FAQ

Question: Where can I find the information I need to enroll my child?
View the classes by division here.

Answer:
New students ages 6+ with prior dance experience will need to take a placement class. Beginners do not need to take a placement class.

Please contact Lisa de Ravel, Dean of Students, for information on placement class registration, placement into our Advanced Division and any other questions about what class may be right for you or your young dancer. She can be contacted at (609)921-7758 or lderavel@arballet.org. Cindy Mahoney, Registrar, can assist with registration information at (609)921-7758.

Question: Where do I register?
Answer:
 All registration is handled at our Princeton location, regardless of where your child will take class. You can register in person, by mail, email, or fax. Registration cannot be done over the phone or online.

Question:  How much does it cost?
Answer: Pricing depends on class length. See the registration information for additional details and payment plan options.

Question: What age do you start classes?
Answer: We have a program called Hand-in-Hand for children ages 3-4 and their parents.  All other classes start at age 4.

Question: Can I sign up for half a year?
Answer: No, registration for students age 4 and up is for the full school year, September through May. If you are unsure if your child will want to stay in the class, pay the first installment, rather than the full tuition amount.

Question: How do I go about buying a leotard?
Answer: We have a uniform in several different colors and styles, depending on your child’s level. Please consult our website for ordering information.

Question: Do you do recitals?
Answer: 
No, we are not a recital school. Our professional company, American Repertory Ballet, performs Nutcracker every year, and students in level Intermediate 1 and up are eligible to audition for it. Every spring, the school presents a full length ballet that all students in Children’s Ballet 1 and up are eligible to perform in. There is no audition. It is an optional activity. Rehearsals take place on the weekends outside of class time.

Question: Is the School Show a mandatory recital?
Answer: No, we are not a recital school. Every spring, the school presents a full length ballet that all students in Children’s Ballet 1 and up are eligible to perform in. There is no audition. It is an optional activity. Rehearsals take place on the weekends outside of class time.

Question: Do you have classes other than ballet?
Answer: We also offer CardioBallet, Pilates, Jazz/Hip-Hop, Modern, and Theater Dance for students age 13 through adult. We do not offer these classes for younger children because we believe they need a foundation in the ballet basics of movement and body control first.

Question: Does Princeton Ballet School follow a syllabus?
Answer: Princeton Ballet School does follow a syllabus, working with the combined knowledge and wisdom of our faculty. Our main method in developing the syllabus was to consider current practice in the professional dance world, and develop a progressive syllabus which would lead to the result of young dancers with a clean technique, arrived at through a safe and steady of progression of increasing difficulty, who would be well suited for professional work in different styles. In order to do this, we pooled our knowledge of all of the major training methods—the Russian, English, and Italian traditions (Vaganova, RAD, and Cecchetti) along with the hard-earned knowledge we have each gained in our professional lives, and current best practices in dance medicine and bodywork. Several of our teachers also have backgrounds in the Balanchine (SAB) technique, and knowledge of the French tradition.

Our main goals with this syllabus are:
1. Safe training: we strongly believe that all dancers have the right to knowledgeably train so as to try to avoid unnecessary injuries;
2. Coordinated training: all students in a given level are receiving the same information.
3. Logical training: the French terms are taught and explained, the rationale behind ballet technique well understood, and the exercises proceeding in increasing difficulty;
4. Age appropriate training: childhood developmental psychology helps us understand how much can be apprehended and dealt with in early classes. As the dancer’s body matures, we watch carefully to ensure that they are not pushed beyond their physical capacity in order to please the family’s idea of progress, but rather we follow the body’s lead in its development.

Children’s Division: Our Children’s Division classes build on each teacher’s craft, and the fertile imaginations of the students, in developing improvisations and dances. Rhythm work is emphasized, as are exercises which begin to form the dancer’s core strength, as well as working on stretching. The elements of ballet barre are introduced little by little, starting in Intermediate 1/Children’s Ballet 2.

Student Division: Classes in this division are based on the logical progression of the Vaganova technique (hence the numbering from Student 1). However, we do not subscribe to the forcing of turnout that sometimes is taught under the name of Vaganova technique. We strongly believe in working with the reality of the individual dancer’s body.

Advanced Division: The teachers of this division have years of experience with major ballet companies (mainly American Ballet Theater and the Joffrey Ballet), and we encourage them to teach from their vast experience as dancers and teachers, rather than to follow any specific syllabus. Their charge is to teach the dancers (gradually) all the rest of the bravura steps in the balletic vocabulary, and to also work on all the additional elements: musicality, placement, strength and coordination, in order to fully prepare the dancers for a potential future as young artists or as appreciative and informed audience members.