Training from Beginner to Advanced Dancers

San Jose Dance Theatre is dedicated to excellence in training and the development of our students into diverse artists.

Over the past 55 years, SJDT has provided world class training and performance opportunities for young dancers in San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of our students have been award scholarships with major ballet company schools and summer programs and we continue to train talented emerging artists.

SJDT provides a structured training program from Preballet – Level 7 by teachers with experience performing with professional companies across the globe and leading internationally recognized training programs. Our program caters for dancers wishing to pursue a career in dance or who are just wanting to be part of a friendly, creative and fun community. 

We provide advanced training in classical and contemporary dance alongside many other training styles with the opportunity to perform numerous times throughout the year.

Our major focus is catering for each student’s individual needs and goals with a keen interest in training dancers for careers within our professional company. Many of our dancers have also gone on to work professionally with companies across America and all of the world. 

Our curriculum includes: Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Progressive Ballet Technique, Pas de Deux, Men’s Class, Chinese Dance, Tumbling, Repertoire, Character, Contemporary Dance, Modern Dance, Jazz, auditioning skills, Pilates/conditioning classes, Progressive Ballet Technique and career progression planning.

For a full list of classes and schedule click the button below!

Our program

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

It is an introduction to a 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.

We 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.

Preballet is designed for ages 4 – 6 and is an introduction to ballet movement, musicality, rhythm, spatial awareness and following directions.

Ballet technique is the foundational principles of body movement and form used in ballet. Classes in ballet technique puts emphasis on the method and execution of movement. Within Pre-ballet, students begin development of ballet concepts including turn out, coordination, spatial awareness and a specific focus on class etiquette.

Students will begin positions of the feet, and introductory movement vocabulary. Classes are designed to be fun and active for young minds while encouraging development.  

Ages 6 and up are expected to perform in “The Nutcracker”

Designed for ages 7 – 10. These levels emphasize the fundamentals of classical ballet, setting the ground work for more advanced movement. 

Basic ballet technique, proper body alignment, French terminology and musicality are major focuses within the program. A good understanding of line, port de bras and movement principles is established within these levels.   

Introduction to elementary barre and center work incorporating basic pirouettes and allegro. 

Dancers within this level are also encouraged to participate in performance opportunities across they year including San Jose’s The Nutcracker. From an early age our program is designed to nurture and develop confident artists. 

Level 1 is encouraged to participate in one class per week. Level 2, two classes per week and Level 3, three classes per week. This builds a dancer’s strength and abilities over time. 

Ages 6 and up are expected to perform in “The Nutcracker”

Designed for ages 11 – 14. This level continues to develop the classical dancer with emphasis on more complex barre and center work. 

Dancers in these levels develop advanced skills in pirouettes and allegro setting the foundation for more complex movement. 

These levels also introduce pointe work, contemporary and modern dance, repertoire, Character, Chinese dance and Pas De Deux. This level also incorporates male dancer specific classes to focus on specific male technique.  

Dancers within this level participate in a variety of performance opportunities throughout the year and are challenged with lead roles within the school’s major productions. 

It is expected that level 4 participate in four days of training a week and level 5, five days of training. These programs are a more rigorous schedule, preparing dancers for more advanced levels. 

Designed for students 14 – 18. Our highest levels participate in classes on a full week basis and are taught advanced dance technique.

Focusing on performance principles, dancers within these levels are challenged with advanced movement incorporating professional classical repertoire. These levels participate in many of the performance opportunities within the organization and support the academy and companies major productions. 

On completion of these levels, dancers are ready for entrance into pre-professional programs, college programs and advanced dance training education. Past students have gone on to train at major schools around the world. 

These levels are expected to be participating in dance training 6 times a week. 

Book a placement class and enroll below!

The Next Step

Pre-Professional Program, College, Advanced Dance Training Program

San Jose Dance Theatre works closely with its level 7 students to ensure they have a pathway to a career in dance. We support students in finding the right program for their training needs in both classical and contemporary dance. 

We activity support students in their applications to schools and colleges through preparing resumes, audition videos and photos. Our international network allows us to tap into opportunities for our dancers and guides them through to the next step in their dance career. 

San Jose Dance Theatre also provides a Pre-professional dance program for young dancers 18+ who have finished high school and want to pursue dance full time. Dancers from the program are trained alongside our trainee program and company. Dancers in our pre-professional program are provided the opportunity to audition for the company and continue their professional career within the organization. 

For more information on our Pre-professional program click the button below.

Student Achievements 

San Jose Dance Theatre congratulates our dancers on being accepted to these prestigious Summer programs for 2020.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Atticus Scherer

Ellison Ballet

Natalie Ramskov

Bolshoi Ballet Academy

Natalie Taylor, Twilight Lin, Adelina Chau

Ballet Austin

Twilight Lin, Chelsea de Grande

ABT Florida

Melayna Hughes

ABT Alabama

Adelina Chau

ArtEmotion & Ballet West

Genevieve Lo

The Rock

Twilight Lin, Chelsea de Grande