The Pre-Professional Program is an exciting step for young dancers into some of the most formative years of their advanced classical training, including pointe.
The Pre-Professional Program encompasses levels 3A, 3B, 4A, and 4B of our advanced training programs. Dancers accepted attend ballet technique and pointe 3-4 evenings per week (no regularly-scheduled weekend classes or rehearsals). Pre-Professional program classes teach crucial, foundational building blocks for advanced classical ballet training using our Vaganova-style ballet training syllabus. Additional supplementary classes such as modern and jazz shape a versatile, well-rounded dancer.
Dancers are also guided through preparation for and the first few years of their training en pointe. This begins with a year of pre-pointe classes that focus exclusively on training muscles in the foot and ankle, and strengthening of the core muscles needed for balance and proper placement of the entire dancer's body. Dancers who pass their readiness test then progress to beginning pointe the following school year.
Our dedicated team of instructors are current or former professional dancers, bringing a wealth of experience to the classroom. Moreover, as we challenge each dancer to reach their fullest potential, their physical and emotional health is always a priority. We boast a family-like atmosphere with small class sizes to promote individual attention for each student. We believe in the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between students, their families and our staff and all times. Our staff and dedicated program directors are always a call or an email away and is happy to set up a meeting anytime.
Pre-Professional Program students participate in two full-length ballet productions and a variety of outreach performances through the Ensemble Program.
The Ensemble Program is a very unique aspect of Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts in that it allows dancers to perform throughout the school year. This includes in many different roles in two full-length original productions each year, and in outreach settings such as local festivals, nursing homes, and more. We believe that performing in both theater and outreach settings are crucial aspects of a dancer’s training toward being a well-rounded dancer as well as an ambassador for Christ in any situation. Participation in Ensemble teaches crucial skills specific to choreography, rehearsal and performance and challenges dancers use their craft as a way to share beauty, joy and meaningful stories with audiences in a way that looks "out instead of in."
Regional Dance America
The Pre-Professional & Conservatory Programs are also a proud member of Regional Dance America MidStates.
Regional Dance America is a National Association of Dance Companies fostering the growth and education of dancers, choreographers, directors and dance companies in every community across the United States and Canada. Pre-Professional Program students in levels 4 and higher have the opportunity to attend and perform at the RDA the regional and national conferences each year - read more.
Actual class schedules vary based on the semester. Below is a sample schedule for levels 3A and 4A.
Ballet Tech 5:00-6:45pm, Pre-Pointe 6:45-7:15pm, Pilates 7:15-8:00pm, Seasonal Rehearsal, 6:30-8:30pm
Ballet Tech 6:15-7:45pm, Pre-Pointe 7:45-8:15pm
Ballet Tech 4:30-6:15pm, Jazz 6:15-7:15pm, Seasonal Rehearsal, 6:30-8:30pm
Ballet Tech 6:15-7:45pm, Pointe 7:45-8:30pm
Ballet Tech 5:00-6:45pm, Pointe & Variations 7:00-8:00pm, Progressing Ballet Technique 8:00-8:30pm, Seasonal Rehearsal, 6:45-8:30pm
Ballet Tech 5:00-7:00pm, Pointe & Variations 7:00-7:45pm
Ballet Tech 4:30-6:30pm, Modern 6:30-7:30pm, Seasonal Rehearsal, 6:30-8:30pm
Classical Ballet & Pointe
Ballet technique and pointe classes are taught according to Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts' Vaganova-style classical ballet syllabus. The syllabus ensures that dancers develop proficient mastery of the building blocks of classical ballet technique in each class level before progressing to the next.
Before a dancer can begin working on pointe, her ankle must gain enough flexibility to stand upright on pointe. Likewise, the foot and ankle must gain considerable strength in order to safely initiate the pointe work. Dancers begin Pre-Pointe classes in Ballet 3A that focus on preparing for pointe by executing specific exercises that increase crucial strength and flexibility of the foot and ankle. At the end of each term, dancers take our comprehensive Pre-Pointe test that provides a detailed evaluation of readiness for training on pointe. Our Pre-Pointe program ensures that students progress to training on pointe in a manner that promotes the safety of each individual dancer and a positive, effective experience in beginning pointe.
Progressing Ballet Technique
Progressing Ballet Technique is an innovative program developed by Marie Walton-Mahon that acts as a supplement to ballet technique classes. In PBT, students perform a series of carefully developed floor and standing exercises that incorporate aides including balls and bands. The exercises help students gain stronger, deeper awareness of the muscles needed for classical ballet and foster increased muscle memory. PBT is a very useful tool that helps dancers achieve their personal best in classical ballet.
Dancers in the Pre-Professional Program gain many benefits from supplementary classes included in their weekly schedule on a rotating basis. Dance forms such as Graham modern, jazz, contemporary, Flamenco and improvisation help students to develop a well-rounded awareness of their bodies, improve artistry, and gain the versatility needed to perform any style of dance they may encounter.