Parent and Me: Ages 2 – 4

This new class is a great way to introduce your little one to a structured class
setting, with the comfort of having you with them! Your dancer will begin to learn the basics of dance, along with team work and listening skills, all while having lots of fun! This musical class will get you and your child moving and grooving together! Mom or dad, grandparents or babysitters are welcome to attend with your child. Children will need to wear dance clothes and leather dance shoes. Parent/guardian should wear comfortable clothing.

Pre- Ballet and Creative Movement: Ages 3 ½ – 5

The Pre-Ballet program fosters musicality, body awareness and movement potential in a format that encourages individual artistry. Inspired by the work of Rudolf Von Laban, Maria Montessori and Irmgard Bartinieff, the class explores the elements of dance; Body, Space, Force, and Time, through creative exercises that are movement focused rather than story focused. The knowledge gained in these classes prepares the student for the attention to detail required in the study of formal ballet training and other technique styles of dance. Research shows that children who begin training with informed creative movement classes are more successful when placed in a traditional technique class.

Basic Ballet: Age 5 – 7

*Prerequisite: Pre Ballet and Creative Movement

This level emphasizes correct postural alignment, principles of turn-out, balance, control and elementary barre exercises. Center work consists of a repetition of barre work, carriage of the arms, and positions of the body in relationship to the eight points of focus of the stage.

Level I: Ages 6 – 9

* Prerequisite: Basic Ballet

Building on the foundation set by Basic Ballet and character dance, barre work exercises become more complex and of a longer duration to train muscle memory and increase flexibility. Special emphasis is placed on the dancer’s ability to connect and link steps for fluid movement, memorize patterns, and move through space while maintaining proper alignment. At this level we encourage the dancer to examine the combinations and plan ahead for self-correction. This level is typically repeated.

Ballet II

* prerequisite: Level 1

At this level there is a marked developmental leap, both in the technical aspects of class and in the seriousness with which training is taken by the dancer. This is the age when the young dancer begins to evaluate past experience in dance, and to question whether or not a career would be desirable. Training intensifies to match this period of self-evaluation. All past work is repeated in more complex combinations increasing strength, endurance, stamina and ability to link steps together in a fluid manner. Understanding of motivation, movement goals, imagery and presentation are stressed in order to develop better artistic expression. Ukrainian or folk dance is strongly encouraged at this level and beyond.

This level is typically repeated.

Level III

* prerequisite Level II

From this level forward the plasticity, coordination and smooth connection of movements of the arms, legs, feet, head and body is the primary developmental goal. 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 study of adagio and developing the smooth, graceful and subtle qualities in movement. Study of turning in open positions is part of 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.

Level IV/ V

The upper levels of SVDA ballet students are self-motivated and take ballet technique classes an average of 4 to 5 days per week.  These classes are by invitation only. Levels IV/V are sometimes combined and other times separated as needed by the dancers to best challenge and refine technique. Advanced dancers are encouraged to wear pointe shoes when requested by the instructor.

Pre–Professional Level 6

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.

Boys Ukrainian and ballet

With a strong male dance faculty, SVDA 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.

Pointe work at SVDA

All students at SVDA will be evaluated by the Ballet Instructor Team before they graduate to full pointe work. Advanced dancers are encouraged to wear their pointe shoes in all technique classes and arrive 15 minutes before every class to prepare their shoes and ready the body.