School for Swans is a small, welcoming, neighborhood school that emphasizes the joy of dancing and performing. We provide enrichment classes for our students, which allow young dancers to learn alignment and technique and explore artistry in a nurturing environment.
We believe that dance is for everyone and that it’s never too late to start dancing! Our class progression allows for flexibility in age and experience levels. If coming from another school or with no experience at all, it may be necessary to try out one or more classes to find an appropriate placement.
Dancers will typically move up a level each year until they reach Ballet 4. By the time a dancer has reached Ballet 4, she or he has learned the fundamentals of Ballet. Dancers in Ballet 4 and 5 continue to refine their technique. These classes offer different and new challenges for the students each week. The intention is that dancers will remain in these classes for 2 or more years.
Dancers pursuing pointe work in Ballet 5 are highly encouraged to take Ballet class twice a week. Taking Ballet class twice a week will make pointe work both safer and more successful. It is very difficult to build the necessary muscle strength to work on pointe when only training once a week. Building that strength in all areas of the body, but especially the feet, requires work both in and out of pointe shoes. For example, the relevés we do in regular Ballet slippers build muscle in our calves, ankles, and toes, which later supports the dancer when she goes on full pointe. Moreover, that dancer needs to instinctively understand how to hold her upper body so that she can balance. Dancers build that instinct through taking regular Ballet class.
Pointe work is a highly demanding art form. As an enrichment program, we aim to provide our dancers with the opportunity to *safely* explore basic pointe work. Advanced pointe work (turns, hops, etc.) requires a conservatory program with hours of training each week.