Peterborough Dance Theatre, llc
Level (The student must be of the correct age by December 31st of any given year).
All students should expect to remain in one level for generally 2-3 years, possibly more, in order to obtain and refine the skills necessary to move on to the next levels.
Expect some classes to overlap slightly in levels. Levels set annually are based on our current student population.
Creative Dance: Ages 3-5
Tap/Jazz/Ballet Combination Class: Ages 6-7
Level System: 8 years and up (age 7 with 2 years prior dance experience)
Students remain in this level until they reach a degree of competency with the basic material
taught at this level.
These levels assume a students ability to correctly execute material learned in Level I & II, working for speed, complexity, and accuracy, as well as proper technique.
These classes become more difficult, requiring both technical ability and strength, and again assuming the students ability to correctly execute the materials in previous levels with proper technique.
For the teen or adult returning to dance after a long hiatus, with either some dance experience or none, and has a desire to begin or continue dance into their adult years. Level is based on the average experience of dancers enrolled in the class.
"Accelerated Track": (or 2 or more Ballet classes weekly, in addition to other classes)
In order to improve strength and technique beyond the beginner level, it is important to keep your body conditioned! Similar to participating in sports, when a dancer reaches the point that they want to bring their skill to a more serious level, once a week is just not enough. It is not uncommon for dancers, like athletes, to be in the studio 3, 4, 5...sometimes 6 days a week. For this reason, PDT offers and encourages that the more serious student enroll in an additional ballet technique class each week. This is not a requirement unless the dancer is on pointe, or is a "Cloutier & Co. Dance" Performing Co. member, but is something to strongly consider, as it will make a great difference in the rate one excels in all their dance classes!
Even if ballet is not your favorite thing, the additional practice of it will supplement your
dancing. Improvements will be noticed in coordination, body awareness, and musicality. It also will also help reinforce the language and terminology used in many dance classes, enhance your movement quality, and enable you to become a more versatile dancer!
The foundations of dance technique are rooted in ballet and although everyone wants to get to do the fun turns, leaps, and fancy tricks of various dance forms, but they are impossible to achieve without proper technique. Not only that, but without the correct form and strength, these more advanced components of dance can build improper muscle memory (which is extremely difficult to correct), be dangerous, and even lead to serious injury if not executed properly. Dancers will quickly notice that an additional ballet class will enhance their performance in all other genres of dance. YES, the benefits of ballet will be noticable in their tap, jazz, contemporary... and even hip hop classes!
The importance of maintaining and continuously improving technique for pointe work cannot be stressed enough. Pointe work should only begin at the discretion and under the supervision of of the Director and the Instructor. Dancers are encouraged to speak with Director and Instructor to express their interest. Additional exercises can also be done to improve what is necessary for each dancer to pursue pointe work safely. Being invited or approved go on pointe can be a wonderful rite of passage in a dancer's life. It is also a RESPONSIBILITY and it should be taken seriously. It is NOT for everyone. Some dancers are just not built for pointe, but this does not mean that they cannot excel in other forms of dance. If the Director and Instructor feel you are not a candidate for pointe, it is with your best interests at heart. We would not want to put your future anatomic health at risk.
A dancer must have excellent ballet technique in order to begin pointe. There must be adequate foot and ankle strength, range of motion and plantarflexion (ability to point the foot and ankle as if going en pointe), as well as proper abdominal and pelvic control present. Going on pointe too early (age or technique wise) is believed to actually COMPROMISE technique, risk confidence, and of course, injury. It is for these reasons that PDT is requiring that those students who wish to dance on pointe, participate in the "accelerated track" by enrolling in both their 1st and 2nd recommended ballet and/or T.E.C classes.
A SPECIAL NOTE:
A Ballet class is strongly recommended for all students at every level as it is the foundation of all dance styles, but only “required" for those in "Cloutier & Company" Dance. Dancers age 8, wishing to be in Company in the future, or expressing a desire to pursue dance on a more serious track, should start their ballet training early, so that by the time they are 10 years old, they have built a strong foundation in technical training. All students should expect to remain in one level for generally 2-3 years, possibly more, in order to obtain and refine the skills necessary to move on to the next level. Expect some classes to overlap slightly in levels.