To Complete Level 4 Class dancer must accomplish the following skills in addition to required skills for previous levels:
A. Ballet – (Student must be able to execute each movement successfully without coaching as well as know proper terminology.)
- Grand rond de jambe
- Rond de jambe en l’air
- Press up releve to balance with correct placement in all positions including retire. CORRECT BODY PLACEMENT – no arched backs or rolling ankles, knees and feet – no protruding or dropped chins
- Double pirouette en dehors
- Single pirouette en dedans
- All combinations MUST have proper usage of arms and head
- Tour Jete (Grand Jete En Tournant)
- Saut De Basque
- Grand jetes
- Pas de basque
- Double pirouettes endehor in parallel position
- Split leaps (Saut de chats)
- Styled jazz walks
- Pick up combinations quickly. Perform with the whole “body” rather than just “marking” steps.
C. Tap – (all steps must be done correctly with proper timing & clear sounds)
- Double wings
- Double pick-ups
- Traveling time step
- Cramp roll turns
- Front essence
- 5-tap riff
- Single-, double-, and triple-time steps and breaks
**Students should remain at this level until these movements are accomplished properly. This is a “fine tuning” level. Students will spend longer at this level than at any other level to achieve proper technique and physical strength to move on to more difficult work. Classes at this level will be divided according to age and ability. Serious dancers will obviously progress more quickly than the recreational dancers, HOWEVER there is nothing wrong with being a recreational dancer! Some students choose to make dance their main activity, while others choose to pursue other areas as well as dance, and we certainly respect this. That is why more classes in this level will be offered.
- The dancer’s age and physical maturity, strength, and build must be considered before going on to pointe.
- IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO DANCE ON POINTE TO PROGRESS TO UPPER LEVEL CLASSES!!!!!
- Some students will never dance on pointe because they do not have the proper body types and ankles and feet to successfully do pointe work. This is certainly nothing to be upset about. Just like some of us have curly hair and others have straight hair, some of us have the proper bodies for pointe work and some do not.
- Dancers who are not suited for pointe work who are allowed to do so anyway are subject to injury and future health problems as well as dealing with the frustrations of not being able to keep up with the others in class.
- It is the teacher’s job to make this decision in the best interest of each dancer individually. It is our hope that parents will respect and trust our decisions, which will in turn help the students to accept these decisions.
- Proper body placement is crucial to pointe work. An arched back or protruding tummy demonstrate weakness in the abdominal area which is the “power house” or “control center,” you might say, of all movement. Ankles that are not properly “open” will not allow the dancer to get fully onto the pointes without bending the knees.
- Students under the age of 12 have not physically developed the muscles and cartilage in the food, and could be severely damaged through strenuous pointe work.
- Dancers who are allowed to go on to pointe must be prepared to dance several hours a week to progress just as any athlete must train to gain strength and do well at their sport.
- Pointe shoes are expensive. They have to be an exact fit with no growing room allowed, and they do not last long as wear breaks the show down and it no longer has proper support for the dancer. So, you can expect to buy more than one pair per season!!!
- If you have questions about pointe shoes or would like a student evaluation, please speak directly to your teacher.