Join San Jose Dance Theatre's Ballet Program

Do you want to study dance in a fun and supportive environment? San Jose Dance Theatre offers classes for structured academic studies and casual dance and ballet classes. Year-round enrollment available, Contact us today to schedule a placement class!

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.

Martha Graham

Dance & Ballet Classes

Below is an outline of the many dance and ballet classes that are offered at San Jose Dance Theatre. We welcome anyone interested in learning to dance both as pursuing a professional career or casual fun classes. Book your placement class now by emailing [email protected]!

Ballet Technique

Ballet technique is the foundational principles of body movement and form used in ballet. Classes in ballet technique are important putting great emphasis on the method and execution of movement.

The techniques found in classical ballet is a framework for many other styles of dance, including modern dance, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical.

Based on the fundaments of: proper alignment (keeping the head, shoulders, and hips vertically aligned) and turnout (completing movements with legs rotated outward from the hips to the toes).  Proper ballet training stresses pulling up (using strong muscles of the stomach, back and bottom to pull the body up and off of the legs, allowing the dancer to move with strength and grace.

San Jose Dance Theatre trains dancers in these fundamentals from the beginner to the advanced levels and reinforces good technique as the dancers grow technically and artistically.

San Jose Dance Theatre’s curriculum is based on the Vaganova Russian style and in the higher levels also honor the influences of the quick, light,and intricate styles of the Balanchine American style and the Bournonville Danish style.


Pointe technique is the practice of dancing on the tips of fully extended feet with special (pointe) shoes.

Levels 4 receive weekly Pointe classes.

Pointe work is undertaken when the student has learned basic technique and when the students legs and feet are sufficiently developed. Usually after a minimum of three years in ballet technique classes. Students are promoted to pointe only when the Artistic Director and the student’s ballet teacher deem it safe and appropriate. It is an exciting promotion for all female ballet dancers!


Students learn and are coached in solo variations and corps de ballet (group work) from famous classical ballets and learn original choreography of SJDT.

Levels 5 receive weekly Repertoire classes.

Students will be chosen to perform pieces of choreography in San Jose Dance Theatre performances.
Master Classes and Summer Intensive instructors teach variations from the classical ballet repertory, such as from Paquita, Don Quioxote, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Flames of Paris, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, La Bayadere, Flower Festival, and Carmina Burana.

Level 3 and 4 also receive Repertory in the Summer Intensive.

Pas De Deux

Advanced students will receive Pas de Deux classes, specialized training in  male and female partnering work.

Weekly Pas de Deux classes are offered year round to level 6.

This training is specifically helpful for dancers who are pursuing professional careers as ballet dancers. For their safety, students must be deemed ready and invited to attend Pas de Deux classes by the Artistic Director.

Chinese Tumbling

A combination of acrobatics and floor gymnastics for dancers. Chinese Tumbling is offered during regular season to all levels of dancers.

Class focuses on basic tumbling inverted skills, core strength, flexibility, control and balance. Students are taught by a former professional Chinese dancer. Chinese Tumbling offers many advantages, including greater versatility and skill.

Tumbling Tots

Tumbling Tots is a 45 minute class designed for 3-5 year olds.

An introduction to movement that forms the basis for later study in dance, gymnastics,          or any sport.

The class is designed to give each child physical confidence, to learn to follow movement instructions, and to increase their balance and coordination. I work individually with each child, and tailor the work to each child’s ability. There is no pressure for any child to perform or compete; each child progresses at their own pace, achieving their own milestones.

Modern & Contemporary

Taught to our upper level dancers to encourage familiarity with other dance forms, and a breadth of  non-balletic technique.

Ballet companies require a dancer to be versatile in styles ranging from contemporary and classic ballet to modern dance.

This class prepares dancers not only for greater depth, expressivity and confidence in their performance, but also familiarizes them with the techniques they will experience in most college dance programs.

SJDT is lucky to have technique-driven modern dance: Cunningham-based technique for Level 4 and Graham-based technique for Level 5. This gives students a deep understanding of modern dance techniques, including use of the back to initiate motion, the center of gravity in fall and recovery, unconventional music genres, exploration of dynamics, and use of visualization and imagery to motivate expressivity.

Men's Program

San Jose Dance Theatre offers a variety of men’s ballet training programs. Our Men’s Class is specially designed for the technical skills needed for the male ballet dancer: strength, flexibility, turns, jumps, acting/pantomime on the stage, and basic partnering with the female dancer. A minimum of three boys is required to run this class.

Master Classes

Master Classes and Educational Lectures Open to our students and the public.

Periodic high-level guest teachers will be invited to give Master Classes.

These Master Classes will expose students to different dance concepts and styles and continue San Jose Dance Theatre’s relationship to other schools and professional companies. Additional professional development lectures will be offered to provide education and injury prevention. There will be an extra fee of $35 for non-SJDT students, $30 for SJDT students, and a $5 observation fee. For upcoming classes CLICK HERE

Progressive Ballet Technique

Progressing Ballet Technique, or PBT Class, is a revolutionary program designed to enhance ballet technique by specializing in muscle memory, enhancing flexibility, and using dance medicine and exercises to prevent injury. 

PBT has a gradual approach with very specific exercises and repetitions adequate for each dance level. Based in dance medicine and how the body works, this program helps dancers to understand which muscle groups take part in each movement.

Students must commit to four classes at a time, to reap the full benefits of the program and to see how the classes progress.

Find more info about class equipment online here.

What Students Will Learn

Materials Required 

To register for PBT

Email [email protected]