Ballet is the foundation of all western dance. As a concert art form, it embodies strength and technical ideals.
Portland Dance Center's ballet program, a must for the serious dancer, will prepare students for a lifetime of artistic success.
LEVELS OF BALLET PROGRESSION
Level 1 (ages 7-10)
In this introduction to ballet technique, students will explore basic ballet skills, including the 5 positions for feet and arms, and will become familiar with ballet terminology. Flexibility will play an important role in this beginning level.
Level 2 (ages 8-11)
Students who demonstrate a clear understanding of basic technique and vocabulary will be moved into Level 2. Here, dancers will be introduced to more complex skills and deepen their understanding of ballet terminology and repertoire. Students will spend 2-3 years in this level, studying up to 2.5 hours per week.
Level 3 (ages 9 and up)
Those students wanting to seriously pursue their ballet training, and who are ready for a rigorous challenge are placed into Level 3 after completing their technical requirements and passing our Advancement Exam. Dancing 3-4 hours per week, study begins to include advanced technique and repertoire. Variations are studied in Level 3, and pre-pointe becomes available to dancers showing technical strength.
Level 4 continues with a student’s serious study and practice of ballet. Advanced barre exercises, more difficult variations, and complex choreography are studied as dancers’ training deepens and artistry emerges. Students begin to incorporate pointe work into class, strengthening the feet.
Our ballet program culminates in our Level 5, leaving dancers prepared for pre-professional study and work. Fully en pointe, students master advanced variations and explore modern and classical choreography.
Check out our Class Schedule to find a ballet class for your dancer!
BALLET ADVANCEMENT REQUIREMENTS
- 2 years of study
- 2 hours of ballet per week recommended
- 2-3 years of study
- 90% Attendance Required
- 1-2 years taking 2 hours per week
- Mastery of required technique and terminology
- Ballet Advancement Workshop series strongly recommended
- Ballet Advancement Exam
Advanced Ballet – Levels 3/4/5
- 3+ Hours per week
- Exemplary attendance and classroom etiquette
- Summer Requirements
- Summer Ballet Intensive strongly recommended
- 1-2 Hours per week
- Instructor Invitation/Approval only
- 1-2 years of Pre-Pointe completed
- Demonstrated strength and commitment to practice
ANNUAL PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES
Winter Concert Production – The Nutcracker
Each December, our ballet program performs a condensed yet concise version of the seminal Christmas-time classic Ballet, The Nutcracker. All ballet students participate, with opportunities for primary and secondary solo roles available by audition.
Spring Concert Production – Rotating Story Ballets
For our June recital each year, our ballet and modern dance programs combine to bring classic stories to life. Our most serious production of the year, students learn to bring their technical skills to the stage alongside elaborate costumes, props, sets and lighting. All ballet students are a part of this production, with exciting opportunities for solo, duo/trio, and small group roles.
Our ballet students gain a wealth of knowledge through performance opportunities beyond what is offered in their curriculum dance class. Being a part of this rich tradition ties our students with ballet students around the world, who are all studying and mastering both classic and modern repertoire together. For those students cast in productions, they learn valuable performance and technical skills through extra rehearsals, and in learning material in a more professional and self-motivated environment.