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The Washington Ballet @ THEARC offers various dance classes for youth ages 4-18. All youth ages 4+ will need to take part in an audition. There is a $30-$40 audition fee that will be due at the time of the audition. Tuition is based on a sliding scale off of household income and family size.
How to register: Please contact The Washington Ballet at THEARC at 202-889-8150 for information on availability, or visit the website www.washingtonballet.org
The Lower Division includes Pre-Ballet I, II and III, and Graded levels 1A through 3.
Pre-Ballet serves as an introduction to the classroom and body movement for students ages four through seven. Students learn about flexibility and strength through beginning exercises.
Level 1a/1c & 1b
When students enter Level 1, they can expect to spend more time in the studio. This is the first year of intensive training for the ballet student. Classes meet twice a week.
- 1A/1C begins to develop a strong foundation for classical ballet.
- 1B continues to develop a classical ballet foundation with more repetitive work for the development of strength.
The Teen Program allows for students to train and stay in shape during the evenings and weekends, leaving time for other activities during the day. The program showcases ballet classes that meet 2–3 times per week with an additional modern class.
- Teen Ballet 1 is designed to allow students with limited or no prior experience to take ballet. These students exhibit flexibility as well as a willingness to work hard and be fully engaged in the classroom.
- Teen Ballet 2 allows students with some experience to begin preparing to learn pointe.
- Teen Ballet 3 focuses on continuing to build ballet technique including pointe work and modern dance. Students in these classes must have one-year pointe experience.
Level 2 includes an introduction to longer combinations of ballet steps and more intricate musicality. This is the level that prepares students for pointe work and focuses on strengthening the entire body.
Level 3 is first-year pointe with classes meeting five times per week for 2 ½ hours. Level 3’s syllabus is more rigorous, with a focus on strengthening feet and ankles to prepare students for pointe. Boys in Level 3 will begin additional strength training and start partnering work.
Level 4 emphasizes core work, quick thinking, and attention to detail. Repertory from classical and contemporary works are added at this level. There are five ballet classes per week and an additional one hour of pointe work every day.
The focus in level 5 is on more intricate footwork and dance sequencing, including more rigorous ballet vocabulary and pointe. This level also includes partnering, and extra pointe work to strengthen the dancers who are moving into an elite training program. Repertory of classical and contemporary work, dance composition, Pilates, dance history and other dance genres is included.
Level 6 continues the rigorous pre-professional training, meeting 5 times each week. Students are graduated out of the leveled classes at age 18.
*Movement through the levels is purely up to the discretion of the faculty. The faculty may require a student to repeat a level as necessary to ensure proper training and development.
The dance electives offer students additional dance genres including modern, jazz, and West African Dance. Students are eligible to enroll in electives based on their technical level.