You can enjoy taking ballet without wanting to become a professional ballet dancer.  Ballet is an excellent place to start; whether you are brand new to dancing or have progressed through our Early Childhood Program. Classical ballet training is invaluable because not only are most dance forms based from ballet, ballet also provides a basic understanding of dance principles and instills the proper execution of dance techniques. Ballet will also develop the line and form (the two and three dimensional images created by the dancer’s body), muscle strength, joint flexibility, balance and co-ordination; all of which is vital for a “good”, strong dancer.  

      The Academy of Expressive Dance follows the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association ballet syllabus, and uses that as a guide in which to assess and place students in the proper class(es).   Please see our dress code information sheet on what you will require for your level of class.  Remember, your teacher will place you in the best level according to your ability so that you can get the most out of your classes.

Classical Ballet All about your Ballet Class

Beginner Levels introduce the fundamentals of ballet with an emphasis on developing proper technique (including balancing and turning).  This foundation will save correcting bad habits or re-learning later on in a dancer’s training.  Students learn basic weight changes and correct body placement.  Exercises and dances in the beginner levels consist of simple structures at slower tempos to co-ordinate steps in basic patterns and sequences.

 Intermediate Levels expand the vocabulary of steps/exercises and structures become more complex.  A variety of music styles are introduced, there is less repetition, and tempos increase.  There is a reinforcement to develop clean “lines” and body placement. Pre-Pointe work and strengthening exercises may be introduced.  Students are encouraged to increase their class hours per week by this level in order to maintain muscle and flexibility.

Advanced Levels continues the focus to be placed on body line and the student concentrates on dynamics and artistry of execution of the movements.  Steps increase in difficulty, attention is given to directional changes and traveling within the framework of the rhythm, complex turns and increased  vocabulary  are learned. Stamina, strength, and endurance are an  important factor of training at this level. Some students are ready to be introduced to Pointe work and  pas de deux (“the dance of two”--partnering) fundamentals.  If you are interested in our policies on a student’s readiness to begin Pre-pointe and Pointe , please click here.

Class Structure Registration Dress Codes Tuition Schedule

Our “formal” ballet classes start at age 7 and older.  It is the Academy’s opinion (based on scientific studies) that children should not be introduced to the strenuous nature of ballet (or jazz, or tap) until 7 because younger than that, their little bodies, bones, and muscles are not ready to handle the precise, demanding technique/movements.  Our student’s safety and well-being ( not only today but well into the future)  are very important to us!

A traditional ballet class is divided up into sections: Barre work, Centre practice which includes adage (slow, sustained movements) and both Petit (small) and Grand (large) Allegro (fast, quick movements and jumps)

     BARRE: Each barre exercise has its own purpose and “goal”. Base exercises are learned and practiced  throughout a dancers life, no matter what the ability of the dancer. Exercises become more difficult in execution and complex combinations used as the student progresses. Generally, the barre work is designed to strengthen the feet, legs, and back, to increase your range of movement, to attain balance and control, to stabilize “turnout” (the basis of ballet) and to gain speed in the feet and lightness in the legs.

     CENTRE: After stretching and flexibility exercises, some of the barre exercises are repeated in the centre without support to improve strength, suppleness, and stamina. They begin with port de bras for graceful arms and adage  (slow, sustained movements) for poise and balance. This is followed by turns, or pirouettes, the petit allegro with batterie (quick small steps in which the legs are beaten together). Lastly comes grand allegro (traveling and large jumping steps).  Depending on your level, you may also learn character dancing (traditional folk dances or an obvious character is superimposed over classical ballet steps). This will help you to learn how to portray a character within a story or dance. Mime, anatomy, and musical awareness is also taught. Creative exercises are also practiced to help the student with artistry and

The Academy of Expressive Dance

316 Latimer Road,

South Mountain, ON   K0E 1W0


The Academy of Expressive Dance

DIRECTOR:   Andrea Gaw-Prekob, C.D.T.A.

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