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The heart of the Preparatory’s dance department philosophy is the expectation that all students, whether they are professional aspirants or young children and adults exploring the joys of dancing, will have the opportunity to reach their own desired level of achievement. In return, a nationally respected faculty are dedicated to meeting the needs of their students on an individual basis and to offering them exemplary training, inspiration, and encouragement.

Training Programs

Young Children's Program (ages 3-6)

The Young Children's Program is designed to spark innate creativity and to begin to build a foundation for more in-depth technical training. This one-class-per-week program offers two levels of training for children. Creative Dance for 3 and 4 year-olds sets a strong foundation for more formal dance study by strengthening movement/locomotive skills and flexibility and by stimulating rhythmic awareness and expressiveness. Introduction to Ballet 1 and 2 for 5 and 6 year-olds, approach basic fundamentals of ballet (placement, port de bras, footwork and simple vocabulary).

All classes require a minimum of eight students, and all new 3-year-olds and 6-year-olds must take a placement class.

New 4-year olds should register for Creative Dance (4 Years); new 5-year olds should register for Introduction to Ballet 1. Placement is not required for these classes.

Primary Ballet Program (ages 7-12)

The Primary Ballet Program is where concentrated ballet training at Peabody Dance begins. This program includes all Beginner and Elementary Ballet Levels 1, 1X, 2, and 2X. In line with Peabody Dance's objective to enable students to advance at a pace that matches their abilities, interests, and time commitments, students in the Primary Ballet Program—who are enrolled for at least two classes per week—may be invited to take additional scheduled classes at or below their own level (or in exceptional cases, in a higher level) for no additional cost.

All classes are a minimum of eight students. All students wishing to enter Levels 1X-2X must first complete a placement class.

Registering for levels which include more than one class per week offers financial savings compared to registering for each class individually. As the levels progress, the savings increase! When registering, the course number under the appropriate level should be chosen in Student Information System (SIS). Tuition fees are listed per semester.

Pre-Professional Program for ballet and contemporary dance
(ages 10-young adult)

The Pre-Professional Program ranges from first intermediate Level 3 to advanced Level 6. This program, for students in Ballet and Contemporary Dance, is the backbone of Peabody Dance’s curriculum and continues to build on the basic foundation begun in the Young Children’s and especially the Primary Ballet Programs. Its intensive, graded course of study is designed to help motivated, possibly career-minded students meet the dance arena’s highest standards. The path to that goal is based on the Dance Department’s collective belief in the proven results of sound, concentrated training: the more classes, diligently applied, the faster the student’s growth and progress. Therefore, students with special potential and commitment are urged to take as many classes as they can. Artistic, as well as financial, incentives are in place to enable that possibility. Most importantly, the mode of procedure for the entire Pre-Professional Program is designed to encourage and enable students to advance at a pace that matches their abilities, interests, and time commitments.

In the Pre-Professional Program, the training intensifies over time while students continue to hone their skills, broaden their required curriculum, increase their number of classes per week, and enlarge their schedule of rehearsals, performances, and special events. Contemporary Dance is introduced in Level 3; pointe work, which is considered an integral part of ballet class for the female dancer and not scheduled separately, begins in Level 4 (however, the student’s technical and physical readiness for pointe work, which may prohibit progress, first must be assessed by the ballet faculty). Also in the upper levels, classes may start to address the special technique requirements of the male dancer.

Ballet & Contemporary Dance Focus

By Level 4X, a Pre-Professional Program student may opt to retain a curriculum focus in Ballet or choose a Contemporary Dance Focus, which provides carefully graded classes compatible with the Ballet program but at the same time adding principles of major modern techniques to develop the dancer’s strength, versatility, command of the floor, and spatial dynamics. Improvisation, Composition, and Repertory classes are built into upper-level schedules, and continued training in ballet is required. Whether the focus is Ballet or Contemporary Dance, following this dedicated, often difficult path to advanced fulfillment is the way students can become articulate, expressive, mature performers.

Big savings with Package Registration!

The Pre-Professional Program is organized in “packages” which provide the recommended minimum number of classes per week for each level: in Ballet from the first intermediate Level 3 through 3X, 4, 4X, 5, 5X, to the most advanced Level 6; and in Contemporary Dance from Level 4X through 6.

In keeping with its philosophy, all Peabody Dance students enrolled in a Pre-Professional Program package and who attend all their required classes may take additional classes-at or below their own level-at no additional cost. Some students who attend all required classes and are doing exceptional work may be invited by a faculty panel to take additional classes in a higher level than their own-at no additional cost.

Enrollment in Pre-Professional Program packages offers financial savings compared to registering for each class individually. The more intensive the program, the greater the savings!

It is important to note that a level, as outlined in the following class schedules, is merely an indication of a student’s current stage of accomplishing the required skills. Placement in a particular level is not based entirely on age, years of study, or innate talent; rather, placement in a particular level is guided more by a student’s physical facility and quickness in digesting information than by the demands of a pre-ordered syllabus. A student will be placed where the artistic director and faculty feel he or she will profit most and where gaps in training can be addressed. At the same time, students will be allowed and encouraged to advance through the level system according to their own talent, hard work, and dedicated attendance.

When registering, the course number under the appropriate level should be chosen in SIS or written on the registration form. Tuition fees are listed per semester. All classes are a minimum of eight students.

Open Program (ages 7-adult)

The Open Program offers classes in Ballet and Contemporary Dance for students who love to dance but wish to undertake a less intensive schedule while retaining high-quality training. Open Program attendees are required to take at least one class per week. New students with previous dance training must take a placement class to determine which level is appropriate. Students with no formal training may enroll in a Beginners or Fundamentals class without attending a placement class.

Note: beginning ballet students ages 7-12 should enroll in Level 1 (one class per week) in the Primary Ballet Program. All classes require a minimum of eight students.

All students wishing to enter Elementary Ballet, Elementary-Intermediate 2 Contemporary Dance, or Teen/Adult Ballet Levels 1-3 must first take a placement class.

Estelle Dennis/Peabody Dance Training Program for Boys

Tuition-free program for boys who have the potential and desire to dance.