Any dancer age 4 to young adult may join the Youth Program through San Jose Dance Theatre. Please contact the Artistic Director at [email protected] to schedule a Placement Class.

Read more about our Youth Class See Dress and Behavioral Codes.

Ballet Technique

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

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

Ballet technique is based on two fundaments: 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 beginning 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.

Select students will also be given the opportunity for extra training for the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP).

Pointe

Levels 4, 5, and 6 receive weekly Pointe classes.

Pointe technique is the part of ballet technique concerned with dancing on the tips of fully extended feet with special shoes.  Pointe work is undertaken when the student has learned basic technique and when herlegs and feet are sufficiently developed, usually after a minimum of threeyears 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!

Repertory

Levels 5 and 6 receive weekly Pointe and Repertory classes.

Students will learn and be coached in solo variations and corps de ballet (group work) from the famous classical ballets and learn original choreography from the Artistic Director, Linda Hurkmans and SJDT faculty. Students will be chosen to perform these pieces of choreography in San Jose Dance Theatre performances.
Master Classes and Summer Intensive instructors have taught 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.

Conditioning

All youth classes, pre-­ballet through Level 6, receive Conditioning class once a week.

This class includes stretching of all muscles and core conditioning to ensure the stomach, back, and gluteal muscles are strong. It incorporates elements from yoga and pilates.  Both the stretching and conditioning exercises are vital to the success of the dancer, but also helpful for sports and gymnastics, injury prevention, and stress release.

San Jose Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, Linda Hurkmans, has been fully certified in Pilates since 2000 by Turning Pointe Studios and The Physical Mind Institute. She has taught athletes, dancers, and the general public for 14 years and helped found the Pilates program at Santa Clara University. Miss Linda has specially designed conditioning classes for the ballet dancer. The mat and foam rollers will be used for core strength exercises, stretching, and massage and Myo-fascial release. Myo-fascial release is crucial in injury prevention.

Pas de Deux

Weekly Pas de Deux classes are offered year round to level 5 and 6 students.
Advanced students will receive Pas de Deux classes. This is specialized training in how the male and female dancers work together in classical ballets. 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

Chinese Tumbling is offered during regular season to all levels of dancers

A combination of acrobatics and floor gymnastics for dancers. Class focuses on basic tumbling inverted skills, core strength, flexibility, control and balance. Students are teached by a former professional chinese dancer. Chinese tumbling offers many advantages, including greater versatility and skill.

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.

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