Tradition into the 21st Century
Dance is a serious undertaking, an art form that involves a person's whole being. We may think of a classical violinist who is both a soloist and a member of an orchestra, able to excel on her own as well as in perfect harmony with others. Moreover, since a dancer's body is her instrument, as it were, the activity extends into everyday life in the dancer's comportment. In short, one isn't a dancer only in the studio or on a stage. Rather, to become a dancer, a student must develop an identity that is carried into all aspects of life.
For this reason we have developed the structured program outlined below, including rules about attendance, dress and etiquette. Joining Ballet des Amériques means subscribing to its ethos of hard work, discipline, a love of the art and the appropriate conduct.
In keeping with this holistic approach, Ballet des Amériques is not geared towards training for competitions. As a primary focus, training for competitions would be as problematic a notion as "teaching for the test" is in general education: Perhaps a specific objective will be achieved or a certain criterion met for a limited time, but the student will not acquire the general skill and competence for succeeding in life. Competitions indeed have a legitimate purpose, but the requisite training will require special arrangements at the discretion of the director.
Proper dance training requires a long-term teacher-student relationship concerned with developing the whole person based on constant engagement, observation and correction. Ballet technique in the French tradition is ideally suited for this approach with its emphasis on repetition – required for building muscle memory – and its insistence on addressing specific problems on the spot and correcting them before moving on.
At Ballet des Amériques, we impart a passion for the art and teach non-affected movements with an emphasis on the purity of lines. The pre-professional Conservatory program follows the general academic school calendar from September through June. The Conservatory is made up of three divisions: the Pre-Ballet Division, the Junior Division and the Senior Division. These divisions in turn are divided into levels as described below.
Ballet des Amériques is a member of the International Dance Council - Conseil International de la Danse