The Lower School trains children aged 3 to 11 years old. Creative Movement is available for 3 and 4 year olds. A new offering for fall 2012 is Lada’s Russian Dance Class available for children ages 4 through 6. Creative Movement and Lada’s Russian Dance classes have a 30 week season.
Progression through the Lower School continues with Pre-Ballet which is offered at two levels for children aged 5 – 7 who have acquired skills through Creative Movement and/or Lada’s Russian Dance and/or exhibit behavior and skills that would indicate their ability to handle more focused work; dancers in Pre-Ballet 1 are generally in kindergarten. Ballet 1 and 2 are offered once a week for children aged 8 and 9. Students in Ballet 3 through Ballet 5 train in a Vaganova-based syllabus and are required to attend two ballet classes per week. Amherst Ballet also offers a Jazz/Hip Hop class once a week for dancers aged 8 to 11. The School calendar for the Lower School is based on a 32 week season.
The Upper School is for experienced dancers aged 12 through 18. Dancers at the A Level take a minimum of 4.5 hours of class per week. Serious A Level dancers would take 7 hours per week including ballet technique, stretch, beginning pointe, and an elective such as Conditioning, Modern Dance or Ethnic Dance. Dancers at the B Level take a minimum of 7 hours per week including ballet technique, pointe, and stretch, in addition to electives such as Conditioning, Modern Dance, Contact Improvisation/Composition, Ethnic Dance, and Jazz/Hip-Hop. Dancers at the C Level take a minimum of 9 hours per week. In addition to ballet technique, pointe, stretch, and the above mentioned electives, Variations is also offered for dancers at the C Level, as is Pas de Deux some seasons. The School calendar for the Upper School is based on a 32 week season.
Amherst Ballet offers three ballet classes especially for adults, two of them taught by director Sueann Townsend and one by faculty member Heather Reichgott. Adult dancers are also welcome in Upper School classes with permission of the instructor provided that they possess the appropriate skill level and space is available.
Students who begin dance as a teenager or who transfer from a less rigorous program are welcome at Amherst Ballet. After assessment by the director, a custom course of classes will be assembled to facilitate the progress or meet the needs of the individual dancer.
Amherst Ballet is open year round and offers programs beyond our 32 week season. For the 2012-2013 school year we offer 2 summer camps for dancers aged 6 to 11, summer technique classes for those 11 years old through adult and school vacation camps for those aged 6 through 11.