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- DANCE CLASSES Dance Lessons in the Bay Area: Beginning Ballet ~ Sheena West
Does your little one love moving along to music? If you live in the Bay Area, dance lessons at the numerous excellent ballet schools in this region offer programs that will cultivate a young child’s passion and proficiency. Your child can begin ballet training even if he or she isn’t old enough to attend school; it’s just a matter of finding one that accepts young children. Start your search with these three ballet schools.
In 2002, ballet master Alla Kegulskiy founded Fantasy Dance in Mountain View, a school that provides ballet training, modern dance, and other dance classes to children and adults. At Fantasy Dance, instructors are not only interested in developing basic skills and techniques; their aim is to teach every student to dance with passion and to provide the audience with a magical experience. New dancers between the ages of 3 and 6 are welcome to join their Creative Dance Movement class, which focuses more on basic motor skills than ballet training itself. The interactive curriculum will teach youngsters how to position their arms, legs, and improve their coordination, which they will need when they move up to the Pre-Ballet level. The Pre-Ballet class is the transition class between Creative Dance and formal ballet training. Designed with five-year-olds in mind, Pre-Ballet has the same play-like activities from Creative Dance, but also focuses on basic ballet concepts and terminology.
L’ecole de Danse
The warm, welcoming environment of L’ecole de Danse in Palo Alto makes it easy for little dancers to come out of their shell and develop the basic skills needed for Cecchetti-style ballet. It also helps that the school’s founder and creative director, Christine Montessuit-Morgan, is an enthusiastic teacher who provides all the encouragement and support needed by beginning students. Children as young as 4 ½ years can participate in the school’s Creative Dance class, a fun-filled 45-minute class where play-like activities improve the students’ balance, coordination, and overall movement. Six-year olds and seven-year olds with a year of training can start at the Level II class, a more structured program where students learn the fundamentals of ballet and start experiencing Cecchetti exercises. With a bit of hard work and dedication, students may eventually move on to Pointe once their bodies and feet are mature enough.
Pacific Ballet Academy
It’s hard to tell if a three-year old child will wish to pursue a serious career in dance when she grows up. But regardless of what your child’s dance goals may be, you can be sure that the instructors at Pacific Ballet Academy will do their best to meet them. Ballet is encouraged as a recreational activity, but students are motivated to move up from level to level thanks to the encouragement of the instructors and the school’s mentoring system. Pre-ballet classes are offered to children between the ages 3 ½ and 5 years. Skipping, galloping, and stretching exercises are combined with creative dance to cultivate their enthusiasm for music and movement. Formal ballet training starts at Level I, where children 6 years and older learn basic ballet techniques and are introduced to barre work.
These are just a few of the many wonderful places where your little one can take beginning ballet dance lessons in the Bay Area. Enjoy!