General Program Information
Program Overview: Foundational Classes
Victoria Academy of Ballet Foundational classes focus on inspiring students and instilling a love for music, dance, and self-expression. Foundational classes prepare students to move to higher levels of dance exploration in the General Program.
Once-a-week classes covering fundamental skills are offered to:
- Children age 3 to 7 learn body and spacial awareness
- Teens age 13 to 18 learn poise and self-confidence
- Boys age 7 to 11 get to try out dance in a stigma-free, supportive environment
Program Overview: Levels 1-8
The Victoria Academy of Ballet offers group ballet and creative movement/ballet classes to students age 3 and up. Students enter the General Program at age 8, usually after completing Foundational classes. As students progress through Levels 1 to 8, an increasingly more formal approach and technical structure is applied using the Cecchetti Method. Students looking to expand their dance vocabulary are offered optional add-on classes.
As students mature and gain technical prowess at Level 2, they may choose to join the Accelerated Stream. Students in the Accelerated Stream take all the required, and all the optional add-on classes to further improve and expand their dance skills.
Students in the Accelerated Stream who are in Levels 5 through 7 have the option of joining the VAB Youth Company. Youth Company students take an additional class that provides them with several performance opportunities throughout the season.
Serious and committed Level 8 students may audition for or be invited to enroll in an intensive training program in which all dance subjects are studied and they are provided further opportunity to explore the choreographic process and performance experience.
Program Overview: Afterschool Intensive Training Program
VAB offers an Afterschool Intensive Training Program for serious, committed students who would like to focus on their dance at a higher level. The After School Intensive Training Program (ASITP) is for students who are generally in high school. The program follows a set curriculum. All subjects are studied in this program including ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary. A choreographic repertoire class gives students opportunities to develop choreography throughout the year to perform at festivals and other venues. Classes take place after school allowing students to train intensively in multiple dance styles without switching to a combined half-day academic / half-day dance program. By invitation or audition only. Students must commit to a full year in the program.
Dance Curricula: Foundational Classes
The Foundational Program (FP) runs for 10 months a year, starting in September and may culminate in the annual VAB Celebration of Dance in May.
Children age 3-7 years old are taught in a fun and creative atmosphere with a focus on learning and improving fine motor skills, listening skills, and body/spatial awareness. The development of musical response, rhythm, creativity and self-expression are organically shaped through the use of mime, storytelling and imagination.
Upon completion of the program, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:
- Stand in a poised manner
- Demonstrate joy in moving
- Be aware of spacing relative to other student
- Show an understanding of spatial instructions
- Perform movement to a defined musical phrase
- Show the beginnings rhythm and musicality
- Demonstrate concentration
- Follow verbal instructions
Dance Curricula: Levels 1-8
The General Program (GP) runs for 10 months a year, starting in September and culminating in the annual VAB Celebration of Dance in May. Students are evaluated through observation, checking for understanding, in-class activities to demonstrate learning, and discussion, and receive a written progress report once a year. Students in higher levels may be examined by Cecchetti Canada – British Columbia.
In Levels 1 through 8 a formal approach and technical structure is applied to classes as the students mature and gain technical prowess. Students are trained in the Cecchetti Method by highly qualified and experienced teaching professionals. Students attend the number of ballet classes per week required for their level.
Upon completion of Levels 1-8 the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:
- Learn correct body alignment in basic positions
- Further develop a sense of musicality and rhythm
- Increase muscle strength, flexibility, and balance throughout the body
- Be introduced to classical ballet vocabulary and movement
- Develop an understanding of the artistic and technical elements of physical expression that lead to performance artistry
- Be self-motivated and take responsibility for their dance program
Level 1-8 Optional Dance Classes
Students who are interested in expanding their dance vocabulary may add an additional class or two in jazz, contemporary, and pointe work (when technically ready) but must continue with the compulsory number of ballet classes for their specific level. The number of hours/classes per week increases throughout the levels and optional dance classes in different genres of dance are added if the students chooses.