The classical ballet training methods at MBA are based on the Vaganova Russian school and will be supplemented with instruction from other styles of training such as the Bournonville, French, and Cecchetti methods. Ballet dancers at MBA are encouraged to reach their fullest potential by developing a strong and graceful athletic physique as well being educated in other movement forms such as jazz, modern, and contemporary.
Getting a pair of pointe shoes is a very special and memorable experience. It is also a time of great responsibility for a dancer. Dancers en pointe must have an understanding of proper foot and ankle alignment, flexible ligaments, and strong muscle control. En Pointe instructors care for each student and will only let dancers who show great aptitude to begin pointe work in order to ensure the dancer's safety and development .
Ballet Variations introduces advance ballet students to the famous choreography of ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle, etc. Students will gain knowledge of many famous ballets while learning to perform challenging variations. This class builds strength, poise and awareness of the true aspects of performance. Available by invite only to advanced students.
Petites - This class is a colorful and imaginative introduction to ballet. It focuses on beginning the development of ballet concepts including turn out, coordination, spatial awareness and a specific focus on class etiquette. Students will begin positions of the feet and introductory movement vocabulary.
Debutants I - (Ballet I) This class will establish the fundamentals of classical ballet introduced by the previous level. Class will focus on basic ballet technique, proper body alignment, French terminology and musicality. Students will be introduced to elementary barre and center work.
Debutants II - (Ballet II) Continuing on the foundation of basic ballet principals this class will specifically focus on positions of the arms, direction of the body and increased movement vocabulary, proper body alignment, and muscle awareness.
Elevé I - (Ballet III) As the student matures attention is paid to the proper extension of the legs and shape of the feet, developing movement sequences, port de bras and balance. Students will see an increase in difficulty in barre and center work. Students begin focus on repetition and retention.
Elevé II - (Ballet IV) Students continue to develop extension of the legs and strength of the feet as well as more advanced barre and center work and port de bras throughout. Single pirouettes and grande allegro are introduced. Students in both levels are required to take Modern I and Conditioning. Students in Elevé II may be invited to begin Pre-Pointe classes depending on their ability and ankle strength.
Avancée I - (Ballet V) Training becomes much more serious. Classes will focus on pointe work, pirouettes, use of the head and upper body, fluidity of port de bras as well as the intricacies of small and large jumps. Students in Avancée I are required to take Modern I, Conditioning, Jazz, Contemporary, and advanced Pointe classes.
Avancée II - (Ballet VI) Training becomes much more rigorous. Classes will focus on pointe work, multiple pirouettes, fluidity of movement as well as the intricacies of small and large jumps. Students in Avancée II are required to take the same additional classes as Elevé I but are also invited to take Variations.
Professional Trainee Division
Apprentice - (Ballet 7 and 8) These levels are are for the advanced ballet student only. Students have the ability to take company ballet and pointe classes and perform with the Metropolitan Ballet as a trainee member. It is in this level where rigorous training in modern dance as well ballet will be implemented into their daily program along with a continuation of jazz and contemporary. Scholarships for this program are available upon audition.
*It is important to note that students do not advance levels simply based on age or achieving a special skill. However, a student's age and skill level will be assessed and evaluated by the MBA instructors to ensure that each individual student is in the proper class level. As with each level, students are only invited to advance after they have demonstrated full understanding of the previous level. In addition, if a student is injured or takes time off from a certain level they may be required to retake that level or a lower level upon returning to the school.