Illinois Classical Ballet

Home of YAGP/WBAC Grand Prix Awards Winners

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
                                                                                    Why Ballet?

Ballet is science.  Ballet utilizes all of the parts of a person including the intellectual.
Ballet is a foreign language.  The language of dance is French and all of the steps have names based in the French language.
Ballet is mathmatical.  Positions in ballet are based on the geomoetry of the parts of the body in relation to each other.
Ballet is history.  Ballet is a classical art form intertwined with history from the late 1400’s until today.
Ballet is physical education.  Ballet is a performance art and extremely athletic.  The body must be developed as well.
Ballet develops insight. How our actions effect others is at the core of illicting those emotions in a performance.
Ballet is all of these things but most importantly ballet is art…


That is why we teach ballet.  
Not because we expect you to major in dance.  
Not because we expect all of our students to be the next great star in the world of dance…but to develop and inform your humanity.  
So you will recognize beauty and distinguish it from flash.  
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world.  
So you will have something to cling to throughout your life.  
So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good, so you will see more beauty in every day.  In short…more life.

                                                                Is there a deadline for registration?

While we encourage students to register early, our registration is ongoing process provided that the class has not reached capacity. New students can enroll for our classes at any time during the semester.Tuition will be prorated.For those placed on a wait-list, we will make every effort to an open another class in order to accommodate all who are interested.
                                 What makes your training different than training in many other schools?

We use the Vaganova system of training and preparation as it is taught in Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
We do not teach syllabus based on Vaganova Method. Neither we modify it or incorporate it with different styles
Our students receive the same training as students of Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, the way it was created by Vaganova and preserved by  her pupils who became legendary ballet teachers such as Vera Kostrovitskaya, Vera Volkova, Natalia Dudinskaya, Irina Kolpakova, Tatyana Vecheslova, Irina Gensler and others

How long does it take to become a dancer?

It takes roughly eight to ten years of training to become a professional ballet dancer. Training ideally begins when a student is between the ages of 7 and 10. Beginners attend technique class once or twice a week. By the time a student is 15 years of age, they will be taking 10-15 classes per week.
The hope of a career with one of the world’s top ballet companies is limited to a very few people. These dancers are comparable to the finest Olympic athletes.

Why does it take so long to prepare?

A large part of a ballet dancer’s job is to make the difficult look easy. Unlike professional athletes, whose exertion and effort is perceptible and expected, ballet dancers strive to create the illusion of effortlessness. Simply leaping and turning are not enough.
Ballet is a theatre art; the gravity-defying movements these artists can execute are meant to mystify and entertain.

How long is dancer’s career?

Careers in ballet are short. Typically, a dancer’s career ends anywhere between ages 30 and 40. Dancers often move into choreography. Many also teach, direct their own ballet companies or resume formal education. The intensity of ballet training and short length of a professional career sometimes doesn't leave dancers enough time to continue study beyond high school,though many of the country’s top universities have devised special programs that welcome dancers, and many other artists, to join in undergraduate and graduate level study.

When does the school year begin?

Classes begin the week of August 20, 2018 and end on June 8, 2019

Fall Semester classes begin week of August 20,2018 and end on January 12 2019

Spring Semester classes begin week of January 14,2019 and end on June 8,2019

                                                          Which technique should my child study?

The best way to determine which technique to study under is one of versatility—ask “if I train in this certain way, will I still be able to dance other styles as well?”

R.A.D. and Cecchetti methods of technique appeal to many people because of their system of grades and exams, which gives students a concrete sense of their progression.  However both of these techniques seem outdated for today’s technically demanding choreography.  They also both emphasize training muscles in a way which can create stocky thigh and buttock muscles rather than the long streamlined bodies we now associate with classical ballet. 

Training in the Balanchine style (or some now refer to it as a technique) can be limiting on a dancer’s ability to adapt to other styles of ballet.  For instance, it is quite easy for a Bournonville (Danish style technique) or Vaganova trained dancer to adapt to the Balanchine style of elongated and exaggerated, slightly jazzy movement.  However, Balanchine trained dancers often have difficulty adjusting to a romantic style ballet like Giselle, or Sleeping Beauty, the ultimate in classical technique.

The Vaganova methodology of training classical dance is the strongest base from which a dancer can springboard into other avenues if they so choose.  All of the truly great ballerinas and premier danseurs of the last century have come from this training.  Dancers of this caliber have been able to dance in any company across the globe, no matter what was asked of them by the choreography.  The Vaganova method uses a very specific, detailed and scientific approach to training the muscles and bodies of students to accomplish clean and graceful lines, and great technical fireworks.  Vaganova trained students are noted for their technical proficiency as well as attention to the finer details of the upper body port de bras, and sense of artistry.   It is a method which provides a true mastery, within which lies the ability of connection through individual expression.

                                                                               How do I get in?

Admission is by audition only. For regular classes, students can request audition between August and November . Auditions for Summer Intesive are held in the spring.Audition dates are announced on our web site,or our social networks - Facebook,Twitter,
and Instagram

Where does my child change his/her clothes?

Under no circumstances are children to be changed in any area other than the dressing rooms. Please arrive with ample time for your child to change into dance clothes. Undressing your child in the lobby, hallways, stairs, and other areas of the building is not permitted 

Are parents allowed in the dressing rooms?

The parents/guardians of Pre-Competitive class are allowed to bring their child to the dressing room to change. Fathers may not go into the women's dressing room. They may wait until the girls are finished dressing and then go in to help their daughter change.  No exceptions.

                           May I audition for both Summer Intensive and regular classes at the same time?

No. There are distinctly separate auditions for Summer Intensive and regular classes. A small percentage of Summer Intensive                  students are invited to enroll in the regular classes, or students may audition specifically for regular classes.

When is the school closed?

January 1  |  New Year Day
Spring Break
May 27  |  Memorial Day
July 4  | Independance Day
September 3  |  Labor Day
November 22 | Thanksgiving Day
December 25 | Christmas Day 

                     What criterias are used for students' selection at Vaganova Academy of  Russian Ballet ?

 During the selection, teachers pay special attention to the following 5 qualities:
1.Accepted applicants must have 180 degree/flat turn out and easy rotation within the hips and ankles
2.Body proportion with low body weight /predicted appropriate height- (girls no taller than170 cm) 
3.Flexibity
4.Feet
5.Musicality/rhythm

These five tests are done to a selected group of students who then enter the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet  at 9 years old and train for 8 years until 17
The examiners also look at the students parents for general information. The students must meet specific weight goals according to their height each year and are expelled if they deviate.
Also,some other things are taken into consideration during selection process,such as:

 - the size of one's  head (small is good)
 - the length of neck (long preferred)
 - the details of ones foot shape after the general assessment  (arch, ankle and toes)
 - light bone structure is optimal
 - symmetrical spine
 - natural balance
 - attractive face of theatrical quality

Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet selects about 100 students from thousands of applicants,and it is very competitive each year to be allowed to move up.Usually 12 to 15 students graduate from the academy, the rest are eliminated during 8 years of training

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