Classes

Philosophy

At Amherst Ballet we strive to create an environment that nurtures each student’s creativity, talents, and well-being, while at the same time giving them the tools and training to become world-class artists. Our goal for each student is not necessarily the pursuit of “perfection,” but rather the achievement of fearlessness, joy, and confidence in each individual’s abilities. We train dancers of all ages, backgrounds, body types and levels of experience, and offer a comprehensive dance education that draws both from traditional and contemporary schools. Our goal is to enable each student to strive and reach their ultimate potential.

Amherst Ballet is committed to teaching pure classical ballet technique, uncluttered by stylistic mannerisms or outdated methods, while fostering self-confidence and joy in self-expression. Our diverse faculty of teachers draws from Vaganova method, Balanchine technique, RAD, Bournonville, and ABT Schools to give students the widest possible palette of artistry and technical dexterity.  Our curriculum is designed to offer students a rich, well-rounded education that will include: Creative Dance (Primary, Pre-Primary), Classical Ballet Technique, Pointework, Pre-Pointe, Pas de Deux, Improvisation, Music Comprehension/Appreciation, Contemporary/Modern Dance, Hip Hop, and Nutrition Education.

We train dancers not only to become physically strong and agile athletes, but sophisticated performers, and articulate, exuberant artists.

Classes

Pre-primary

1 hour per week              Tuesday 3:45-4:45 pm or Wednesday 4:00-5:00 pm

No previous dance or movement training required. Students will learn simple ballet positions, stretches, movements, and exercises, as well as musical and spacial awareness. Young dancers will be encouraged to move creatively and freely.

Primary

1 hour per week              Monday 5:00-6:00 pm or Wednesday 5:00-6:00 pm

No previous dance or movement training required. Students will practice basic ballet positions, movements, and terminology, as well as learning to dance rhythmically with music, and with clear directions of the body.

Level 1

2.5 hours per week (2×1.25 hour class)

Tuesday 4:45-6:00 pm & Thursday 4:45-6:00 pm

No previous training required. Students will learn all classical ballet arm and foot positions, and begin practicing all traditional barre exercises. Dancers will gain an understanding of how to move rhythmically to a variety of musical tempi, and establish a foundation for advancing jumps and turns.

Level 2

2.5 hours per week (2×1.25 hour class)

Monday 6:15-7:30 pm & Wednesday 6:15-7:30 pm

No previous training required; Students will attain knowledge of all arm and foot positions (1st through 5th), and all directions of the body (i.e. Croisé, écarté). Dancers will be confident executing all traditional exercises at barre (i.e. plié through grands battements), as well as basic jumps, turns, and traveling steps in center.

Level 3

3 hours per week (2×1.5 hour class)

Tuesday & Thursday 4:45-6:15 pm

Previous training recommended, but not required. Students will gain an understanding of all ballet positions, movements, directions, and terminology, and will concentrate on proper alignment, strength, flexibility, and turnout throughout all movements. Pre-Pointe exercises will be incorporated into class time.

Level 4

3 hours per week (2×1.5 hour class)

Tuesday & Thursday 6:15-7:45 pm

Previous training recommended. Students will have a strong understanding of all ballet positions, movements, directions, and terminology. Dancers will concentrate on attaining clean, clear technique, and proper alignment throughout all movements, as well as increasing their strength, flexibility, and form. Multiple turns and jumps with batterie will be introduced. Beginning Pointework and Pre-Pointe exercises will be incorporated into class time.

Intermediate

3 hours per week (2×1.5 hour class)

Monday 4:45-6:15 pm & Friday 4:45-6:15 pm

Previous training recommended. Students will have a solid grasp of all ballet positions, movements, directions, and terminology, as well as possessing an understanding of proper classical technique, alignment and form. Dancers will gain confidence performing multiple turns, jumps with batterie, and advanced sequences. 

Intermediate Pointe

1 hour per week (2×0.5 hour class)

Monday 6:15-6:45 pm & Friday 6:15-6:45 pm

Advanced

3 hours per week (2×1.5 hour class)

Tuesday 6:30-8:00 pm & Thursday 6:00-7:30 pm

Previous training recommended. Students will have a strong grasp of all ballet positions, movements, directions, and terminology, as well as demonstrating the ability to maintain proper alignment, clear technique, and consistent turn-out throughout all movements. Emphasis will be placed on strengthening artistry, musical phrasing, expression, and nuance, as well as multiple turns, jumps with batterie physical stamina, and complex sequences.

Advanced Pointe

1 hour per week (2×0.5 hour class)

Tuesday 8:00-8:30 pm & Thursday 7:30-8:00 pm

Adult Intermediate/Advanced Ballet

1.5 hours per week 

Monday 9:30-11:00 am or 7:00-8:30 pm

Adult Beginner Ballet

1.5 hours per week 

Friday 7:00-8:30 pm

Modern I

1.25 hours per week 

Saturday 9:30-10:45 am

Modern II

1.25 hours per week 

Wednesday 4:45-6:00 am

Modern III

1.5 hours per week 

Saturday 11:00-12:30 am

Hip Hop

1 hour per week 

Thursday 8:00-9:00 pm

Class starts with a warm-up, including an isolation break down of the body, abdominal and arm work, progressions across the floor and learning choreography weekly. 

Hip Hop 2

1 hour per week 

Saturday 11:00 am-12:00 pm

For ages 8-14. No previous experience required.

Dress Code

Ballet Classes: Female

Pink tights and pink ballet slippers. Leotard colors are as follows

  • Pre-Primary Primary: Light Pink
  • Level I: Lavender
  • Level II: Light Blue
  • Level III: Purple
  • Level IV: Emerald/Forest Green
  • Intermediate: Royal Blue/Navy
  • Advanced: Red/Burgundy

Hair must be up in a bun.

Ballet Classes: Male

Black ballet slippers, dance belt, black tights (suspenders optional), and a white short-sleeve shirt or white leotard.

Hip Hop

Clean sneakers and leggings or sweat pants. No shorts. Any top that is comfortable.
Knee pads are not required but can be helpful for floor work.