Class Descriptions & Levels

Levels in different classes do not necessarily correlate. i.e. a student in advanced modern will not necessarily be in advanced Cecchetti or freestyle ballet (This is a guideline only, all levels are at the discretion of the teacher of the student or particular class.)

Registration for the 2018-19 academy year registration begins August 20

Pre-Primary

Ages 3-7
1 to 2 hours recommended per week • PDF Schedule

A 'pre-Cecchetti' or pre-graded level for the youngest children who aren't ready to start formal training, or who are starting Standard 1 or Grade 1 of Cecchetti.

Creative Dance

Ages 3-4: Creative Dance 1

Ages 4-5: Creative Dance 2

A curriculum that incorporates stories, dance and ballet steps designed for young dancers. In these classes students will learn dances and movement which will introduce them to the world of dance and basic ballet steps.

Ballet Beginning

Ages 5-6

A ballet class to bridge the gap between Creative Dance 2 and Standard 1 Cecchetti, Ballet Beginning will introduce the concepts of a more structured ballet class including ballet positions and technique.

Cecchetti Standard 1 & Grade 1

Class placement determined strictly by assessment. Ages are only minimum requirements, as of May 15 of exam year.

Standard 1 age minimum: 6 years old

Standard 1 class/examination is taken as a group, with the teacher present and leading the students in the examination room. It is designed to develop a child’s enjoyment of movement and dance quality. The Standard 1 exam/curriculum precedes the Grade 1 exam/curriculum.

Grade 1 age minimum: 7 years old

Following the Standard 1 examination students will progress through the Cecchetti grade levels from age 7+:

Grade classes/examinations 1-8 are designed to be more technically demanding than their standard equivalents, with harder exercises and more complicated steps. They lead to advanced levels of study and are the path to the Major examinations.

Students take these exams without the teacher in the room, this requires more dedication from students to learn the required syllabus. For these reasons the age requirements must be enforced.

Dress Code

Leotard Color:
Sunshine tank leotard (Bloch Style #CL5605 or #CL5405)
Matching yellow skirt (ask in Dressed 2 Dance store)

Pink tights & pink slippers, hair in bun

Dress code for other classes

 

Primary

Ages 8-9
2 to 3 hours recommended per week • PDF Schedule

Students who are ready to begin Grades 2 & 3 of Cecchetti, or those ready to start freestyle ballet or other dance styles in the Primary level of the particular class.

Cecchetti Grade 2 & Grade 3

Class placement determined strictly by assessment. Ages are only minimum requirements, as of May 15 of exam year.

Grade 2 age minimum: 8 years old

Grade 3 age minimum: 9 years old

Grade classes/examinations 1-8 are designed to be more technically demanding than their standard equivalents, with harder exercises and more complicated steps. They lead to advanced levels of study and are the path to the Major examinations.

Students take these exams without the teacher in the room, this requires more dedication from students to learn the required syllabus. For these reasons the age requirements must be enforced.

Primary Freestyle

Freestyle classes are classical ballet technique classes that do not follow a set syllabus or have a final examination, but instead have been designed by the teacher based on their personal repertoire and experience. Our expert teachers tailor each class to suit the age, level, and circumstance of the participants.

Primary Character

Integral to much of the classical ballet repertoire, character dance comprises traditional folk or national dance styles as well as their modern interpretations and was created to give full length story ballets their “character”, ie place them culturally and chronologically. The class often follows the same format (barre, centre, and solos) as classical ballet, but girls perform in character shoes and character skirts.

Primary Jazz

A dance style with African roots and technical movements that has evolved into today’s popular jazz styles, as seen on both Broadway stages and in theater productions around the world. Isolations—entailing a low center of gravity and high level of energy—serve as defining characteristics of jazz dance. From Fred Astaire to Bob Fosse, George Balanchine to Michael Jackson, this dance form is unique in its wide degree of variation in style and technique.

Dress Code

Leotard Color:
Pastel Blue tank leotard (Bloch Style #CL5605 or #CL5405)

Pink tights & pink slippers, hair in bun

Dress code for other classes

 

Elementary

Ages 10-12
4 to 6 hours recommended per week • PDF Schedule

Students who have passed the required Cecchetti grades to attempt Grades 4, 5, or 6, or those ready to advance to an Elementary level in other dance styles or freestyle ballet. Elementary level girls will work towards and prepare to go on pointe (subject to teacher's opinion of readiness).

Cecchetti Grade 4, Grade 5, & Grade 6

Class placement determined strictly by assessment. Ages are only minimum requirements, as of May 15 of exam year.

Grade 4 age minimum: 10 years old

Grade 5 age minimum: 11 years old

Grade 6 age minimum: 12 years old

Grade classes/examinations 1-8 are designed to be more technically demanding than their standard equivalents, with harder exercises and more complicated steps. They lead to advanced levels of study and are the path to the Major examinations.

Students take these exams without the teacher in the room, this requires more dedication from students to learn the required syllabus. For these reasons the age requirements must be enforced.

Elementary Freestyle

Freestyle classes are classical ballet technique classes that do not follow a set syllabus or have a final examination, but instead have been designed by the teacher based on their personal repertoire and experience. Our expert teachers tailor each class to suit the age, level, and circumstance of the participants.

Elementary Character

Integral to much of the classical ballet repertoire, character dance comprises traditional folk or national dance styles as well as their modern interpretations and was created to give full length story ballets their “character”, ie place them culturally and chronologically. The class often follows the same format (barre, centre, and solos) as classical ballet, but girls perform in character shoes and character skirts.

Pre-Pointe Stretch & Pointe-Work Prep

1. Pre-Pointe Stretch: Grades 5 & 6 only

2. Pointe-Work Prep: Grade 6 only by recommendation

3. Intermediate Pointe to follow upon later advancement into intermediate level

Ballet dancers use the pointe-work technique to dance on the tips of their toes using pointe shoes. It is a highly skilled technique that is not to be started until the dancer is deemed absolutely ready. The three levels of this technique (Pre-Pointe Stretch, Pointe-Work Prep, Intermediate Pointe) exist in order to be entirely certain that a dancer possesses adequate strength before progressing to the next level. The progression through each level of pointe-work is at the full discretion of the teacher, and it is always advised that a dancer start in the pre-pointe stretch class before advancing.

Elementary Jazz

A dance style with African roots and technical movements that has evolved into today’s popular jazz styles, as seen on both Broadway stages and in theater productions around the world. Isolations—entailing a low center of gravity and high level of energy—serve as defining characteristics of jazz dance. From Fred Astaire to Bob Fosse, George Balanchine to Michael Jackson, this dance form is unique in its wide degree of variation in style and technique.

Elementary Tap

The sounds made by tap shoes striking the floor, thus becoming a form of percussion, characterize tap dance. It has a strong focus on rhythm and syncopation, and in the recreation of unexpected and lively rhythms, dancers begin to form one of the most standout, iconic styles in dance history.

Elementary Hip-Hop

As one of the most popular dance styles today, hip-hop materializes in forms ranging from urban street dance to the more commercial style seen in music videos. Three primary styles comprise hip-hop dance: breaking, popping, and locking. The dance style is often performed to hip-hop or pop music, and is generally fast paced and highly energetic.

Elementary/Intermediate Body Conditioning

It is vital that a dancer work on strength and suppleness outside of their regular dance class. Body conditioning is an all-over body maintenance class drawing on exercise practices ranging from aerobics to pilates to yoga stretches, which are applied to ballet technique. The classes will be structured on the advice of all the teachers to target any weaknesses in dancers, in turn speeding up improvement and reducing the risk of injury.

Dress Code

Leotard Color:
Gr. 4: Berry Pink spaghetti strap leotard (Bloch Style #L5607)
Gr. 5 & 6: Burgundy spaghetti strap leotard (Bloch Style #L5607)

Pink tights & pink slippers, hair in bun

Dress code for other classes

 

Intermediate

Ages 12+ by assessment
8 to 9 hours recommended per week • PDF Schedule

Students who have passed the required Cecchetti grades to attempt Grades 7 and 8, or those ready to advance to an Intermediate level in other dance styles or freestyle ballet. Intermediate level girls will be dancing on pointe (subject to teacher's opinion of readiness).

Cecchetti Grade 7 & Grade 8

Class placement determined strictly by assessment. Ages are only minimums.

Grade 7 & Grade 8 age minimum: 12 years old

Grade classes/examinations 1-8 are designed to be more technically demanding than their standard equivalents, with harder exercises and more complicated steps. They lead to advanced levels of study and are the path to the Major examinations.

Students take these exams without the teacher in the room, this requires more dedication from students to learn the required syllabus. For these reasons the age requirements must be enforced.

Intermediate Freestyle

Freestyle classes are classical ballet technique classes that do not follow a set syllabus or have a final examination, but instead have been designed by the teacher based on their personal repertoire and experience. Our expert teachers tailor each class to suit the age, level, and circumstance of the participants.

Intermediate Repertoire ("Rep")

In repertoire or “rep” classes, dancers learn and perfect choreography of different ballets, with sources ranging from classical dance masterpieces to present day choreographers. Comprised by both solos and group dances, this is a crucial class for dancers to apply techniques learned in other classes and to understand where a given technique can fit into the performance element of dance.

Intermediate Character

Integral to much of the classical ballet repertoire, character dance comprises traditional folk or national dance styles as well as their modern interpretations and was created to give full length story ballets their “character”, ie place them culturally and chronologically. The class often follows the same format (barre, centre, and solos) as classical ballet, but girls perform in character shoes and character skirts.

Intermediate Pointe

Ballet dancers use the pointe-work technique to dance on the tips of their toes using pointe shoes. It is a highly skilled technique that is not to be started until the dancer is deemed absolutely ready. The three levels of this technique (Pre-Pointe Stretch, Pointe-Work Prep, Intermediate Pointe) exist in order to be entirely certain that a dancer possesses adequate strength before progressing to the next level. The progression through each level of pointe-work is at the full discretion of the teacher, and it is always advised that a dancer start in the pre-pointe stretch class before advancing.

Intermediate Modern

Since being developed in the mid-twentieth century, modern dance has grown to become one of the dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world. Combining the strong and controlled legwork of ballet with a modern stress on the torso, contemporary also employs contract-release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation. Unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction are often used as well.

Intermediate Jazz

A dance style with African roots and technical movements that has evolved into today’s popular jazz styles, as seen on both Broadway stages and in theater productions around the world. Isolations—entailing a low center of gravity and high level of energy—serve as defining characteristics of jazz dance. From Fred Astaire to Bob Fosse, George Balanchine to Michael Jackson, this dance form is unique in its wide degree of variation in style and technique.

Intermediate Tap

The sounds made by tap shoes striking the floor, thus becoming a form of percussion, characterize tap dance. It has a strong focus on rhythm and syncopation, and in the recreation of unexpected and lively rhythms, dancers begin to form one of the most standout, iconic styles in dance history.

Intermediate Hip-Hop

As one of the most popular dance styles today, hip-hop materializes in forms ranging from urban street dance to the more commercial style seen in music videos. Three primary styles comprise hip-hop dance: breaking, popping, and locking. The dance style is often performed to hip-hop or pop music, and is generally fast paced and highly energetic.

Elementary/Intermediate Body Conditioning

It is vital that a dancer work on strength and suppleness outside of their regular dance class. Body conditioning is an all-over body maintenance class drawing on exercise practices ranging from aerobics to pilates to yoga stretches, which are applied to ballet technique. The classes will be structured on the advice of all the teachers to target any weaknesses in dancers, in turn speeding up improvement and reducing the risk of injury.

Dress Code

Leotard Color:
Gr. 7: Lavender spaghetti strap leotard (Bloch Style #L5607)
Gr. 8: Aubergine spaghetti strap leotard (Bloch Style #L5607)

Pink tights, pink slippers, & pink pointe shoes, hair in bun

Dress code for other classes

 

Company

By assessment only
15+ hours per week • PDF Schedule

Students who have passed Grade 8 of Cecchetti or by audition will be accepted into the pre-professional company of Southern California Ballet. The company program is divided into 3 levels: Junior, Level 1, and Level 2. Company level students receive a scholarship towards their training according to the level they are in. Classes will be of a Cecchetti Grade 9, 10, and Diploma level, or a professional level in other dance styles including freestyle ballet.

Cecchetti Technique

Class placement determined strictly by assessment.

Cecchetti Technique: Grade 9, Grade 10, & Diploma Curriculum

After passing the Grade 8 exam, students will start to work towards the “Major examinations” (Grade 9, 10 & Diploma). These exams are for the career oriented dancer and require a high level of execution. They are a continuation of the graded examinations for dancers who wish to pursue professional levels of dance or join a prestigious University Dance Program.

Company Freestyle

Freestyle classes are classical ballet technique classes that do not follow a set syllabus or have a final examination, but instead have been designed by the teacher based on their personal repertoire and experience. Our expert teachers tailor each class to suit the age, level, and circumstance of the participants.

Company Repertoire ("Rep")

In repertoire or “rep” classes, dancers learn and perfect choreography of different ballets, with sources ranging from classical dance masterpieces to present day choreographers. Comprised by both solos and group dances, this is a crucial class for dancers to apply techniques learned in other classes and to understand where a given technique can fit into the performance element of dance.

Company Character

Integral to much of the classical ballet repertoire, character dance comprises traditional folk or national dance styles as well as their modern interpretations and was created to give full length story ballets their “character”, ie place them culturally and chronologically. The class often follows the same format (barre, centre, and solos) as classical ballet, but girls perform in character shoes and character skirts.

Company Pointe

Ballet dancers use the pointe-work technique to dance on the tips of their toes using pointe shoes. It is a highly skilled technique that is not to be started until the dancer is deemed absolutely ready. The three levels of this technique (Pre-Pointe Stretch, Pointe-Work Prep, Intermediate Pointe) exist in order to be entirely certain that a dancer possesses adequate strength before progressing to the next level. The progression through each level of pointe-work is at the full discretion of the teacher, and it is always advised that a dancer start in the pre-pointe stretch class before advancing.

Company Modern

Since being developed in the mid-twentieth century, modern dance has grown to become one of the dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world. Combining the strong and controlled legwork of ballet with a modern stress on the torso, contemporary also employs contract-release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation. Unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction are often used as well.

Company Jazz

A dance style with African roots and technical movements that has evolved into today’s popular jazz styles, as seen on both Broadway stages and in theater productions around the world. Isolations—entailing a low center of gravity and high level of energy—serve as defining characteristics of jazz dance. From Fred Astaire to Bob Fosse, George Balanchine to Michael Jackson, this dance form is unique in its wide degree of variation in style and technique.

Intermediate Tap

The sounds made by tap shoes striking the floor, thus becoming a form of percussion, characterize tap dance. It has a strong focus on rhythm and syncopation, and in the recreation of unexpected and lively rhythms, dancers begin to form one of the most standout, iconic styles in dance history.

Intermediate Hip-Hop

As one of the most popular dance styles today, hip-hop materializes in forms ranging from urban street dance to the more commercial style seen in music videos. Three primary styles comprise hip-hop dance: breaking, popping, and locking. The dance style is often performed to hip-hop or pop music, and is generally fast paced and highly energetic.

Company Body Conditioning

It is vital that a dancer work on strength and suppleness outside of their regular dance class. Body conditioning is an all-over body maintenance class drawing on exercise practices ranging from aerobics to pilates to yoga stretches, which are applied to ballet technique. The classes will be structured on the advice of all the teachers to target any weaknesses in dancers, in turn speeding up improvement and reducing the risk of injury.

Dress Code

Leotard Color:
Gr. 9 & above: Black any style leotard (*For exams, Bloch Style #L5607)
Pink tights, pink slippers, & pink pointe shoes, hair in bun

Dress code for other classes


Cecchetti Curriculum

Southern California Ballet follows the Cecchetti USA curriculum and examination structure.

The Cecchetti USA curriculum and examinations are designed to give teachers and students specific goals to work toward and to maintain standards of development consistent with international levels. 

The Cecchetti examinations take place in May or the beginning of June with an external examiner from Cecchetti USA who will report on the students’ progress.

All Cecchetti classes have age requirements due to the age restrictions imposed by the examination board. Students must be the appropriate age for their exam by May 15th of the exam year.
 
Cecchetti USA offers different types of exams, each serving a unique purpose: 

  • The first exam a student takes will be at 6 years old: 

    Standard 1 class/examination is taken as a group, with the teacher present and leading the students in the examination room. It is designed to develop a child’s enjoyment of movement and dance quality. The Standard 1 exam/curriculum precedes the Grade 1 exam/curriculum.
     
  • Following the Standard 1 examination students will progress through the Cecchetti grade levels from age 7+:

    Grade classes/examinations 1-8 are designed to be more technically demanding than their standard equivalents, with harder exercises and more complicated steps. They lead to advanced levels of study and are the path to the Major examinations.

    Students take these exams without the teacher in the room, this requires more dedication from students to learn the required syllabus. For these reasons the age requirements must be enforced.
     
  • After passing the grade 8 exam, students will start to work towards the “Major examinations” (Grade 9, 10 & Diploma):

    These exams are for the career oriented dancer and require a high level of execution. They are a continuation of the graded examinations for dancers who wish to pursue professional levels of dance or join a prestigious University Dance Program.
     
  • Teaching certification:
    When a student shows high proficiency in the Major examinations and an aptitude for passing on this knowledge, they have the option to pursue the teaching credentials of Cecchetti USA.

All students progress at a different rate, so individual recommendations are also made by teachers. It is not uncommon for a student to need to repeat a grade level for a second year especially when completing her/his first year in Grade 4. This is a year when placement is crucial and more advanced ballet curriculum is introduced. Level decisions by artistic staff are final.