The mission of the Vacaville Ballet Company School is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for dancers to express, create, and develop an appreciation for the art of dance. Our instructors focus on proper technique and alignment in order to prevent injury. The student division is open to young dancers ages 3 and up. Age ranges listed below are based on estimates. Class level placement is based on skill as well as physical and emotional maturity level.
In order to determine a dancer’s skill level, they will be asked to participate in a placement class. Placement class level will be determined by age. The class instructor will determine if the level is appropriate for the dancer. New dancers will be given 1 week to determine if the Vacaville Ballet School is the right fit for them. See the Tuition page for more information.
Ages 3 and up
The primary goals are for children to experience the joy of ballet, to introduce movement, to develop musicality foundations, and to learn to appreciate this art form. Teachers will address strength, posture, flexibility, spatial awareness, and coordination. Dancers will begin to be familiarized with ballet class etiquette all while boosting their confidence in their new skills.
The primary goal of this level is to build on the dancer’s joy of ballet. Teachers will begin to develop posture, turnout, balance, flexibility, and coordination. Dancers will also learn more creative elements of ballet, such as musicality, improvisation, and self-expression. Dancers will begin to learn ballet positions of the feet and arms as well as an introduction to ballet vocabulary.
The goals of this level include progressing on all the skills developed in level 1. In addition to posture, proper body alignment will be instructed. Students will be introduced to basic ballet technique at the barre and in the center, including directions of movement or alignment within their space. Comprehension of ballet vocabulary will expand as more skills and ballet steps are mastered. Dancers will continue to become accustomed to the discipline of ballet technique and ballet class etiquette while being offered opportunities for self-expression and music appreciation.
Upon graduation from level 3, dancers will have mastered basic ballet technique. Body alignment and muscle awareness will determine promotion onto the next level. Dancers will begin more difficult barre and center work and the emphasis will be on repetition and retention. Instructors will pay specific attention to proper extension of the legs and proper shaping of the feet. Dancers will develop a greater appreciation for movement through their space and musicality.
Pre-Pointe or Pointe 1x/week
Dancers will begin to develop and master intermediate-level ballet technique. Dancers will continue to develop extension of the legs and strength of the feet. All dancers will participate in pre-pointe during the first half of the school year. This will include strengthening exercises for the feet and hips as well as basic pointe exercises at the barre, to be performed in flat technique shoes. Instructors will determine if dancers have developed the necessary strength and maturity to be promoted to pointe. Dancers who are not promoted will continue to participate in pointe classes in flat technique shoes in order to continue their strength development.
Ballet technique classes will focus on more advanced ballet vocabulary, fluidity of port de bras, and the use of the upper body gracefully with more advanced technique work. Instructors will emphasize the use of breath and expression during technique, to be applied to performance. Pointe work will focus on balance and strength for more difficult skills, including turns. Dancers who have had at least 1 full year of pointe instruction will be invited to audition for the Company, introducing them to opportunities for additional performances and community service activities.
Classes will focus on the fine details that make for a strong and graceful ballerina. Dancers will be exposed to an increasingly advanced repertoire of movement and choreography. In addition to pointe classes, dancers may be asked to take technique classes en pointe as strength and maturity allows. Dancers who have had at least 1 full year of pointe instruction will be invited to audition for the Company, introducing them to opportunities for additional performances and community service activities.