Photograph of ballet students at Baltimore School for the Arts

Dance Curriculum

1st Year / Hours per Week

Ballet A / 9.5

Pointe / 3-4

Variations / 1

Modern A / 4.5

Men’s / 1.5-4

2nd Year / Hours per Week

Ballet B / 8.5

Pointe / 3-6

Variations / 1

Modern B / 1.5

Pas / 3

Men’s Class / 4

Choreography / 1.5

3rd and 4th YEAR/ Year Hours per Week

Ballet C and D / 10

Pointe / 4

Pas / 2

Modern C and D / 3-4.5

Men’s Class / 6

Ladies and Men’s Variations / 1.5

Students are placed in levels appropriate for their skill level and physical needs and academic directives.

 

Ballet A

This is the first level of ballet and pointe technique. The vocabulary is introduced slowly, allowing you time to feel the tautness of the legs and feet, and to perfect the proper classical ballet alignment. Through mastery of the turnout of the legs and the development of movement coordination skills, both at the barre and in the center, the foundations of classical dance can be developed with an emphasis on correctness and clarity of execution. As strength and stability are increased, the vocabulary is expanded, the musical accompaniment becomes more varied and taken to faster tempo, and the enchaînement become longer and more demanding. The focus remains on the methodical building of the classical style through a clear understanding and application of the basic elements of technique.

Ballet B

This level is the continuation and progression of Ballet A. The emphasis is on strengthening the body, gaining flexibility, and enlarging movement vocabulary. Postural alignment is stressed, as is quickness of sequencing. Particular importance is placed on developing all the grand poses, especially the arabesque line, petit allegro vocabulary, and on the strengthening of your pointe work. Pointe classes are given three to six hours a week; thus, during this level you’ll develop strength, precision, and pointe vocabulary including a variety of pirouettes, pas de bourrée, and work on pique and relevé in all positions. Your performance sense and musicality will be encouraged and developed through rhythmic and musical variety of the accompanists and with the variety of enchaînement given in class. Some performance work is given to students who have achieved the appropriate technical level.

Ballet C

We continue the study of the classical style with an emphasis on refining technical and performance skills, with the teaching of more advanced vocabulary, and with longer movement enchaînements. A healthy, dynamic alignment will be stressed with concentration on moving more skeletally with less muscular tension in order to increase joint mobility and ease, to promote line, quickness, and fluidity of movement, and to avoid injury. By emphasizing the quality of movement and phrasing of enchaînement, this class helps you learn how to solve technical problems related to their physical limitations. You’ll work on partnering, corps de ballet, and solo material.

Variations

In this class, students study classical variations that are currently in the repertoire of professional ballet companies.

Ballet D

This level focuses on the exploration of all aspects of virtuosity in technique and style. The most advanced steps are introduced, challenging the student both technically and artistically. Musicality, which has been an integral part of all the previous levels, now becomes one of the focal points. This is particularly evident in the tempo and complexity of the allegro, both petit and grand. Students are expected to strive for a high level of proficiency through the application of the smallest details of technique. Extensive performance work is involved at this level.

Modern Dance A

This is our first level of modern dance technique and introduces you to a wide variety of movement styles. Limon and Horton techniques are introduced. This level emphasizes body alignment, flexibility, and strengthening of the body, as well as strengthening aerobic endurance. You’ll be exposed to the intensity of concentration and discipline needed for success in our program. We encourage you to perform with aesthetic maturity as the movement vocabulary develops. The vocabulary includes floor work, standing warm-up, floor descention, jumps, turns, transitional movements, and leaps. The term begins with simple sequences, which progressively become more complex as the year continues.

Modern Dance B

This course is a Horton and Limon based technique that stresses alignment, flexibility, and physical and kinesthetic fitness, along with performance quality. You’ll be encouraged to explore your own innate sense of creativity while exploring established modern techniques. Physical and kinesthetic awareness are stressed in order to reach an organic movement sense. Concepts such as space, time, and force, fall and recovery, and spatial awareness are stressed at this level.

Modern Dance C

Based on Limon, Horton, contemporary principles and release techniques, these modern classes are characterized by highly physical movement that maximizes the body’s expressive potential. The mobility of the spine, fluidity of the joints, breathing, and the use of weight and momentum in space, are emphasized in both warm-up and combination material.

Modern Dance D

This course further encourages your creative endeavors. You will be given advanced modern dance technique with an emphasis on expressions of performance and movement qualities. You’ll also be exposed to movement improvisation through various problem-solving methods, and you’ll explore choreography by studying basic choreographic forms, which are used to compose and perform short dances.