The Scarsdale Ballet Studio was established in 1992 by Christian Claessens and Diana White. As lifelong professional dancers and teachers, it was their goal to offer Westchester residents classical ballet training of the highest quality. Their syllabus combines elements of the European, American and Russian schools and is taught by instructors with distinguished credentials.
- Creative Ballet is an age-appropriate introduction to classical dance using rhythmic games, simple steps and positions, imagery, props, and improvisation. The gently structured curriculum is based on the innovative “Leap ’N Learn™” syllabus which was developed by a former dancer in collaboration with a child psychologist.
Dress code, Girls: pink leotard, tights, and slippers, skirt optional, hair secured away from the face. Boys:white t-shirt, socks and slippers, black shorts or sweatpants.
- Basic Classical Ballet Technique,
beginning with an Introductory Level for 6-year-olds
- Second Division classes are meant to inspire a love of ballet in a traditionally structured, yet nurturing environment. Ballet is still considered to be the foundation of most dance styles and is strongly recommended for gymnasts, skaters, and competitive dancers. Classes include barre-work, basic vocabulary and positions, and simple combinations of steps in the center. Correct alignment, port de bras, turn-out, and footwork are taught as goals to reach for. We encourage all our dancers in Level A and B to take at least two classes per week. Though we understand that this is not possible for everyone, those who do will progress more quickly.
Dress code, Girls: black leotard, pink tights and slippers, long hair in a neat bun, short hair in a headband away from the face. No legwarmers, t-shirts or sweatshirts. Character shoes and character skirt if appropriate. Boys:White t-shirt, socks, and shoes, black tights or shorts.
- In Levels C through E, dancers continue to work on the fundamentals of classical Ballet Technique while learning steps and combinations of increasing difficulty. Character, Pointe, Variations, Partnering, Contemporary Styles, and Stretch and Tone are part of the curriculum. To be eligible for Pointe, Level C dancers must be at least 10 years old and taking at least 2 technique classes per week. Elements of Balanchine Style® and excerpts of his ballets are introduced to advanced dancers. Our Conservatory Program is designed for dancers 10 and up who wish to make the study of ballet their primary after-school activity.
- Conservatory I dancers are required to take a minimum of 3 ballet technique classes per week. Conservatory II must take at least 4 ballet technique classes.
- Level D offers Intermediate Ballet classes for dancers, aged 12 and up, who have had previous training. There is no minimum weekly class requirement, but 2-3 technique classes are strongly recommended. Two technique classes per week are required to be eligible for pointe class.
- Conservatory I and II dancers must attend the required minimum of ballet technique classes per week at SBS, unless special permission has been obtained from the Artistic Director. The faculty of SBS will not accept new private students who are not full-time SBS students.
- Level E is a very challenging course for dancers, aged 14 and up, who have had at least four years of training at SBS or the equivalent. There is no weekly class requirement; however, most Level E dancers take class on a daily basis. New students must be evaluated by a faculty member before being admitted to this level.
- Well-rounded Third Division ballet dancers should consider taking classes in Pointe, Partnering, and Contemporary Ballet.
Dress Code: Female dancers: black leotard, pink tights, pink shoes. Level E women may wear any color leotard. Male dancers, any color t-shirt, no graphics, black tights, white or flesh- colored shoes.
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Under the direction of Diana White, former NYC Ballet soloist, the Scarsdale Ballet Studio is recognized for the quality of its curriculum and the professionalism and supportiveness of its faculty. Beginning with classes for three-year-olds, the balanced, creative, yet traditional approach focuses on shaping each child into a healthy, technically accomplished, well-rounded dancer, regardless of his or her aspirations. The studio offers classes in classical ballet, pointe, character, and contemporary, as well as performance opportunities.
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