PRE-PROFESSIONAL
DIVISION

Jump to Levels: Preparatory, First, Second, Third, Fourth b, Fourth a, Fifth

The Pre-professional Division continues the work of learning proper ballet technique, muscle awareness for exact execution of each step, and the development of personal artistry as each dancer progresses through the pre-professional program.  This division consists of Preparatory through Fifth Year levels.

Tap and jazz classes for Preparatory, First, and Second Year levels and modern class for Third, Fourth A & B, and Fifth Year levels educate our dancers in other dance disciplines which allow for a more well-rounded artist.  At select times throughout the season, dancers are given classes in Progressing Ballet Technique (all Pre-professional students,) Pilates, and conditioning (Fourth A and Fifth Year students.) These classes encourage muscle awareness and strength and flexibility and elongation of the muscles as well as educate the dancers in injury prevention.

PRB believes in a family friendly atmosphere.  All of our Pre-professional Division students are assigned a “big” or “little” “sister” or “brother” at the beginning of each season to promote a connection between our older and younger students and a role model for the younger students

 

The ages listed below serve as a general guideline for each level. Dancers are placed according to ability.

Preparatory (7-10)

The dancers continue to progress through a basic standard ballet barre slowly developing strength allowing for the transfer from facing the barre (two hands on the barre for support of the body) to one hand on the barre. There is a concentrated emphasis on alignment of the body, stretch of the legs, and correct shape of the feet. The students are able to carry out more complex steps in the center and learn to put different steps together. The students mature through the year both in their work ethic and focus. 

All Preparatory dancers have the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker and Summer Concert.

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First Year (8-11)

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Dancers continue progressing through the syllabus of a standard ballet barre with concentration on coordination of arms and legs as well as a stronger awareness of the use of the core muscles, back and arm muscles, and muscles that hold rotation of the legs.  First Year students begin to develop the strength to carry out steps in the center such as pirouettes (turns) and hold an arabesque. The dancers improve upon their ability to put steps together into combinations and focus on musicality and work ethic.

All students have the opportunity to perform in the Summer Concert.  Attendance at our Summer Intensive Program is mandatory for the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker. 

 

Second Year (9-12)

When a dancer reaches the Second Year level, they will have learned in detail the progression of a standard ballet barre and through the season will work on more complex combinations with emphasis on the connection and co-ordination of the entire body.  The students will continue to progress in their ballet technique in the center developing strength and clean execution of movement. The dancers work towards a more complete port de bras (carriage of the arms) and begin to learn grand allegro (large jumps). 

All students have the opportunity to perform in the Summer Concert. Attendance at our Summer Intensive Program is mandatory for the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker.

Second year dancers
 

Third Year (10-13)

Third Year Dancers

The Third Year dancers focus on combinations at the barre which challenge them to work on concepts such as shifting their body placement quickly as they change from one standing leg to another through the progression of the barre.  The dancers continue the work of proper placement while taking their technique to the next level. The students will be asked to execute double pirouettes and longer combinations in the center. Third Year dancers are evaluated and if ready are given their pointe shoes based on faculty recommendation. 

All students have the opportunity to perform in the Summer Concert. Attendance at our Summer Intensive Program is mandatory for the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker.

 

Fourth Year b (11-14)

The Fourth Year b class is expected to pick up combinations more quickly and continue to work for a technically clean barre with proper muscle use.  The center combinations begin to move more and the dancers become more fluid and comfortable with using the space. The students learn to keep their energy and focus through longer class and rehearsal times and as the season progresses they will become stronger and more advanced in their pointe work.  These dancers also perform in PRB’s in school outreach programs bringing story ballets with important messages into academic schools.

All students have the opportunity to perform in the Summer Concert. Attendance at our Summer Intensive Program is mandatory for the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker and the Spring Gala Concert.  Students are invited to participate in the annual Regional Dance America/Northeast Festival.  

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Fourth Year a (12-15)

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Fourth year a students take half of their technique classes with the Fifth Year level which challenges them with more complex combinations in both strength and technique as well as dynamics, movement quality, and tempo.  The additional technique classes allow the dancers time to continue to refine their technique. Students continue to develop strength and confidence in their pointe work as they prepare to enter the Fifth Year level.  Traditional classical variations are taught and worked on with specific emphasis on correct use of transitions and detailed explanation of choreography to the dancer. These dancers also perform in PRB’s in school outreach programs bringing story ballets with important messages into academic schools.

All students have the opportunity to perform in the Summer Concert.  Attendance at our Summer Intensive Program is mandatory for the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker and the Spring Gala Concert.  Students are invited to participate in the annual Regional Dance America/Northeast Festival

 

Fifth Year (13-18)

 

The dancers in this level strive to perfect their technique through challenging combinations and work on their personal artistry and presentation of each step.  The students are eligible to audition for original choreography set by internationally-known choreographers who come to PRB each year. These works are presented at PRB’s Spring Gala Concert, Ned Smith Center for Nature and the Arts, where PRB is the Resident Ballet Company, and are adjudicated for inclusion at Regional Dance America’s annual Northeast Festival performances.  Dancers benefit from Master Classes through the season taught by professional instructors who are connected to ballet companies and dance colleges.

All students have the opportunity to perform in the Summer Concert. Attendance at our Summer Intensive Program or a professional Summer Intensive approved by PRB’s Artistic Director, is mandatory for the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker, the Spring Gala Concert, and RDA Festival.  

Fifth Year Dancer in Attitude

Fifth Year Dancer in Attitude