Class Descriptions

Northern Dance Theatre Classes

Beginning Ballet—This class is for 4-5 year old dancers. The class is 30-45 minutes in length, lengthening as they get older. They have about 8 kids in class. They explore all kinds of movement, learning spoken directions, class participation, props, choreography.


Creative Dance—This class is for 5-6 year old dancers. It is 45-60 minutes long to match a child’s attention span, and yet, challenging them to work for a longer period of time. The class is fun and explorative creative movement with a ballet base in beginning ballet movements and terminology. There are about 8 kids in class. Children are placed with evaluation of maturity and ability and experience.


PreBallet—This hour long class meets one day a week and is a continuation of Creative Dance with greater emphasis on ballet movements, terminology, and the beginnings of proper technique. There are 8-10 kids who are 6-7 years old. Children are placed with evaluation on following auditory directions, group dynamics, physical and emotional maturity, attention span and age. This class prepares young dancers for Ballet 1.


Ballet 1—This class is the beginning of Classical Ballet training with Barre and Center work. The student must be able to work diligently for 1 hour on steps and technique. Students are 7-8 years old when they enter this level. There are 8-12 students in class and they will meet 2 times a week and likely have 2 different teachers.


Ballet 2—This class continues on Barre and Center work that they learned in Ballet 1 and adding in longer and more complex work. There is a greater expectation of the student understanding basic concepts and making corrections. Teachers begin to regularly expect attire and hair to be done for class. There are 8-12 students in class and they will likely have 2 different teachers for an hour class meeting 2 times a week.


Ballet 3A and Ballet 3B—These classes use all the Barre and Center work previously learned and now longer combinations and higher expectations. Student must work on their own outside of class. Emphasis is placed on student desire and concentration and the ability to work as a team member in class. Constructive criticism is a fundamental part of class. Class attire and hair properly arranged is expected. The class is 1.25 hours and will have a variety of teachers. At this level, the student might be able to take Lyrical, Tap and Character. Good attendance and work ethic is strongly considered for movement up.


Ballet 4A and Ballet 4B – All Barre and Center work learned up to this point with added length in combinations, faster work, complex directions, greater balances, multiple turns, higher jumps, etc. Faster paced classes are 1.5 hours long. Much emphasis is placed on memorization, technique, ability and commitment to progress. Proper hair and attire is expected at all times. Prepointe begins at this level and is based on teacher evaluation.


Ballet 5A and Ballet 5B—This is an advanced level of study. Steps previously learned and new more difficult ones pose challenges that must be executed with a proper understanding of technique. Students are advanced to this level only if they can execute steps correctly with strength and safety. Movements are higher, greater in scope, more complex. Students at this level rarely miss class. There are opportunities for dancers to choreograph or lead class, if necessary. The students are in more numbers for shows and expected to be able to get their costumes in order and be prepared for each number. Timeliness and professional attitude is required. Most students are now taking 4-5 classes a week and are becoming proficient in a variety of styles.


Ballet 6—This class is for serious dancers who have risen through the ranks. The student has attained good understanding of steps and is diligent in use of technique. They work on artistry of movement. There is opportunity to substitute, teach, choreograph for a show, help teachers with show work, and have keys to the studio. The student is self-disciplined, self-motivated, dependable, emotionally in check and professional. They encourage younger dancers. They hold a high standard for themselves.


PrePointe and Pointe—Students are evaluated to enroll in PrePointe and then evaluated again to move up to Pointe shoes. It is after physical growth and sufficient strength and technique is attained that students enter Pointework. Usually the students are 11-12 years of age, in Ballet 4 level, and have been in ballet for several years taking 2-3 classes a week. The student must be in 2 ballet classes a week to go on Pointe.


Tap – This is a class for a variety of ages and abilities. There are no prerequisites but attendance is important as it meets only 1x a week. Fun choreography and music makes it approachable for all levels of dancers. Dress code is relaxed, but tap shoes mandatory.


Beginning Lyrical—This is a contemporary style class that incorporates ballet technique and terminology through modern and contemporary style. It has floor work, strength work, and dancers may work barefoot. It will have a wide variety of music and costuming. Dancers must be at a Ballet 4 level or above.


Advanced Lyrical – This class is for more advanced dancers in Ballet 5 and 6 who have taken Beginning Lyrical. All of the previous work with more complex lyrical movements based on greater ballet technique and terminology is expected.


Character – a fun folk dancing class from many countries using regulation skirts and heeled shoes. We have two levels, Beginning and Intermediate, in this class.


Boys Class – This class meets 1x a week and is just for boys working specifically, though not only, on jumps and turns. The student must be enrolled in regular ballet class to learn basic curriculum, strength, technique and terminology.


Variations—This class is for Ballet 4, 5, 6 students with an aptitude and desire for studying purely Classical Ballet. They will study classical variations from Ballets. They will need to work outside of class to learn their piece and then be coached in class. This will be an opportunity to refine all areas of their dance.


Choreography, Modern, Jazz, Ballroom, Tiny Tots—all classes that have been offered and are available from time to time depending on teacher and studio schedules. Watch for announcements in Newsletters, NDT Website, emails and fb.