We offer classes for skill levels that range from beginner through professional. Wildwood Dance and Arts ballet program is truly an American blend taking the best of respected classical techniques; such as Vaganova (Russian), Balanchine (American), and Cecchetti (Italian). Our 8 year program is centered in the Vaganova Method of training that follows a definitive progression through each lesson. Repetition is an integral part to learning ballet technique. Each level builds upon the elements previously presented. It is not uncommon for students to be in the same level for multiple years.
Intro to Ballet: this course is designed to assist students that have not had the early elementary stages of ballet (creative movement-pre-ballet and combo classes), or had a large break in time between studies. This course covers the basic movement concepts and positions that the earlier stages did, but moves at a much more rapid pace due to age difference and ability to learn at a greater conceptual level. This course is available for 9yrs+. (1 hour in length)
Ballet I: Introduces the elementary exercises for mastering the placement of the body, the legs, the arms, and the head. It focuses on putting these skills in the coordination of steps, and understanding the areas of the room- special concepts. This level is best suited for students that have graduated from the Early Education, Combo Classes, or Intro Ballet. Ranging in ages 8-12yrs to start. (1 hour in length)
Ballet II: In this course of study students repeat former exercises in increased number and speed, focusing on the development of strength in the legs and feet, the coordination between the movements (fluidity), exercises begin on half-toe at the barre, and the route study of tours (pirouettes) begins. Preparation on arms is increased in tempo/chords, and simultaneous movement with the legs in certain exercises. (1 hour 15 min in length)
Beginning Ballet II: 1 class per week
Intermediate Ballet II: 2 classes per week
Advanced Ballet II: 3 classes per week (2 ballet II, and 1 ballet II/III)
Ballet III: In this level of study the exercises are increased on half-toe at the barre, and begin in the centre of the studio. A progression from standing exercises to exercises en tournant begins and greater difficulty in choreography with combination of steps occurs. Repetition again is key, and the tempo change and accent become increasingly important. The degree of attention to port de bras and epaulement is also increased and added more to centre work. Given the opportunity, courtly dance is also introduced. (1 hour 30 minutes in length)
Beginning Ballet III: 1-2 classes per week
Intermediate Ballet III: 2-3 classes per week (may be combined with a ballet II/III)
Advanced Ballet III: 3-4 classes minimum per week (may include a Pointe/Variations Class)
Ballet IV: This course level focuses on strengthening the stability in a variety of turns. The performance of exercises is emphasized on half-toe and full-toe (en pointe). The connection (fluidity) of movements of the arms and body are given much more critique and attention. The development of epaulement becomes more crucial to the students success at the higher levels. Combinations of exercises become more complicated and pointe work increased. Extension in this level is elevating to 90 degrees +. Ballet students at this level should be taking class a minimum of 4 classes per week + (each class being 1 hour 30 minutes in length).
Ballet V: By this level of study they students are working on mastery of the technique of beats, tours in various directions, tours in grande poses, developing the smoothness of movement and graceful presence, keeping movement “harmonious”, introducing more difficulty in adagio (slow combinations), and increasing elevation in large jumps. Extension in this level is elevating to 120 degrees +. Ballet students at this level should be taking class a minimum of 4 classes per week + (each class being 1 hour 30 minutes in length).
Ballet VI: The sixth year of study focuses more on jumps in various ways and the development of the ballon quality in jumps. The complication of beating steps is increased and performed in quick tempo. Added tours from different positions increased, preparation into tours from different positions stressed, and the degree of leg height emphasized. Instructors utilized choreographic freedom much more at these levels to keep the students tuned in adjusting to new combinations with the steps and movements that they have learned. Ballet students at this level should be taking class a minimum of 5 classes per week +. (each class being 1 hour 30 minutes in length)
Ballet VII: Approaching the graduating year takes dedication and a love for the art. The seventh level focuses on execution of all the fundamental movements with performance touches. A focus on every finger, every muscle, the eyes, the chin, the arms, the entire package is in focus here. This level guides the student closer toward professional work and professional touch to classical dance. The tempo picks up and combinations change regularly to prepare the student for auditions and new choreography. The student being able to recognize the steps without pause, and ease in movement increased. Ballet students at this level should be taking class a minimum of 5 classes per week + (each class being 1 hour 30 minutes in length), plus a minimum of 2 Pointe classes per week (each Pointe class being 1 hour in length).
Ballet VIII: Graduating level. This level takes the student to the grande stage. Artistry is the main focus here. Each graduating class will perform a classical divertissement. Some select students may perform as a soloist or principal role for recital at year end. Ballet students at this level should be taking class a minimum of 5 classes per week + (each class being 1 hour 30 minutes in length), plus a minimum of 3 Pointe classes per week (each Pointe class being 1 hour in length).