The Young Children's Program is designed to spark innate creativity and joy in moving and to begin to build a foundation for more in-depth technical training. The four levels within this program are designed to capitalize on the young child's physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Classes meet once a week; students are grouped by age and by readiness for class material. The curriculum is designed for yearlong study and class material is introduced incrementally so students are fully prepared to enter the next level. All classes require a minimum of eight students and are limited in size to provide individual attention.
Creative Dance 1 (min. age 3)
Creative Dance 1 sets a strong foundation for more formal dance study by strengthening movement/locomotive skills, increasing flexibility, and by stimulating rhythmic awareness and expressiveness. Students are guided through structured movement and are encouraged to dance with expression and explore diverse movements. The instructor and students work for 55 minutes without caregivers, so all students must be at least 3 years old by the first day of the fall semester. All new 3 year-olds must take a placement class to ascertain readiness for group dance instruction prior to registration. The curriculum is designed for yearlong study.
Creative Dance 2 (min. age 4)
Creative Dance 2 continues to build a foundation for more in-depth technical training. Students are led through exercises to increase strength and flexibility, and work on movement/locomotive skills, rhythmic awareness, and expressiveness. Basic ballet terminology and simple barre work is introduced incrementally to prepare students for Introduction to Ballet, and students continue to explore varied movements in the center. The curriculum is designed for yearlong study, so students must be at least 4 years old by the first day of the fall semester. No previous experience or placement class required.
Introduction to Ballet 1 (min. age 5)
Introduction to Ballet 1 for 5 and 6-year olds accommodates beginning students and those who have previously taken creative dance and/or pre-ballet classes. The curriculum approaches the fundamentals of ballet training (body placement, arm movements, footwork, and simple vocabulary) while continuing to develop students' body awareness and build their locomotive and expressive skills. The instructor prepares the students for future performances through an informal studio performance for family members at the end of the spring semester. No previous experience or placement class required for 5 year-old students. Some 6 year-olds may be placed in Introduction to Ballet 1 to build fundamental skills and learn ballet vocabulary before taking Introduction to Ballet 2.
Introduction to Ballet 2 (age 6+ by placement only)
Introduction to Ballet 2 prepares students for more formal ballet study with an increased emphasis on ballet vocabulary and terminology, ballet barre exercises, and a basic awareness of technique, along with continued work on more complex locomotive skills and expressive skills. Students are encouraged to apply corrections to their movement in a positive atmosphere and progress is evaluated on an individual basis so students are fully prepared to move to the Primary Ballet Program or Open Program. Introduction to Ballet 2 students may participate in a performance at the end of the spring semester with other Peabody Dance students age 6-18 (additional Materials Fee required). The curriculum is designed for yearlong study; therefore, students must be at least 6 years old by the first day of the fall semester. All new 6 year-olds must take a placement class prior to registration to determine whether Introduction to Ballet 1 or Introduction to Ballet 2 is appropriate.