Young, gifted, and ready for more
The dancers in the rising professional training company The Portland Ballet show off their considerable skills
–MAY 25, 2015 // OREGON ARTSWATCH // Martha Ullman West
The Curriculum Ballet program provides dancers ages 6-19 with a strong technical foundation and prepares them for a career in dance. Because building these skills takes time and consistency of practice, we ask that Curriculum students commit to the entire nine-month program.
Pre-Ballet and Elementary Ballet
The goal of our Pre-Ballet classes (ages 6-7) is to help all children feel welcome and encouraged to dance. In this introductory level, students learn basic ballet etiquette while enjoying structured, fun movement. Teachers focus on how to act in a studio environment, with an emphasis on dress code, punctuality, working together and listening.
At the Elementary level (ages 7-8), students continue their preparation for formal dance training. In addition to the ballet etiquette and fun movement of Pre-Ballet, they learn critical thinking, self-evaluation and rhythm. Classes emphasize teamwork, asking questions and taking responsibility for one’s behavior and appearance. High expectations within a nurturing environment create a habit of self-discipline that students can carry forward in their training and their lives.
Primary Division (Levels 1-3)
The Primary Division provides the foundation of ballet technique. In Levels 1 through 3, students learn basic ballet positions and vocabulary, as well as the structure of a standard ballet class, starting at the barre and moving into introductory center work. Beginning pointe is introduced in Level 3, at the discretion of the Artistic Directors, when a girl’s legs, feet and core are sufficiently strong.
Advancement is based on ability, not age. Some students spend more than two years in one level as their minds and bodies develop and adapt to working in harmony, while others progress more quickly. Once a student has mastered the ballet technique appropriate for a level and is strong enough to accomplish particular movements, she or he will be moved up at the Artistic Directors’ discretion. In this way, each student fully assimilates the necessary layers of knowledge that form the foundation of ballet.
The primary levels are critical in ballet, as they progressively prepare the student for the rigors of performance. For this reason, students must maintain good attendance to advance.
Advanced Division (Levels 4-6)
Levels 4-6 provide committed dancers with advanced technique. To these dancers TPB regularly offers opportunities to train with guest professional teachers and choreographers. Those who demonstrate proper form may also qualify to learn pas de deux and variations in addition to their regular classwork. Students in the Advanced Division earn their placement through hard work, determination and discipline. The amount of time spent in a level depends solely on the individual student’s improvement as determined by the Artistic Directors. Advanced Division students who are at least 14 years of age may also audition for The Portland Ballet’s Youth Company. To dance with the company, female dancers must be strong en pointe.
The Men’s Program syllabus focuses on the needs and skills specific to young male dancers. Beginning in Pre-Ballet, boys learn the fundamental exercises that allow them to develop strength, poise and discipline. TPB Academy Principal Jason Davis teaches partnering and technique passed down from Jorge Esquivel, Mikko Nissinen and Mr. Roudolf Kharatian. The Men’s Program, part of the general Curriculum Ballet syllabus, is tailored specifically to the male dancer.
Registration and Audition
All students from Pre-Ballet through Level 6 must audition in June. This requirement includes returning students in Level 3 and up, unless they attend TPB’s own Summer Ballet Intensive. The placement audition determines a student’s level for the upcoming year. Auditioning dancers must submit a Registration Form. There is NO Registration Fee. TPB then notifies participants by email of the student’s placement and provides important information regarding performances, parent volunteering and other engagement opportunities. For more information about auditions, click here.
To audition outside the annual audition/placement date, please contact TPB’s Registrar.
Pre Ballet: $815
Level 1: $1600
Level 2: $1780
Level 3: $2510
Level 3P: $3390
Level 4: $3965
Level 5: $4100
Level 6: $4200
Career Track: $4500
The Portland Ballet is committed to making the history and artistry of ballet available to every interested dancer. Through the ongoing generosity of our many private, corporate and foundation sponsors, we have created a generous scholarship program. Approximately 15% of our students receive financial assistance. For scholarship information click here, call 503.452.8448 or email the registrar.
The Curriculum Ballet Program offers three payment options:
- One annual payment
- Two semester payments by authorized credit card or check card
- Ten monthly payments by authorized credit card or check card
NOTE: The monthly-payment program must be authorized for the entire ten months, and tuition is non-refundable. Please be sure that your child will complete the program before registering. We accept VISA, and Mastercard. Tuition payments are not tax-deductible as a charitable donation, and we do not provide refunds.
TPB ballet training includes a dress code, with the class level indicated by the leotard’s color. All students must wear their level’s leotard to every class. In addition, girls wear pink tights and pink ballet slippers (full-sole for Pre-Ballet thru Level 4) and boys wear black tights and black ballet slippers. Boys’ t-shirts must be white and form fitting. To view the dress code, click here.
We invite full-time students with excellent attendance to participate in two annual performances: the Holiday Production in November (Level 1 and up) and the Academy Showcase in May (all levels).
In addition, students ages 14-19 may audition for the Youth Company to participate in the Spring Concert held each May. Career Track program dancers (ages 14-22) perform in both the Spring Concert as well as Studio Theatre Performances in March.
Please mark the box on the Registration Form indicating which performances your child would like to join.
Policies and Handbook
All students must read and follow TPB’s policies as described in the Curriculum Handbook. We reserve the right to dismiss any student who does not follow the guidelines. Students who miss class due to illness or injury may make up those classes at a lower level.