Colorado Ballet

Colorado Ballet Academy Class Descriptions

Class Descriptions

The Colorado Ballet Academy provides training to students ages 1 ½ through adult, beginner through professional, utilizing the most current standards of ballet training. The Academy begins teaching students from ages 3 through 6 for creative dance and pre-ballet, two classes that lay the foundation for further study of classical ballet. Beginning at age seven, students are placed in Level 1 and advance according to age, experience, and ability.* Our academy curriculum is designed to guide students from their first introduction to the art through a full course of ballet study. During their time here, students will take classes in technique, pointe work, pas de deux, modern, jazz as well as vital conditioning classes.

The Colorado Ballet Academy’s designed method follows a structured sequence of training stages intended to increase student’s technical skills, stamina and discipline in accordance with their age and physical development. We work hard to emphasize correct placement in order to prevent injury. Our curriculum embraces traditional ballet principles and incorporates elements of the French, Italian and Russian training systems. We only secures instructors with extensive experience and who have a passion for teaching and sharing their love of dance. These methods help to provide a healthy and enjoyable learning environment and allow the students to experience a feeling of mastery in each level. It is a style that readily adapts to meet the demands of any choreographer, any company, and any style of movement. At Colorado Ballet Academy, our students are versatile and company ready when they graduate.

*Students will be assessed on ability and accomplishment of certain expectations before being invited to participate in a higher level of training. Most students will remain in the same class for at least 2 years. Colorado Ballet Academy levels are not always dictated by age and do not coincide with academic grade levels or other dance school programs. We try to keep our program consistent with worldwide expectations and age appropriate development. Our evaluations will be done at the end of the semester and sent out after our Spring Performance.

Parent Tot - (Ages 1 ½-3 years with a Parent or Guardian) Class is specifically designed for the young child that loves to move and dance with music. Emphasis is placed on both fine and gross motor skill development, coordination and balance in a safe nurturing environment that encourages parent involvement.

Creative Dance - (Ages 3-4 years) Class assists the young dancer in identifying basic forms of movement through imaginative games, songs, music and rhythmical patterns while fostering independence. Students will be introduced to the concepts of body, energy, space, & time as well as encouraged to take direction from the instructor and share turns with peers.

Pre Ballet - (Ages 5-6) An introduction to ballet with beginning development of ballet concepts including turn out, coordination, spatial awareness and a specific focus on class etiquette. Students will begin positions of the feet, and introductory movement vocabulary. 

Ballet Level 1 - (Ages 7 and up) The goal of Ballet Level 1 is to impart the fundamentals of classical ballet. Class will focus on basic ballet technique, proper body alignment, French terminology and musicality. Students will be introduced to elementary barre and center work. This class is offered once a week.

Ballet Level 2 - (Ages 8 and up) As with each level, students are invited to Ballet Level 2 after they have demonstrated full understanding of the previous level. Body alignment and muscle awareness will determine progress. This class will focus on positions of the arms, direction of the body and increased movement vocabulary. This class meets twice weekly.

In this level, students are given the option to add Introduction to Modern. 

Ballet Level 3 - In Ballet Level 3, attention is paid to the proper extension of the legs and shape of the feet, developing movement sequences, port de bras and balance. Students will see an increase in difficulty in barre and center work Students begin focus on repetition and retention. This class meets three times a week.

In this level, students are given the option to add Introduction to Modern.

Ballet Level 4 - Level 4 students continue to develop extension of the legs and strength of the feet as well as more advanced barre and center work and port de bras throughout. Single pirouettes and grande allegro are introduced. This class meets three days a week.

Depending on individual progression and development, students may be given the opportunity to take pre-pointe and pointe classes.

With this level, students are given the option to add additional classes to strengthen their core and round out their movement vocabulary. Students may choose from: Beginning Modern and Intermediate Tap.

Ballet Level 5 - Ballet Level 5 training becomes much more serious. Classes will focus on pointe work, pirouettes, use of the head and upper body, fluidity of port de bras as well as the intricacies of small and large jumps.  This class meets four days a week.

In addition to Ballet and Pointe, Level 5 students are required to take Intermediate Modern.

With this level, students are given the option to add additional classes to strengthen their core and round out their movement vocabulary.  Students may choose from: Intermediate Jazz, Intermediate Modern, and Advanced Tap.  Students in this level are also eligible to participate in Colorado Ballet Academy's Youth America Grand Prix and Denver Ballet Guild programs.

(Students dancing at this level may be suited to the Open Intermediate Ballet classes as an addition or alternative.)

Ballet Level 6 - Ballet Level 6 training becomes much more rigorous. Classes will focus on pointe work, multiple pirouettes, fluidity of movement as well as the intricacies of small and large jumps. This class meets five days a week with the option of six.

In addition to Ballet and Pointe, Level 6 students are required to take Modern and Variations.  With this level, students are given the option to add additional classes to increase their skills in partnering, strengthen their core, increase flexibility and round out their movement vocabulary.  Students may choose from: Extra Ballet, Pas de Deux, Advanced Jazz, Advanced Tap, and Pilates. Students in this level are also eligible to participate in Colorado Ballet Academy’s Youth America Grand Prix and Denver Ballet Guild programs.

(Students dancing at this level may be suited to the Open Intermediate Ballet classes as an addition or alternative.)

Ballet Level 7 - Ballet Level 7 classes are for the advanced ballet student. Only those who have a strong mastery of pointe work and a desire to pursue ballet seriously should attend. This class will pay attention to fine details, use of the upper body, breath of movement and expression as well as an increasingly advanced repertory of steps. This class meets five days a week with the option of six.

In addition to Ballet, Level 7 students are required to take Advanced Modern, Pointe, and Variations. In this Level, students are given the option to add additional classes to increase their skills in partnering, strengthen their core, increase flexibility and round out their movement vocabulary. Students may choose from: Extra Ballet, Pas de Deux, Advanced Jazz, Advanced Tap, and Pilates. Students in this level are also eligible to participate in Colorado Ballet Academy’s Youth America Grand Prix and Denver Ballet Guild programs.

(Students dancing at this level are welcome to take the Open Intermediate/ Advanced classes.)

Beginning Modern - Beginning modern will follow classical modern techniques ranging from Evans Method, Limon, Humphrey-Weidman and others.  Dancers will focus on full body integration, developing strength and dynamic quality for performance in a creative, energetic and positive environment.

Intermediate Modern - Intermediate modern students will focus on alignment, technique and performance. In addition, this class will explore floor work, partnering and improvisation. Class curriculum will be influenced by the techniques of José Limón, Merce Cunningham, Erick Hawkins and Alwin Nikolais.

Advanced Modern - Chris Harris’ Modern classes are designed to build a technique balanced by correct alignment, strength, flexibility, coordination, and musicality. Using elements from Nikolais/Louis, Graham, Limón, & Hawkins techniques dancers explore the inner connections (breath, core to distal, head to tail, top to bottom, homo-lateral, and cross-lateral) that are necessary for freedom and ease in creative, outward expression.

Intermediate Tap - This class continues the development of tap technique & terminology. Students will further develop skills including musicality and sound clarity with an added focus on increasing speed, and developing style. Intermediate level tappers should expect to learn double and triple time steps, 3 & 5 beat riffs, pull-backs, pick-ups, more advanced turns, as well as more intricate rhythms. Class begins at the “tap barre” and progresses to center floor combinations and repetitive exercises, instilling a strong skill set for the intermediate tapper.

Advanced Tap - This class continues the development of tap technique & terminology. Students will further develop skills including musicality and sound clarity with an added focus on increasing speed, and developing style. Advanced level tappers should expect to master double and triple time steps, traveling time steps, 4 & 6 beat riffs, double pull-backs, pick-ups, more advanced turns, as well as more intricate rhythms and improvisation. Class begins at the “tap barre” and progresses to center floor combinations and repetitive exercises, instilling a strong skill set for the advanced tapper.

Intermediate Jazz - This class will give students a thorough grounding in jazz terminology and technique while giving them an opportunity to grow as performers. The warm-up and progressions will use classic jazz technique to develop students' musicality, athleticism, alignment and performance. We will use this technical base to explore a variety of jazz styles, including classical, musical theater, jazz funk and lyrical/contemporary. This class will explore a lot of floor work and knee pads are highly encouraged to prevent injury.

Advanced Jazz - This class will give students an opportunity to push themselves technically while further developing their performative range and individual artistic voice. The warm-up and progressions will use classic jazz technique to develop students' musicality, athleticism, alignment and performance. We will use this technical base to explore a variety of jazz styles, including classical, musical theater, jazz funk and lyrical/contemporary. This class will explore a lot of floor work and knee pads are highly encouraged to prevent injury.

Pilates - This class will enable students to engage in a greater range of motion while strengthening the body to prevent injury.  The Joseph Pilates method of body conditioning, adapted specifically for dancers, focuses on core stability and breath while lengthening the large, over used muscle groups, and engaging the smaller more internal ones.

Pre-Professional - This level is by audition only and is a serious training ground for students wishing to pursue a career in classical ballet, to see more information regarding the pre-professional program please click here

Open Program

The Colorado Ballet Academy’s Open Program for teens and adults is a unique division of students and teachers dedicated to the growth and fostering of dance as an art form and a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether a professional or recreational dancer, students are encouraged to grow as an individual artist and to participate at their own pace. Offering a wide range of classes and instructors to choose from, we are determined that every person find their perfect “fit”. Our drop in schedule allows students a flexible schedule that meets the needs of both the working professional and busy student. Call, email or drop by the studio during out business hours to learn more.

Adult Absolute Beginning Ballet - This class is suitable for students with zero to little ballet training. The class will introduce basic movement vocabulary and French terminology as well as safe stretching techniques and practices. Students will learn positions of the feet, arms, and begin fundamental barre and center work. Like all of our open classes, this class is subject to the needs of the overall attendees of each class. This class meets once a week.

Adult Beginning Ballet - Suitable for the beginner teen/ adult as well as students who would like to work in a slower paced environment, this class progresses slowly and is open to adult beginners at any point in the semester. Attention is paid to proper body alignment, use of the legs and feet, and developing movement sequences through coordination of the arms and head. Students are encouraged to follow more experienced students as well as ask questions when needed. Like all of our open classes, this class is subject to the needs of the overall attendees of each class. This class is offered twice weekly.

Open Intermediate/Advanced Ballet - This class welcomes student’s teen/adult with at least 3 years of committed ballet training. Students attending this class are expected to know basic barre and center vocabulary as well as simple petite allegro, pirouettes, combinations from the corner and grand allegro. Like all of our open classes, this class is subject to the needs of the overall attendees of each class. This class is offered several times during the week.

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