Look at life all around; everything is growing, everything is moving forward. Therefore, I recommend keeping in touch with life and with art. ~Agrippina Vaganova
Direct attention to details creates versatile, focused, dedicated students who exhibit excellent awareness of artistry and technique. Great care is taken in the accurate development of our students, as our designated levels have a truly significant standard. Our environment is a place where positivity and grace reign supreme as students are invested in and nurtured.
ACB enrolls students who are seven years of age and above. All classes are taught by Founding Director, Elesia Chéree Ashkenazy. To register, click here.
FULL-TIME CURRICULUM LEVELS
Level 1: Cygnets (Ages 7+) Introduction to classical ballet and its related etiquette and terminology. The level focuses on the earliest concepts of ballet training and--most importantly--falling in love with classical dance. Students learn dynamic exercises that build upper and lower back strength, hip strength, and flexibility. Absolute-beginner level barre and floor exercises are introduced and repeated in order to train correct placement and precision. By the end of the year, Cygnets can effectively demonstrate elementary exercises for mastering the placement of the body, the legs, the arms, and the head while demonstrating fundamental coordination of steps.
Level 2: Bluebirds I & II (Ages 8+) Expansion and refinement of Level 1 curriculum with increased attention and detail paid to discipline of movements, muscle coordination, timing, musicality, and control. Repetition of exercises while further developing strength in the legs, feet, and demi-pointe positions. Port de bras is given specific attention as students begin to more accurately coordinate the body to demonstrate épaulement. Challenging combinations and "brain teasers" are introduced as steps are consistently pieced together from the finest of elementary details to larger concepts and wholes. Bluebirds are officially little dancers in the making as their artistry begins to shine.
Level 3: Firebirds (Ages 10+) Expansion of Level 1 and Level 2 curriculum with the expectation that students can easily understand, process, and perform exercises with accuracy. This level also begins working in center on demi-pointe. Concepts of en tournant, tours, and pirouettes begin. Strength, speed, and accuracy are hallmarks of this year. Artistry and flexibility are much more pronounced and Firebirds are well on their way in their early pre-professional careers. The year is filled with excitement as students begin dancing longer combinations, as well as carefully selected excerpts from famous ballets.
Level 4: Swans (Ages 11+) The defining characteristic of this year is the development of smooth connection of movement throughout the entire body. Students begin to demonstrate increased strength and stability in various turns sur les demi-pointes (high on the balls of the feet). Older Swans who demonstrate exceptional alignment, strength, core, and ankle stability will have an opportunity to start beginning pointe work. Swan students may continue their studies at ACB on up through graduation from high school and/or college. Younger Swans who have completed one to two years of this level, who wish to pursue a professional career in classical ballet, will be well-equipped to confidently audition at a school that offers top-notch advanced, career track training. The Swan years are especially rewarding, as they are filled with joy, completion, and new beginnings!