The ‘Dance to Learn!’® Curriculum Pre-Ballet Class is for children who have mastered the basic dance movements taught in Creative Dance. Pre-Ballet follows the ‘Dance to Learn!’® Curriculum and is designed to teach the whole child through the 5 Methods of Dance™ which have been formed based on the stages of childhood development. The Pre-Ballet classes follow a themed class structure, similar to Creative Dance, but places larger focus on beginning ballet movements as well as a greater emphasis on technique. Students will learn the five positions of the arms and feet, basic body positions, introductory ballet movements as well as ballet terminology. The moves are taught using creative and imaginative play as part of the ‘Dance to Discover!’™ Method. This keeps class exciting and makes the exercises more fun. The class is structured with the same warm ups and props used in the Creative Dance Classes, with some new movements and stretches added along the way, all designed to increase flexibility. After stretching, children move to the center where they must learn to balance and stand with their feet in the five basic turned out positions. Careful attention is placed on hip, knee and toe alignment to ensure that children are turning out properly, this is primarily for injury prevention. Next children practice movements performed at a ‘barre.’ Pliés, tendus, degagés, relevés and passés are some examples of the beginning movements taught at the barre. Fun props such as Teddy Bears, Magic Wands, Hula Hoops and Scarves are used to make this part of class more fun, and to help children with association to learn the moves more quickly. The focus on stretching, flexibility, strength, coordination and proper execution is part of the ‘Dance to Move!’™ method. The ‘Dance to Learn!’® Curriculum uses Story Dance Exploration™ a play based and imaginative approach to teaching new movement concepts. Across the floor movements are taught progressively to ensure that children warm up the muscles and don’t strain themselves. Like Creative Dance, these Across the Floor exercises are done individually with a focus on correct technical execution. Story Dance Pathways™ are used across the floor to help children link movements together and to teach the basis of choreography. Story Dance Pathways™ are an extension of the class theme. Children work with partners in the class frequently to encourage not only social skills but to gain artistic inspiration from their peers. Partner work and teamwork are included as part of the ‘Dance to Accept!’™ method where children learn to accept each other’s unique talents through dance and movement activities. Children’s artistic freedom and self expression are encouraged by their teachers by creating a positive “Yes” environment! Along with ballet movements, children learn about classical music! The basics of musicality such as how to count music, phrasing, and tempo are all a part of dance and these basic skills are taught in Pre-Ballet. At the end of class, children are encouraged to Free Dance to express themselves artistically and foster creative thinking! Self expression through free dance time is included as part of the ‘Dance to Express!’™ Method. The ‘Dance to Create!’™ Method is also used during this part of class as children may be asked to dance like different, shapes, weights, animals, or emotions. This enhances and awakens a child’s creative thinking as they are challenged to create dance moves that can be associated with different nouns, verbs, emotions or concepts. All Pre-Ballet students are taught choreography to teach memorization, spatial awareness, and self worth! Routines are based on the child’s ability and talent and designed to encourage artistic and technical growth. Pre-Ballet classes include the Terpsichore Literacy Program as well as the ‘Dance to Learn!’® at Home with Me™ Program!