Divisions & Curriculum
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The School of Ballet Chicago's curriculum is composed of four divisions: Preparatory, Student, Professional Training, and Open Study. All ballet classes are accompanied by one of Ballet Chicago's accomplished pianists.


Preparatory Division (Ages 3-7)

Student Division (Ages 7-13)

Professional Training (Ages 14+)

Open Division (All Ages)


The Preparatory Division

Creative Movement 1:   Age 3 (Boys and Girls)  
Sat. 10:00 - 10:45 OR
Sat. 12:30 - 1:15
  Exercise your body and imagination! Young students move to music, using images made from themes introduced by the teacher, or from their own imagination. Creative Movement is an inspired introduction to the arts that instills self confidence and self-respect. Children stretch, dance and work on basic motor skills as a means of furthering developmental progress, all while having a great deal of fun.
 
Creative Movement 2:   Age 4 (Boys and Girls)    
Sat. 10:45 - 11:30 OR
Sat. 12:30 - 1:15
  In Creative Movement 2, students focus on developing coordination, muscular strength, flexibility, balance, and body control. This class builds on the fundamental skills introduced in CM1, including adherence to class process, as well as understanding the basics of rhythm, coordination and group participation.
 
Pre-Ballet:   Age 5 (Boys and Girls)
Thurs. 4:00 - 5:00 OR
Sat. 10:00 - 11:00 OR
Sat. 1:15 - 2:15
  A fun and active class where students concentrate on developing posture, rhythm and coordination as it relates to ballet movement. The class teaches body alignment, posture and isometric muscle development. It also instills both confidence and a love of dance in a supportive and creative atmostphere!
 
Intro to Ballet:   Age 6 and 7 (Boys and Girls)    
Tues. 4:00 - 5:00 OR
Sat. 10:00 - 11:00 OR
Sat. 1:15 - 2:15
  Introduction to Ballet is a class that introduces students to the heart of ballet training. They learn the five basic positions of the feet and arms, and the simple steps that compose the beginning of the ballet vocabulary. Students also learn how to work at the barre, to adhere to a more demanding class structure, to develop increased self-discipline while experiencing the joy of dance.
 


The Student Division

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Ballet 1:   Ages 7 & 8  
    The student begins formal ballet training with the emphasis on barre work, focusing on the muscle development that is necessary to execute basic classical movements.
       
Ballet 2:   Ages 8 & 9  
    These classes takes the student beyond the basic movements learned in Ballet 1. Center floor work is emphasized and accounts for one third of each class.
       
Ballet 3:   Ages 10-12  
    Students at this level focus on increased center floor work, particularly in the areas of petite allegro and pirouettes. Girls begin pre-pointe exercises to strengthen their feet, ankles, and legs for future pointe work.
       
Ballet 4:   Ages 10-14  
    Students at this level begin the study of classical variations, pointe work for girls and basic weight training for boys.
       
Ballet 5/4:   Ages 10-14  
    Students at this level focus on learning new repertory, and intermediate-level pointe work.
       


The Professional Division

The Professional Division offers a comprehensive training program for the serious student who aspires to be a professional dancer. Admittance to the program is by audition only. The students in the program train daily to master the advanced technical skill, consistency, musicality, articulation, and natural expression. To provide the performing experience that is a critical component to the student's development, the Ballet Chicago Studio Company was created in the fall of 1997. Comprised of advanced level students, the Studio Company performs professional level repertoire in theatrical venues throughout metropolitan Chicago. The company repertory is primarily the works of George Balanchine whose ballets are performed by dance companies all over the world. This unique ability to perform the ballets of Mr. Balanchine is made possible through a special arrangement with the George Balanchine Trust.

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Ballet 5:   Ages 14 and up  
    This level offers a comprehensive curriculum of classes that incorporates daily technique classes as well as classes in pointe work, variations and pas de deux. Supplemental classes in yoga, Pilates and body conditioning are periodically offered throughout the year. Special seminars in nutrition and injury prevention are also offered.
     
Ballet 6:   Ages 15 and up
    Level 6 is a continuation of the Level 5 curriculum. At this level, students continue to hone their artistic and technical skills as they begin preparation for the annual audition process that professional dance companies conduct in search of new talent. Students at this level perform extensively throughout the year. Weekly class schedules will vary throughout the year to accommodate rehearsals and performances.  
       
Men's Class:   Ages 15 and up  
    This curriculum is designed to focus specifically on the physicality, strength and bravura that are hallmarks of the male dancer. In addition to the daily technique classes, classes are offered regularly in Men's technique, Men's variations, pas de deux and weight training.  
       


The Open Division

The School of Ballet Chicago offers an open class curriculum for the public (ages 15 and older). These classes allow the ballet enthusiast the opportunity to experience the beauty and discipline of classical ballet.
• Beginning Ballet: No previous training required
• Intermediate Ballet: Previous ballet training recommended


 
Contributing Photography - Susan Aurinko, Mark Niekrasz, Vincent Chaigne, Daniel Duell and Margo Ruter
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