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The curriculum at KB is designed to take a dancer methodically through a comprehensive training method, by way of a step by step progression. This progression is specifically targeted to age as well as physical and developmental readiness in Dance Movement and Preparatory classes. We provide this foundation through the instruction of qualified professional teachers. In Dance Movement, children ages 3 and 4 learn to work in a group, move to musical rhythm, learn spacing, identify basic muscle groups to generate movements which are pre-cursors to the foundation of ballet technique. Imagery, fantasy and play are ways in which children of this age engage to begin expressing a love of movement.
Pre-School (Prep I, Prep II, Prep III)
Our Preparatory Ballet program is comprehensive. Children begin to understand the connection of using specific muscle groups to apply detailed technique instruction. Still using a charming library of ballet history, students also begin connecting what they do in the studio with how it later develops into stage performance. Utilizing floor barre techniques, fun group work, terminology and ballet stories, children prepare to enter the curriculum program when they reach Ballet I.
Lower School Curriculum Track
When dancers graduate from Preparatory levels and enter the beginning “technique” levels, i.e. Ballet I (BI) the focus becomes more toward technique (much like when reaching First Grade shifts the focus of school on academics, rather than learn through play) – correct technique that lays the foundation for classical ballet learning. Usually dancers are approximately 7 years old at this time, and ready for more focused instruction. They begin to understand that what they are learning is not simply fun movement to music, but purposeful movement which has rules and right and wrong applications – which when grasped and mastered give students a sense of accomplishment and achievement. They begin to see how what they put into it now is the vocabulary of the language of ballet, and pieces become part of the whole.
BI (BI, BIA or BIB)
This is a one-hour class and begins to place greater focus on ballet technique. Students are typically age 7 or 8 in this level. Dancers at this level are eligible to take Tap IA/B to enhance rhythm and musicality, or Jazz IA for an additional form of dance in addition to their ballet class. Dancers in BI and higher are eligible to audition for NUTCRACKER.Dancers in this level and higher are eligible to take the beginning level of summer workshop in June.
This is a one-hour class and builds on what was learned in BIA or BIB. Students are able to reinforce the technique learned in BI, and begin strengthening and preparing for additional center work. Students in this level are eligible to take Modern IIA or Jazz IIA. Dancers in this level are eligible to audition for THE NUTCRACKER. Dancers in this level and higher are eligible to take the beginning level of summer workshop in June.
Following BIIA students are evaluated for placement into the curriculum track. If a child is recommended for the curriculum track and she accepts, she will begin attending ballet class twotimes per week in BIIB, with an option to take modern and/or jazz in addition to their ballet classes.
This class level meets 2x per week. Students in this level are building upon prior technique but also beginning to build increased physical conditioning and strength. Taking class 2 times per week facilitates greater muscle memory and strength. Students in this level are eligible to take Modern IIB or Jazz IIB in addition to their ballet classes. Dancers in this level areeligible to audition for THE NUTCRACKER. Dancers in this level and higher are eligible to take the beginning level of summer workshop in June.
This level meets 3x per week for one hour and fifteen minutes. This level begins the first stages of pre-pointe preparation. Students in this level are eligible to take either Jazz IIIA or Modern IIIA in addition to their ballet classes. Dancers in this level are eligible to audition for THE NUTCRACKER. Dancers in this level and higher are eligible to take summer workshop in June.
Students in this level should have completed BIIIA or will have been placed by artistic director. Classes are 1.5 hours long and meet 3x per week. Students may have begun pointework or will begin pointe work during the year or at the completion of the year. Students at this level are eligible to take Jazz IIIB or Modern IIIB. Students in this level are eligible to auditionfor Company candidacy. Dancers in this level are eligible to audition for THE NUTCRACKER. Dancers in this level and higher are eligible to take summer workshop in June. Note: Dancers who are in Company are required to attend a minimum of 2 weeks of summer workshop in June.
Upper School Curriculum Track
Students in this level should have completed BIIIB. Classes are 1.5 hours long and meet 4x per week, in addition to Company class on Saturdays. Students in this level are working on beginning pointe technique. They are eligible for Jazz IVA or Modern IVA. Dancers at this level are eligible for Company membership. Note: Dancers who are in Company are required to attend a minimum of 2 weeks of summer workshop in June at Kingsport Ballet and/OR at an approved outside (request must be made to the artistic director in advance) summer intensive
Students in this level should have completed BIVA. Classes are 1.5 hours long and meet 4x per week, in addition to Company class on Saturdays. Students in this level are workingon building pointe technique, strength and improve technique. They are eligible for Jazz IVB or Modern IVB. Dancers at this level are eligible for Company membership. Note: Dancers whoare in Company are required to attend a minimum of 2 weeks of summer workshop in June at Kingsport Ballet and/OR at an approved outside (request must be made to the artistic directorin advance) summer intensive.
BV and BVI
These are the highest levels offered at KB. Students are expected to attend class five times per week, in addition to Company class on Saturdays. Students at this level takeModern V/VI and/or Jazz V/VI. Note: Dancers who are in Company are required to attend a minimum of 2 weeks of summer workshop in June at Kingsport Ballet and/OR at an approvedoutside (request must be made to the artistic director in advance) summer intensive.
Partnering and Variations
When a dancer is in the advanced level, she may be ready to begin working with a partner, and begin learning solo variations. Both of these, whether in private instruction or in a class, are very demanding of proper technique and require a good deal of strength. These classes or privates may be offered to a group of dancers or recommended toindividual students.
Once dancers have completed BIIIB they are eligible to audition for Company. Company members must be on pointe a minimum of one year. Saturday companyclasses are intended to provide additional training opportunities and are free of charge.
- Dancing in Company productions
- Attending summer intensives at KB a minimum of two weeks
- Attending Saturday company class
- Participating in any outreach or community performances or educational endeavors that are part of the organization.
Recreational Track vs. Curriculum Track
Upon completion of BIIA, dancers may be placed in the recreational track or the curriculum track. A dancer may choose to go into the recreational track, but acceptance into the curriculumtrack will be by teacher recommendation. Whether in the recreational track (C track) or curriculum track, students will all receive the best intruction we have to offer.
Additional classes may be added upon teacher recommendation, including other forms of dance.
The curriculum track is available to students who have the interest and teacher recommendation. Upon entering the curriculum track, students begin taking ballet two times per week andmay add additional forms of dance. The curriculum for this level will follow a path toward preparation for pre-pointe, reaching a strong level of physical conditioning in order to have thecorrect technique and proper body alignment to begin pointe work approximately in level BIIIB. Curriculum students are eligible to progress to additional roles in Company productions they are eligible for, and eventually be eligible for Company membership, summer intensive and other curriculum activities.
Modern dance is often considered to have emerged as a way of breaking away from the strict rules of classical ballet. Socioeconomic and cultural factors also contributed to its development. Its pioneers disregarded ballet’s strict movement vocabulary, the particular, limited set of movements that were considered proper to ballet, and stopped wearing corsets and pointe shoes in the search for greater freedom of movement. Modern dance has evolved with each subsequent generation of participating artists. While the movement began in the late 1800s, the most common methods used today date more from the mid 1900s and its American movements. Artistic content has morphed and shifted from one choreographer to another, as have styles and techniques. Artists such as Martha Graham and Lester Horton developed techniques in the Central Modern Period (1923-1946) that are still taught worldwide, and numerous other types of modern dance exist today.
Originally, the term jazz dance encompassed any dance done to jazz music, including both tap dance and jitterbug. Over time, a clearly defined jazz genre emerged, changing from a street dance to a theatrical dance performed on stage by professionals. It is a genre which has produced specific styles from famous choreographers such as Bob Fosse, Jack Cole, and Katherine Dunham. There are many different stylistic preferences seen in jazz dances, such as a slow or fast pace, approach, and even music. Jazz can be performed to any type of song and can be characterized by the technical and sharp movements. As with Modern dance, there are variations in the style of jazz dance, but it is still largely rooted in technique that borrows heavily from ballet foundations.
Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. Two major variations on tap dance exist: rhythm (jazz) tap and Broadway tap. Broadway tap focuses on dance; it is widely performed in musical theater. Rhythm tap focuses on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the jazz tradition. The sound is made by shoes that have a metal “tap” on the heel and toe. At Kingsport Ballet Tap classes are geared toward young students (ages 5-9) as an introduction to rhythm and musicality and as an additional form of dance that can be taken in the early years of a student’s training.
Character dance is a specific subdivision of classical dance. It is the stylized representation of a traditional folk or national dance, mostly from European countries, and uses movements and music which have been adapted for the theater. Character dance is integral to much of the classical ballet repertoire. A good example of character dance within ballet is the series of national dances which take place at the beginning of Act III of Swan Lake. The ballet Don Quixote as well as Paquita also features many character variations based on traditional Spanish dances. Popular character dance adaptations for ballet also include the national dances of Hungary, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain: csárdás, mazurka, tarantella, flamenco, etc. In the beginning years of learning Character dance, it is often called “Historical” dance.