Class Divisions & Age Guidelines

The Conservatory is comprised of 3 distinct programs:

  • A uniquely designed Preparatory Program that prepares young students to enter the more demanding levels of ballet training, or use the solid foundation they have received to explore other dance and performance alternatives
  • The Pre-Professional Division consisting of carefully graduated pre-professional Vaganova levels of classical and contemporary ballet training
  • The Pre-Professional Day Program (enrollment by audition only), offering an intense level of training for the serious-minded student striving to pursue a professional career in ballet and dance

There is equal emphasis on all programs at IBC. In addition, all students will have the distinct opportunity to participate in professional productions.

The curriculum for each level is designed by the Artistic Faculty in a unique and specific way for children to progress in a safe and healthy environment, while also making sure that the program truly reflects and mirrors the Vaganova method of training, and to keep from making too much of a shift for the child to adapt to within the next level’s specific curriculum. Class hours will be age-appropriate, and will be based on the child’s specific level and development in accordance with the Vaganova method. A child’s dance education and level placement at IBC is based on many factors (age, muscle and bone development, mental and social maturity, work ethic, years trained in ballet- and specifically in the Vaganova method, potential, etc.).

The chart below indicates general age guidelines—not concrete criteria—for students beginning their training at IBC in Preparatory 1 until the time they graduate in Pre-Professional Level 8. Please contact the Admissions Director for more details.

Preparatory Division

Preparatory Division students
  • Preparatory 1 – Ages 3* and 4 (Must be fully “potty-trained” to enroll in class)
  • Preparatory 2 – Ages 5 and 6
  • Preparatory 3 – Age 7-8 – Requires placement class
  • Preparatory 4 – Age 8-9 – Requires placement class

*Students younger than 3 years old are not permitted in Preparatory 1. Students 18-36 months old are welcome to enroll in Mommy & Me class with their parent/guardian, which serves as a wonderful introduction to ballet and a unique opportunity for “mom” to bond with their precious little one in a fun, educational environment!

Pre-Professional Division (Vaganova Levels 1-8)

Mark Pecar - YAGP Indianapolis 2014

Mark Pecar (1st Place Winner at YAGP Indianapolis 2014, currently: Loyola University, Chicago) – photo by Taylor Brandt Photography.

  • Level 1 – Ages 9-10 – Requires placement class
  • Level 2 – Ages 10-11 – Requires placement class
  • Level 3 – Ages 11-12 – Requires placement class
  • Level 4 – Ages 12-13 – Requires placement class
  • Level 5 – Ages 13-14 – Requires placement class
  • Level 6 – Ages 14-15 – Requires placement class
  • Level 7 – Ages 15-16-17 – Requires placement class
  • Level 8 – Ages 16-17-18 – Requires placement class