Viewers of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ will be familiar with head judge Jason Coleman stating the fundamental role that ballet plays in the development of dance technique. It is no coincidence that Jack Chambers the 2008 winner, Tahlia Fowler the 2009 winner and Robbie Kmetoni the 2010 winner of the show have all had extensive classical training which gave them a great foundation to adapt successfully to any other style. Robbie told Dance Australia magazine “Ballet is so important for a dancer. I can’t stress how important it is. I’ve learned that because of my ballet technique I can do a lot of other things.” Close analysis of most of the other contestants profiles also reveals ballet among the styles they have studied.
The classical technique can be expressed in a wide variety of ways. This can be from the widely recognised beautiful traditional style as seen in story ballets such as Swan Lake and the Nutcracker to choreography using using classical technique to modern music and more abstract themes. It can be expressive and lyrical and powerful and dynamic.
Ballet can only be correctly and safely taught by teachers who have had years of training in ballet themselves and have then studied for and completed teachers exams. This process takes many years to complete so that a properly trained and qualified teacher has a deep knowledge of the details of ballet technique and how to teach that technique to pupils in a safe supportive way. At the Goulburn Valley Academy of Ballet the teachers have been trained to teach the syllabus known as the ‘Cecchetti Method’. This syllabus is taught throughout the world and has been refined and perfected through practice since 1918. The syllabus is taught in a series of grades, each grade building on the skills learnt in the previous level so that students are continually challenged and their skills are continually being perfected. It is very rewarding seeing the way a pupils talents flourish from their beginnings in Pre-Primary to the highly skilled senior levels who can perform an exciting variety of leaps and turns. Cecchetti trained dancers have achieved tremendous success around the world and have been selected for places in most leading dance and ballet companies.
Newly enrolled students can do their first few classes wearing comfortable items of clothing they already own such as a t-shirt and bike shorts while they settle in. After that initial period a uniform can be purchased at Bella and Mim’s in Fryers Street Shepparton.
Kinder, Pre-Primary, Primary Uniform:
Pale pink cotton sleeveless leotard, pale pink circular skirt, ballet shoes with pink elastic (jiffies are not ballet shoes) and tights/ballet socks. A crossover is needed in cooler weather.
Gr.1 to Adv:
These students no longer hold their skirts out so they require small neat skirts that just cover the leotard. (Student length not teacher length)
Grade 1(1st year):
New colour(Lilac) & style to be phased in.
Grade 1(2nd yr) & Grade 2 Uniform:
Dusty pink sleeveless leotard, crossover and georgette wrap skirt with matching hair bow. Normal ballet pink tights and ballet shoes with elastic.
Grade 3 & 4 Uniform:
Cerise leotard, crossover & georgette wrap skirt, Pink tights, hair bow & ballet shoes with ribbons for Gr.4 and elastic for Gr.3.
Grade 5 & 6 Uniform:
Aubergine leotard, georgette wrap skirt, hair bow, pink tights & ballet shoes with ribbons for exams.
Intermediate, Advanced 1&2 Uniform:
Navy cotton lycra leotard, pink tights, body stocking & ballet shoes and pointe shoes, navy georgette wrap skirt. Advanced 1 CAT A need demi- pointes. Advanced 2 Need 1/2 tutu.
Navy /black tights or bike pants, white/black singlet/t-shirt, white/black socks, black/white ballet shoes.