Youth Ballet Classes
Forevermore's Youth Ballet Program consists of several levels of ballet technique and pointe classes. Each is intended to challenge students and support their physical, mental, artistic, and emotional development consistent with that level.
A complete classical ballet curriculum is offered for students ages six and up. The curriculum focuses on proper skeletal alignment, posture, strength, stretch of the legs and feet, ﬂuid arm carriage, ﬂexibility, and musicality.
Students progress through levels as through grades in school. However, all students move at different rates. While some may spend more than two years in one level as the mind and body learn to work together, others may progress much faster. It is only after the student has learned the ballet technique appropriate for each level and after the student's body has become strong enough for these movements that the student is moved to the subsequent level at the discretion of the instructors. Advancement is based on ability, not neccessarily age. Keep in mind there are fewer Ballet Levels than Grades at school - all students will inevitably need to repeat certain levels. Indeed, the primary levels are the most important levels in ballet and should not be rushed through.
Please see Dress Code information here.
Minimum Age/Grade: 5yrs or Kindergarten
In these classes we begin the transition away from Creative Movement by introducing our students to the speciﬁc steps and terminology of Ballet. Pre-Ballet is a prelude to formal dance instruction and geared to the ability and attention span of students age ﬁve (Kindergartners), or 6 year olds who are brand new to dance. Students will develop a foundation for ballet technique in a learning environment that fosters a love for dance and music. They also learn French dance vocabulary, exercises that introduce "ballet barre" and proper etiquette in a noncompetitive atmosphere. These are 45 minute classes designed to compliment Intro to Tap, Jr. Jazz, or Hippity Hop - either back to back like a combo class, or on alternate days of the week.
The entry level into the Youth Ballet Program. Students in this level are usually six to eight years old. In this class, they will learn the basic ballet positions, the progression of a standard ballet barre, and the French vocabulary that makes up ballet. These students also move into beginning center work, away from the support of the ballet barre. Some Creative Movement activities are used to explore the young dancer's inherent love for movement. Class meets for one hour per week.
A continuing level, building upon Level I concepts. This level may take students 2 years to complete as students work toward developing their technique and mastering fundamental skills.
Students must be able to stay focused for the duration of class. They should not be a distraction to others and be able to understand and to perform with greater consistency and proper alignment at the barre. It is recommended that students begin to attend ballet twice a week at this level. Much like playing an instrument, practice is a critical part of success in any classical art form.
At this level, students are beginning to use ports de bras and head movement (epaulment) to refine earlier material. In addition to the incorporation of more ballet jumps and center vocabulary, simple pirouette combinations are taught as well. It is strongly recommended that students attend ballet twice a week at this level. Those students who are interested in studying pointe and have achieved the technique and recommendation of their instructor and should attend Ballet Level IV twice a week to meet the PrePointe requirements.
Ballet V and VI
Moving into these levels implies that a dancer is dedicated and has a strong sense of ballet alignment and stability on their standing leg. They should be able to maintain placement during the entire class. Each level usually takes two to three years to complete (when attending ballet 2-3X's a week). Stamina will be built while maintaining clean lines and placement. Dancers will also show greater independence in taking correction and applying it. Increased ﬂexibility, ability to ﬁnd balance, and consistent double pirouettes are a mark of readiness to advance to the next level. In order to execute the skills required in Ballet V and higher, it is recommended that students attend ballet two to three times a week at these levels. Classes are 75 minutes long.
Forevermore’s Pointe Program is a specialized opportunity for students to further their interests in Ballet and help them reach their full artistic potential. Admission into the Pointe Program is initiated by a recommendation from a Forevermore Instructor. Students must have previous ballet experience, and display talent and commitment to their training.
Pointe is a specialized extension of ballet training where ballerinas dance on the tips of their toes in specially designed shoes. It was ﬁrst incorporated in Classical Ballet to create an illusion of ﬂight and mysticism for the ethereal creatures in story ballets; such as angels, ghosts, fairies, and other magical beings. Pointe dancers must take at least two other ballet classes per week in order to gain the strength and technique needed to study this discipline. If interested ask your ballet teacher for more info.
Note: Ballet classes take place at Forevermore's dance studio on:
7466 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL