre-professional level, can begin upper level curriculum with Grade 7. Grades 8 & 9 move into the majors and finalize at Diploma.

Ballet Grade 6/7

At this level, students are expected to understand the fundamental and relevant technique required, including performing a range of movement sequences and a range of performance skills in ballet. Pointe work is required and will be introduced at this level, requiring no less than 5 technique classes a week. In the course of this level, an increasing vocabulary of the syllabus content is expected to be demonstrated by students with an understanding of technique and the ability to coordinate more complex movements.

Ballet Grades 8 & 9

Students at this level have to demonstrate an expansive range of vocabulary communicating through a mature and accomplished sense of performance. They must be able to interpret music and display a sophisticated response to musical content and style. Dancers at this level are pre-professional and are usually auditioning for professional positions or advanced college programs during their coaching.

 
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Pointe Work at BASV

All students at BASV will be evaluated by the Ballet Instructor Team before they graduate to full pointe work. The evaluation of each student will depend on age, body development, knowledge & execution of the classical syllabus and years of training. The pre-pointe/beginning classes focus on strength, rotation, alignment and balance needed to make a successful transition from the barre to centre. This class also goes over the care of the foot and shoe.

Advanced dancers are encouraged to wear their pointe shoes in all technique classes and are required to arrive 15 minutes before every class to prepare their shoes and body.

Boys Classical Ballet

With a strong male dance faculty, BASV offers boys technique classes in order to build the specific strength and skills required for male dancers. Boys technique classes focus on upper body strength-building required for partnering, grand allegro, and covers all male-specific jumps and turns.

Beginning Teen/Adult Ballet

The beginning student with little or no experience in ballet training is introduced to the history and concepts of classical ballet. Barre work incorporates learning and mastering body alignment, core strength, muscle strength, stamina, flexibility, and working with music. Exercises are built upon in centre floor work, incorporating coordination and musicality. As students progress, moving combinations include turns and jumps across the floor as well as increasing coordination between arms and legs and eventually head positions.

Intermediate/Advanced Teen-Adult Ballet

The intermediate/advanced classes are appropriate for any student who has reached an intermediate level of study, even if it was many years ago in childhood. Classes progress from barre through stretching and centre floor work, challenging and rewarding students with diverse backgrounds in dance. Some students are pre-professionals taking extra classes, some are teens and adults who have studied in our beginning class for a year or more, others are retired dancers or people who studied in their youth. This class builds upon the concepts and technique studied in the beginning class and allows for a range of abilities to develop.

Performance Ballet (age 11+)

This class with have a quick barre warm up and technique review. Moving into floor work the dancer will focus on artistry, quality in their movements, and facial expression. Short variations will be taught during this class to work on learning to quickly study new choreography and touching on the special qualities that create a ballet performance.

Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) & Conditioning

This class is recommended for all dancers beginning at grade 2 and is required for dancers at grade 4 and above. The class will assist the dancer working toward their pointe shoes and while dancing en pointe. The PBT program is designed to enhance ballet technique and strength based on dance medicine, training, safety, and knowing how the body works from within. PBT encourages an understanding of which muscle groups take part in each movement.

PBT is a gradual or phased-in approach with very specific exercises and repetitions for each dance level. These classes work towards turning on muscle memory, learning to activate muscles, enhance flexibility, offer safe stretching exercises and most importantly to preserve the dancer’s longevity in dance, avoiding injury due to overstretching, bad posture, and weak muscles.

 
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Ukrainian Folk Dance: Co-Ed & Boys classes

Here at BASV, we offer traditional Ukrainian folk dance for both boys and girls, a highly recommended addition to the dancer's curriculum. Boys have an additional class of choice to work on the high impact movements, intensive foot work and jumps. Learn more about our Ukrainian folk dance program here.

Our Ukrainian classes are high energy courses that build strength and flexibility. Dancers will learn the basics and aspects of the culture and its art form. Dancers enrolled in these classes will have the additional opportunity to perform in our productions in character dance roles. Learning character dance helps dancers gain a deeper understanding of story ballets, while boosting strength and musicality. It also will help develop the coordination required to become a versatile dancer.

Lyrical (Age 8+)

Lyrical uses an emotional connection to the music to define the routine. A combination of ballet and jazz movements make up smooth, fluid routines. Lyrical usually tells a story throughout the song. In this class, dancers will gain insight of their own artistic self through emotion and practicing choreography. The focus will be on body placement, flexibility, turns, leaps, and floor progressions across the floor.

Private Lessons at BASV

Private lessons for exams, competitions, auditions, or personal training are available on request. We recommend students seeking private lessons be of at least 8 years of age. Please contact us by email at dance@balletsv.com or phone at 408.607.9100 for further information.