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The Pharaoh's Daughter - Spring Performance
Saturday & Sunday 2:00 p.m.
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
Tickets $20 at the door

Acton School of Ballet
Chip Morris, Director
Melissa Morris, Administrator
3 Spruce Street
P.O. Box 796
Acton, MA 01720
Acton School of Ballet (978) 263-6572
August 01, 2012

Syllabus Program Classes – 2016-2017

The Syllabus Program is divided into two schools. The Lower School begins at age 4 with Fairy Tale Dance (three-year-olds) and First Steps (four-year-olds), and continues through Pre-Ballet, and Ballet Levels 1 & 2. Lower School classes meet once per week.

The Upper School includes Syllabus Ballet Levels 3 through 10, as well as Beginning through Advanced Ballet. Levels 3–5 meet twice a week, while Levels 6 & 7 have three classes per week. Level 8 meets four times per week (including Contemporary Ballet), while Levels 9 and 10 meet five times per week. We always recommend additional classes for the serious student.

The upper school also includes non-syllabus classes of Beginning and Advanced Ballet. We also offer two levels of Modern Dance to broaden the ballet dancer’s experience, as well as Choreography, Variations, Ballet Conditioning, and Ballet History to help students increase the depth and maturity of their performing.

Lower School

Fairy Tale Dance age 3

Fairy Tale Dance for three year olds introduces children to beginning ballet technique through fairy tales. Each week children warm up and work on ballet exercises together, as an important part of their early ballet education. Then they are introduced to a fairy tale and are able to choreograph a small part of the story with their classmates. Props and costumes are always a surprise, pulled from our treasure chests each week.

First Steps ages 4 and 5

This 45 minute class meets once a week. Students begin to learn the concepts of dance through the simple class structure, stretching, and expression through music in movement – all while having lots of fun. These students will participate in an open house demonstration at the end of each term. Students must be at least 4 years old as of the first day of the fall term.

Pre-Ballet kindergarten and 1st grade

This 45 minute class meets once a week. Students will learn many of the basic ballet positions, including some stretching, barre work, and centre. They begin to learn the French terms for ballet movements and positions. Pre-Ballet is a fun and imaginative way to begin a child’s ballet training.

Levels 1 and 2 2nd through 4th grade
Level 1 students at the barre

Meeting once a week, these classes begin age-appropriate but rigorous syllabus training in ballet.

Upper School Classical Ballet Syllabus

Level 3 3nd and 4th Grade

This class meets twice a week. Here, students begin learning more advanced steps. Barre work is more concentrated, emphasizing position and body placement.

Level 4 5th grade

This class meets twice a week. This level emphasizes the strengthening and preparatory exercises necessary for pointe for girls and jumping for boys.

Level 5 beginner pointe level

These classes meet twice a week; for girls, they consist of one ballet technique and one pointe class emphasizing strengthening the feet and legs. Barre and centre pointe work are introduced as students become physically and technically ready. Additional classes are recommended for strengthening and advancement. Boys learn more advanced steps and specifically male technique.

Level 6 intermediate pointe levels

Level 6 classes meet three times a week. One class is (non-pointe) technique, and the remaining two are divided between technique and pointe at the instructor’s discression. Boys continue with more advanced steps and specifically male technique.

Level 7  

This is a intermediate level class that meets 3 times a week, stressing refinement of technique and placement, as well as strength on pointe or jumping. Modern dance class is also recommended at this level. Level 7 dancers dance en pointe in the Spring Performance.

Level 8  

Students complete their learning of the canon of classical ballet steps in this level. The classes emphasize performance quality, musicality, and integration of technique into advance combinations. One of the four required technique classes focuses on contemporary ballet, a fusion of modern dance and classical ballet. Modern dance class is also recommended, but not required, at this level.

Level 9 advanced

This is considered an advanced level class, not only by the complexity of material that is given, but also by the commitment and dedication expected from each student. Each week students in this level are required to take a minimum of four ballet classes, the Variations class, and Ballet History. Because at least one year of Modern 3 is required for graduation from ASB, Level 9 dancers should strongly consider completing this requirement. Level 9 dancers are also expected to continue their training throughout the summer. Dancers are chosen for Commonwealth Ballet from this and higher levels.

Level 10 pre-professional

This pre-professional class concentrates on refinement of technique and performance of the classical repertory. Guest teachers will bring new perspective throughout the year. Level 10 students take four technique/pointe classes each week, along with Variations and Ballet History.

Upper School Contemporary Ballet

Students who have completed Level 6 may also opt to to enter Contemporary Ballet, which is an advanced syllabus program focusing on the eloquent fusion of classical ballet and modern dance. Contemporary Ballet meets on Tuesday from 7:30-9:00 and Thursday from 7:00-8:30. Both classes are required. The program involves no pointe work and also performs in the year-end ballet production.

Single classes in Advanced Ballet and Contemporary Ballet may only be taken if they are supplementing a student’s training in a syllabus program.

Upper School Advanced Ballet

Students who want to continue pointe work but cannot make the time commitment of Levels 7, 8, 9 or 10 may enter Advanced Ballet, which meets twice per week ( Monday from 7:30-9:00 and Wednesday from 7:00-8:30). Both classes are required. Advanced Ballet performs in the year- end ballet production.

One or both classes may also be used by students in Level 7 and above as a supplementary class. Students in Level 6 are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Non-Syllabus Ballet

Beginning Ballet teens & adults

This class is for teens and adults new to ballet or dancers who wish to prepare for entry into the syllabus program. Meeting once a week, the class concentrates on fundamentals of placement, foot and leg development, and carriage of the upper body and arms.

Modern Dance

Students in 4th grade and up may elect to take only modern dance classes and not participate in the ballet syllabus. Modern classes perform in the year-end performance.

Supplementary Classes

Variations one year pointe req’d

There are four Variations classes. Each class features concentrated work on the variations of the classical ballet repertory, emphasizing performance presence, endurance and pointe technique. Dancers also may study variations in technique shoes (not on pointe).

There are four variations classes in the 2013-14 year. The Open Variations class on Saturday is open to all students Level 5 and above, and will focus on contemporary variations. The Variations/7-8 class on Friday is for dancers in Levels 7 & 8 and is taken en pointe. The Monday Variations/9-10 class, also en pointe is an option for Levels 9 & 10 and only open to those students. The

Ballet Conditioning levels 4+

This class is specifically designed to improve student’s flexibility and extensions, strengthen abdominal and back muscles and to build stamina as required for ballet technique. Each student will receive individual instruction appropriate to her/his age and experience.

Choreography Levels 5–10, Advanced Ballet

The choreography class offers students an opportunity to learn basic principles or sharpen their skills for creating dances, including improvisation, casting and managing dancers, selecting music, and organizing and leading rehearsals. Using dancers drawn from variations classes and others in the choreography class, students will create a dance for presentation at our studio performance in at the end of the term.

Ballet History levels 8–10, required

This class offers the student of ballet an opportunity to learn about the rich and diverse history of classical ballet. Through presentations, videos and discussion the class will discuss the evolution and rise of the art form, its choreographic and performing leaders, trends and styles, and its current state. Restricted to students in Levels 8-10.

Modern 1/2 levels 3–6

This class provides an introduction to Modern Dance. Students develop grounded technique based on modern dance vocabulary, with all work being done “in centre” or as part of combinations.

Modern 3 audition or invitation
Photo by Mike Nyman
Modern 3 dancers in Coppélia

The third class of Modern Dance assumes substantial modern dance training and is generally attended by upper level ballet syllabus students.

We also offer recreation ballet programs for adults (see Adult Program).