Ballet Academy at Odyssey Dance Academy
The Ballet Academy program at Odyssey Dance Academy was created as a pathway to allow dancers to train at an accelerated and more advanced level. This program will cultivate and encourage dancers to train at a higher level of ballet technique. Dancers who are interested in taking classes at a more recreational level will still have the opportunity to do so with our age-based ballet classes.
In order to take Ballet Academy classes, a dancer must be at least 6 years old and recommended by the Artistic Director or a Ballet Instructor, or complete a placement class in the level they desire to join. A list of requirements or syllabus of sorts is below.
Levels 3-5 must be taking at least one other ballet class in conjunction with their Academy class, and it is recommended to take 2.5-3 hours of ballet for the more serious and committed student. It is highly recommended that students taking level 1 or 2 also be enrolled in another dance class - ballet or otherwise.
Level 1 - Focus is on the fundamentals of ballet technique, alignment, and turn out. Students will study basic port de bras, feet positions, and simple barre and center combinations. To move out of level 1, students need to have proper alignment, consistently hold turn out, point toes, have straight knees when required, and be able to find balance at the barre in 1st and 5th position. They must also clearly execute temps levé saute in 1st, 2nd and 5th positions, changement, and echappé in 2nd position.
Level 2 - Builds on the foundation set in level 1. Port de bras will be added to barre exercises, and the combinations will be more slightly more complex. Students will be introduced to épaulement and the 9 body positions in center work. The students will also focus on simple turns and petit allegro. To move out of level 2, students must know the 9 body positions, clearly execute the petit allegro steps assemblé, sissone simple – en face, glissade, and jeté, and perform a clean single pirouette from 4th position.
Level 3 - There will be a heavy emphasis on the use of port de bras and épaulement at the barre. Barre combinations will become longer, more complex, and performed on relevé. Students will focus on mastering double turns, adding simple beats to petit allegro, and mastering proper preparation and execution on grand allegro steps including saut de chat and grand jeté. Students will begin pre-pointe and learn basic pointe steps on flat. To move out of level 3 students must have a clear understanding of basic ballet technique and vocabulary, their ankles must be strong and ready for pointe work, and they must be able to properly execute grand jeté and saut de chat.
Level 4 - Students must be en pointe to join Level 4. Students will have a quick paced class and be required to memorize set barre combinations. Students will be introduced to grand pirouettes, Italian fouettés, and fouetté turns in the center. There will also be an emphasis on grand allegro. They will learn basic pointe technique at the barre and practice temps liés, echappé, changement, and simple turns in the center. To move out of level 4 students must be able to master a clean double pirouette en dedans and en dehors from 4th and 5th position and also be able to do a clean single arabesque and attitude turn. Port de bras must be consistently used throughout class and they must be able to hold their legs at 90 degrees in any extension. Students must also consistently roll up to pointe properly and have straight knees every time they piqué onto pointe, and have clean bourrées, soutenus, chainés, single piqué turns, and single step up turns.
Level 5 - Advanced students will move from barre to center in a quick paced and complex class. This class focuses on adding artistry to the student's strong technical base. Pointe will focus on mastering multiple turns and more intricate hops en pointe. Students will also learn variations en pointe from classical ballets including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Bayadere, and Le Corsaire.