Download the registration form HERE! (PDF)The
Pre-School Division is divided into creative
movement and creative dance for ages 3-5 and
pre-ballet for ages 6-7. Auditions are not required.
These programs provide a meaningful prelude
to formal ballet instruction, introducing children
to movement and music through a structured,
developmental progression that stresses creativity
and group interaction. At the conclusion of
pre-ballet, the children will have been introduced
to ballet steps and terminology and the essential
basics of dance.
All students enrolled are eligible to enter
the Foundation Division. At age 8, students
are ready both physically and mentally to begin
studying the beautiful and disciplined art form
that is classical ballet. Auditions are not
required. Foundation Division ballet classes
lay the essential groundwork for more advanced
study and provide formal emphasis through highly
structured class work in greater degrees of
How Classes are Structured
Classes in the Pre-School Program are grouped
into age-specific levels (3 - 5 years old).
These classes meet once a week and last either
45 or 60 minutes, depending on the age.
Examples of Developmental Skills as Taught
in Our Pre-School Program
It is important to remember that physical skills
that often seem quite simple to us as adults
are very difficult and complicated for young
Class structure for all levels is essentially
the same, with the content based on appropriate
developmental skills for the specific age. Each
class begins with a brief sharing time. Students
take turns moving around the room using an age-appropriate
traveling step. Class continues with a center
warm-up that includes all of the major muscle
groups and is the basis for the barre work taught
in ballet classes at a later date. From this,
students learn correct posture and the placement
of the body over the legs. (this is very important
for both dancers and non-dancers!) The exercises
in this section also teach balance, port de
bras (arm movements) and include various types
of jumps that are the building blocks for the
allegro (jumping) steps of classical ballet.
Following the center warm-up comes stretching.
These gentle exercises progress in difficulty
as students gain flexibility over the years.
The next section of class develops the locomotor
skills that form the basis for all ballet steps
A portion of class is based on different objectives
geared to the age of the students. Concepts
such as classroom etiquette, musical awareness,
dance relationships to others, relationships
to working space and the stage, and expressing
emotions through movement are explored during
the year. Students participate in a variety
of exercises that teach listening skills (responding
to the tempo of the music), levels (high, medium,
low) and directions (forward, backward, sideways).
Young dancers who are consistently exposed to
this type of activity in class are consistently
freer in their movement styles as they develop.
Besides, it's just plain FUN!
Our Pre-School Program is designed to provide
children between three and five years of age
with a strong foundation in movement and dance.
It teaches the young dancer the basic elements
of movement and dance, space and how we relate
to it, both as an individual and as a member
of a group; the eight basic locomotor movements;
musical rhythm, beat and time; opposites and
directions; some elementary positions of ballet.
Integrated with these physical concepts are
the intellectual concepts of self-awareness,
creative expression, imagination, teamwork,
and basic body/health awareness.
Through participation in these classes, students
also learn the basics of classroom behavior
and maintenance, which remain the same throughout
their dancing years. These concepts include
learning how to take turns, following another
dancer or leading the way, waiting patiently,
working together with others, and having a positive
Educators now know that training young children
in the concepts of movement sequencing, patterning
and spatial relationships lays a strong foundation
for the development of reading, mathematics
and other educational skills. Children in our
Pre-School Program work actively in all of these
3 Year Olds
Three year olds are quite new to learning how
their bodies move as well as how to behave in
a classroom. Children in this program are gently
introduced to the classroom environment. Because
this age child loves and needs repetition, the
same class is repeated several times before
Some of the concepts taught are stretching
the feet (the foundation for a balletic Battement
tendu), balancing on one leg (an essential skill
for the dancer), weight transfers from one foot
to the other (the basis of Balance), jumping,
simple arm movements, stretching, and moving
across the floor. Many types of movement characterizations
are used to develop both movement quality and
imagination. During the year, skipping is introduced.
4 Year Olds
The program for four year olds builds on the
work done the previous year. Students at this
age now learn to further control their movements.
Weight transfers are done not only forward and
backward, but also from side to side. Balances
are more sustained. Jumps are now done in basic
patterns. Traveling steps are often done with
partners, and skipping is learned both forward
and backward. Students also start learning the
concepts of counting music and opposites.
5 Year Olds
Five year olds continue to work on the same
concepts, but in greater degrees of complexity.
Their ability to count the music is developed.
They utilize opposite arms and legs while skipping,
galloping and balancing. Weight transfers are
taught in more complex patterns, and traveling
steps across the floor are done on half point.
6 and 7 Year Olds
At ages six and seven, children move into the
pre-ballet level, a transition class between
the pre-school program and the study of classical
ballet technique (which begins at age eight)
Essentially, the pre-ballet class takes the
concepts learned in the pre-school program and
begins to put them into the format used in formal
ballet class. By the time students are eight,
they are ready both physically and mentally
to begin studying the beautiful and disciplined
art form that is Classical Ballet.
Students who train exclusively with School
of Dance typically excel beyond curriculum expectations.
These students often move into advanced classes
earlier then students new to our school.
If you have any questions about this program
or any other aspect of our school, please contact
us. We will be happy to talk to you.