Classes Offered at Indiana Ballet Conservatory

Ballet Technique

Pre-Professional Dancers Levels 1-4

This is the foundation of our entire curriculum. Our Faculty proudly uses the Vaganova Method of Classical Ballet rather than a “style” or mixture of different techniques. It is believed that by using such a proven method in creating professional dancers, the foundation is solid and can allow the adding of different “styles” as a dancer matures and has already created the necessary building block of beautiful, safe, correct technique. No matter the age, any dancer can benefit from starting out with a solid foundation. It is much easier to learn a new style vs. re-training the body to rid oneself of “bad habits” and poor technique. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about the Vaganova method that has created some of the world’s most acclaimed dancers, choreographers, and teachers: Anna Pavlova, Mikhaile Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Rudolph Nureyev, Svetlana Zakharova, Diana Vishneva, Natalia Osipova, Uliana Lopatkina, Vladimir Malakhov, Alexei Ratmansky, and so many more!

The youngest students start out participating in “floor barre” to properly strengthen the muscles, learn correct body positions and alignment, and increase overall flexibility. They also work on musicality, artistic expression, basic technique, and correct terminology. Over time, these students build upon their strengths and begin to have a deeper understanding of which muscle moves which body part. The teacher focuses on increasing the moments where the students “gets it” and understands how to safely move the muscles to create the most beautiful lines. It’s a slow, safe, and methodical process of understanding one’s own body and how to use the coordination of the head and arms to facilitate technique, use a muscle to create a higher extension, repetitiously perform a plie in the correct manner until the jump is higher, and so on. Every student has different challenges, different needs. Our teachers can focus in on those stumbling blocks and create learning opportunities to watch a student soar to greater heights!

Variations & Repertoire

This class introduces students to various pieces and excerpts in the classical ballet repertoire. Students will learn classical variations as duets, trios, and corps de ballet (or “group”) work, while focusing on not only the technicality of the piece, but the artistic and historic meaning behind each character and movement. Variations class is of particular importance for those students striving for a professional career, and can be an added opportunity for a student to grow in technique, artistic awareness, performance quality, and endurance and stamina all at once.

Pas de Deux

Pas de Deux class introduces the art of ballet partnering. The two dancers must move in harmony, coordinating their movements and complimenting each other perfectly. Students must learn to develop complete trust in their partners, and the male dancer should be strong and confident enough to lift his partner easily and carefully. Stress is placed on developing strength and coordination of each pose and movement, for both the male and female dancers. Class exercises, as well as famous pas de deux from the classical ballet repertoire, will be taught.

Historical Dance

Since its beginning roots in 1661 in the Paris Academy of Dance, Historical Dance has had much influence on the development of ballet technique. The class focuses on the study of dances originating from different nationalities and time periods, which are learned either in their original version or in their classical ballet form. This class is also the introduction to partnering, teaching the methods of stage etiquette between boys and girls. The primary goal of Historical Dance is to develop and instill coordination, artistry, and musicality.

Character

Character class exposes students to character technique and folk dances from various countries through the introduction of special barre and center exercises. Character dances are often danced in period costumes and shoes with hard heels. The evolution of folk dances is explored through the history of select countries, including both folk dances and character dances from classical ballet. Character class focuses on helping students better understand the subtleties and differences between different dances, characters, styles, and music in order to portray the correct feelings and emotion for each piece.

Contemporary

The many ranges and styles of contemporary dance make it difficult to define in words, yet easy to identify due to its broad language of movement. Contemporary classes utilize the classical ballet foundation, while helping students explore moving outside of the basic frame of the body. Contemporary dancing keeps the beautiful lines of classical ballet, and uses more flexibility of the entire body to stretch those lines in order achieve a fuller range of motion, which in turn helps the students to build an understanding of the different ways of expression through dance. Contemporary class is essential to a dancer’s complete education in that it allows students to experience alternative ways of movement, creating a dancer that is well-versed and able to adapt to many different choreographic challenges.

Modern

Modern class involves an introduction to the different techniques of modern dance. Students’ dance vocabulary will be expanded using off-balance movements and transition steps through floor connection. Stage presence will also be enhanced with the use of musicality and improvisation. Modern is also essential to a dancer’s education in that it provides a broad concept of rhythm, interpretation, expression, and full-body movement, and is an excellent means of self-discipline and self-discovery of a heightened natural concept of movement.

Jazz

Jazz dance is regarded as a very stylized and energetic form of dance that comprises a series of fast and intricate movements designed to reflect multiple rhythms and themes in jazz and contemporary music. The combination of technique, style, and spontaneous movement that jazz offers serves as a tool of strengthening the body, increasing speed and improving coordination, while also providing a personal and highly creative means of expression. Basic jazz techniques are taught in the beginning level, while added technique, style, rhythm, and faster paces are introduced as students progress through the intermediate and advanced levels of jazz classes at IBC.

Tap

Tap dancing is one of the few forms of dance where one is following the exact beat of the music, and where one can develop a good sense of timing through the rhythms and sequences required of the complex and stylistic choreography that tap dictates. The quick footwork acquired through training in tap enhances students’ control, balance, and coordination. Students will begin with basic tap technique in the beginning levels, while adding speed, repetition, and difficulty as the program progresses.

Hip Hop

Though hard to define, Hip Hop, or funk, dancing originated in the early 80’s when pop music and music videos were introduced, and has continued to grow in its practice and popularity since then. This form of dance is an ever-changing and evolving style that is largely influenced by the wide variety of current music today. Hip Hop movement accentuates the rhythm and beat of current popular music, and emphasizes an unstructured “free-style” feel that is highly individual, stylized, and dependent on the choreographer’s personal aesthetic. Beginning hip hop helps teach young dancers how to loosen dance movement, while the intermediate levels provide combinations utilizing the basics as well as more challenging moves and sequences. Advanced levels of hip hop stress individual style, faster paced movement, and intricate choreography.

Adult Ballet

Beginning Adult Ballet is designed for adults who are interested in an open enrollment, on-going ballet training program at the beginning level. Beginning Adult Ballet offers participants a wonderful opportunity to strengthen and tone the body, as well as increase flexibility, musicality, balance and coordination while enjoying the aesthetics of this classical art form. No previous experience is required. Intermediate/Advanced Adult Ballet is designed for adults who are interested in an open enrollment, on-going ballet training program at the intermediate/advanced level.

Yoga/Pilates

The ancient practice of yoga (combined with the cardiovascular and strengthening aspects of Pilates) involves a series of poses, postures, and evolving “flows” designed to strengthen, stretch, and tone while incorporating mindful breathing in order to facilitate a complete mind-body experience. Yoga/Pilates classes, as structured for the students of IBC, also serve as a complete warmup and conditioning series prior to Technique class and allow the student to focus on proper body placement and alignment, thus decreasing a student’s overall chance of injury and building balance, strength, and flexibility.