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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.

Preparatory Dance provides a vital, diverse, strongly grounded curriculum encompassing five training programs:

  • the formativeĀ Young Children’s Program (Ages 3-6)
  • the fundamental Primary Ballet Program (Ages 7-12)
  • the central core trainingĀ Pre-Professional Program (Ages 11-18)
    for ballet and contemporary dance
  • theĀ enrichingĀ Open ProgramĀ (Ages 7 -adult)
    offering classes in ballet, contemporary dance, and Flamenco and Spanish Dance,
    includingĀ Adult Continuing Education (ACE)Ā classes andĀ Dance Class Cards
  • the exceptionalĀ Estelle Dennis/Peabody Dance Training Program for Boys (Ages 9-18)
    providing tuition-free ballet and contemporary dance training for talented boys

Training Programs

Young Children's Program (Ages 3-6)

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 (Creative Dance 1, Creative Dance 2, Introduction to Ballet 1, and Introduction to Ballet 2) 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.

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 Programā€”who are enrolled for at least two classes per weekā€”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 (Ages 11-18)

The Pre-Professional Program for ballet and contemporary dance is the backbone of the Preparatory's dance curriculum and continues to build on the foundation begun in the Young Children's and especially the Primary Ballet Programs. The levels range from the low-intermediate Level 3 to advanced Level 6. Its intensive, graded course of study is designed to help motivated, possibly career-minded students, meet the dance field's highest standards. The path to that goal is based on the proven results of sound, concentrated training: the more classes, diligently applied, the faster the student's growth and progress. Artistic and financial incentives are in place to enable the possibility to take as many classes as possible. Most importantly, the 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 is not scheduled separately, begins in Level 3X. The ballet faculty assesses the individual student's technical and physical readiness; a student may begin pointe work at any time during the school year based on her own development, and not necessarily at the same time as her peers. (Male students in the Pre-Professional Program take specialized classes for male dancers through the Estelle Dennis/Peabody Dance Training Program for Boys.) By Level 4X, a student may opt to retain a curricular focus in ballet (which provides a foundation for all other dance forms) or choose a contemporary dance focus. Improvisation and Composition and repertory classes are built into the schedule along with additional classes in contemporary dance.

The Pre-Professional Program levels are organized into "packages" of classes, each with a required minimum number of classes per week to facilitate student progress. Enrollment in packages offers financial savings compared to registering for individual classes. The more intensive the schedule, the greater the savings!


Open Program

The Preparatory Dance Open Program offers classes in ballet, contemporary dance, and Flamenco and Spanish Dance for students of all ages and abilities who love to dance and want high-quality instruction with a flexible class schedule. Multiple levels for adults and teens provide the opportunity for Adult Continuing Education (ACE) in a sequential format, accommodating both students with years of serious training as well as beginners who are eager to get started. Dance Class Cards are offered for busy adults, and an unlimited semester pass makes it possible to sample all of the introductory classes. Open Program classes for children ages 7-12 provide an entry point to study ballet, contemporary dance, and Flamenco and Spanish Dance once a week without formal performances.

Estelle Dennis/Peabody Dance Training Program for Boys

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