Academy en l'Air program and levels

Ballet Program --call us for an update on available instruction


The cohesive program at the academy brings together the methodologies its teachers have studied over several years.  The largest influence in our background is Russian technique, especially Vaganova training.  Some of the graded approach to movement from Royal Academy of Dance is employed as well as Cecchetti technique.  Serious and recreational study of ballet benefits from repetition and regular attendance for the recommended numbers of classes.  Each individual responds differently to frequency of attendance and his/her effort in class.  Dancing en pointe is directly connected to the student's amount of time and effort in class and the teacher's discretion--see pointe page.

Preballet      3 1/2 -5 year olds     (light pink)

  • Stretching, visualization, position, modified ballet barre, creative center dance exploration, props--45 min. class, once/week

Level I          5-7/8 year olds    (light blue)

  • Enhanced stretching techniques (intro to "splits", balance, and single-footed work and shifting, structured ballet barre, adapted ballet center exercises and across-the-floor exercises ("turns") based on progress of students in class--1 hour class, once and twice/week options

Level II         8-10 year olds    (royal blue)

  • 1/2 hour barre and 1/2 hour center;  more dance movements and exploration of musicality, strengthening exercises--1 hour classes, twice/week;  twice/week attendance is required for serious students

Level III      9 years and older, teen beginners   (navy)

  • longer classes with longer combinations and complexity further developing steps and expression with musical awareness--1 hour to 1 1/2 hour classes, twice and three times/week options; three times/week required for serious students planning pointe work

Level IV      10-11 years and older       (burgundy)

  • students with serious plans in dance can progress quickly at this level and usually are candidates for pointe work after consultation with instructor;  longer classes allow further study of complexity, balance, coordination, speed, and execution of steps with artistry--1 1/2 hour classes three times/week;  three times/week required for pointe work students and four times/week recommended

Level V/VI    14 years and older    (black)

  • further complex movement and music explored at this level for technical achievement and artistic improvement; at least two classes a week may be taken en pointe at this level;  three time/week for minimum involvement; three times/week required for pointe work students and six times/week recommended for pre-professional students--1 1/2-2 hour classes offered 6 days/week (sometimes combined with adult classes for enrollment/registration)

Boys      many levels

  • boys may occasionally join regular programs at levels discussed above for enrollment/registration--every effort is made to design special classes to focus on the male dancer, especially techniques for jumps and turns and some partnering specifics--1 hour class, once/ week specialty class

Adult Ballet

  • focus is on stretching and strengthening exercises, ballet barre sequences, and center floor matte exercises, some modified center combinations, 1- 1/1/2 hour classes offered twice/week

Youth Jazz   

  • the class focuses on introducing students in levels 2 and 3 to the basics of jazz music and movement

Teen Jazz and Contemporary/Lyrical  

  • these classes focus on distinctions between these modern dance movements with more complex sequences and exposure to performance contexts at the intermediate/advanced levels (levels 4,5,6)

Adult Conditioning   

  • this class is geared for adults at both introductory and more experienced levels


  • three levels of classes are being offered in Fall/Winter of 2015 to expand opportunities for dancers to explore rhythm, musicality, and coordination

Performing Opportunities

Academy en l’Air celebrates ballet as a performing art, and includes in its training the steps and preparations that would translate into dances for stage.  On occasion, students at the studio will have an opportunity to prepare a showcase for parents and guests, and production plans were completed for CCYB's spring and winter performances in 2016. Plans are going forward for 2018!  The Academy is home to California Classical Youth Ballet, a non-profit junior performing company that has performed wonderful story ballets such as The Nutcracker, Enchanted Toy Shoppe, Sleeping Beauty, and repertory such as Gems, Strings of Pearls, and A Faerie Tale. CCYB has shared the stage with very talented dancers from Pacific Ballet Academy from San Jose, CA and Pasadena Civic Ballet.  Performances are usually held in June and December, sometimes alternating so that there may be only one performance in the year instead of two.  Performance planning happens 5-6 months in advance of a performance.   Some rehearsals are held during the week but mostly on Saturdays; choreography sequences may be incorporated into class combinations.  Although it is not required for academy students to participate in any performances, it is enjoyable and a natural part of the progress of the dancer.  CCYB is a wonderful opportunity for dancers and their families to work together to produce a rewarding individual and community experience.

More opportunities exist in another non-profit, project driven organization: En l'Air Dance Nexus. EADN brings together choreographers, dancers, musicians, composers, stage designers, and costume designers who want to work on ideas for performance on various scales.  It is another way that artists can explore their creativity.