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Vaganova Russian Classical Ballet Technique.




Pre-Ballet (ages 3 - up)

The Pre-Ballet classes at the BAA was created for young dancers under the mentorship of the  Ballet Master, Oscar Hawkins. The Pre-Ballet syllabus is specifically designed as a foundation for future studies of ballet following the Vaganova syllabus and its method of training.  Students learn various excercises for coordination, flexibiliity, as well as a basic knowledge of classical period ballets and  romantic period ballets.

Intro to Vaganova Level I
Students begin to learn basic barre and center floor work in conjunction with what a Level I student would start learning in the first month of Level I classes. Intro to Level I students graduate to our Level classes with an assurance of continuity in their early training. The integrity of the Vaganova method of training is assured by Artistic Director and Ballet Master, Oscar Hawkins, who has achieved excellence as a dancer and Master Teacher through his knowledge and mastery of all aspects of the Vaganova syllabus.


Level I
Level I student begin classes with the Ballet Master.  Students learn positions of the arms, legs, feet, head, trunk of the body as well as gain a repetoire of balances on one leg both at barre and center floor.  This class focus is on pure strength in the arm, back and leg movements to prepare students for jumps and turns (pirouettes).  Students attend 2 one hour ballet classes per week and 1 one hour contemporary choreography class per week.

Level II
The goals include solidifying the work accomplished during the previous years, adding a greater number of repetitions and at a faster tempo; development of strength of the legs and feet through the use of demi-pointe; using épaulement in many exercises; and adding elementary turning movements in preparation for tours. Students meeting the physical and technical requirements will begin pointe work at this level. Students attend two 90 minute ballet lessons per week, one 1 hour Character Dance class per week and one 1 hour contemporary choreography class per week and vocabulary for boys.

 Level III
Students at this level are introduced to more complex movements and combinations and begin studying center exercises on demi-pointe, and the practice of tours and beats. The pace is accelerated and goals include muscular control, a mastery of the elementary exercises, purity of style and artistry. Students attend one 120 minute lesson per week, two 90 minute classes per week, which include pointe lessons, stretch class, and participate in repertory and master class workshops when scheduled. In addition, students attend one 1 hour Character dance class per week and one 90 minute contemporary choreography class per week.

Level IV
The goals include mastery of all previous vocabulary, more complex combinations and exercises done on demi-pointe (girls en pointe), performance skills, and the development of accomplished and esthetic dancers. Students are encouraged to take more pointe and begin partnering lessons.

Be On Pointe

A Ballerinas pointe shoes are graceful, elegant, and so exciting to watch and to have as a future goal for every young dancer; however, pointe shoes also take quite a bit of strength and training before hand to assure dancers are ready and successful when the time comes for their first pointe class. It is best to allow the instructors to judge when a young dancer is ready and to encourage your dancer to continue to work and they will soon reach their goals.

Men's Technique
The men's class focuses on simple lines, strength, and complex movements of the male classical dancer. It is designed to give male dancers the strength and agility to perform various jumps and turns with a strong sense of line and body position. Men's Technique also focuses on the powerful yet elegant carriage of the upper body. It is a class that is essential in developing a strong male classical ballet artist.

Character/ Court Dance
Character Dance explores many different cultures and their traditional dances. This class will cover Polish Mazurka, Spanish Flamenco, Hungarian Gypsy, Russian Folk and Classic Flamenco.  Court Dance teaches students some of the oldest traditional English, Russian, Spanish and French Court and Peasant dances.  

European Contemporary

European Contemporary infuses classical ballet technique into more pedestrian-like types of movement. The upper body is used more freely while the lower body is that of a precise classical technician. The class extends the expression and lines of students, allowing them to discover their ability to link everyday rituals and personalities with more abstract approaches to shapes and movement.

Broadway Jazz

In this class you will explore broadway diverse genres inspired by Fosse, Robbins and current broadway choreographers.

Stretch and Conditioning

Stretch and Conditioning is the most effective cross-training methods for dancers to see improvement in strength, flexibility, and balance in their dancing. When become more advanced, it’s only natural that their bodies invite more injury. Many injuries occur when performing skills without proper placement, stretch and strengthening. S and C class focuses on building core strength and increasing endurance and flexibility through a variety of exercises.  The best way to continue to progress in your dance classes and to avoid annoying injuries is by consistently stretching and conditioning the body. Stretching and conditioning is about 40% of a dancers prep for success

Adult/Teen Ballet/ Coming Soon
These lessons are aimed at providing students of a more mature age (with little or no training) the opportunity to begin study at an elementary level, progressing through the syllabus at a pace that fits the needs of the particular group of students.

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