Festival Ballet Providence School (FBPS) provides a comprehensive dance education through three distinct divisions: The Open Enrollment Division, The Pre-Professional Division and The Summer Division. There are several programs within each division. Our programs begin with classes for 18 month old children and continue through to classes for adult dancers. Additionally, we offer a special program for children with Down Syndrome. Serving the community in a state of the art facility and with a professionally trained faculty, we strive to meet the needs of each and every student within our wide and varied population.
FBPS’s Open Enrollment Division is designed to provide our community with the opportunity to explore dance as a recreational activity in a supportive and professional setting. Students may continue to take dance classes in this division or may move into our Pre-Professional Division when and if appropriate. There are four distinct programs within this division: The Young Children’s Program, The Youth/Teen Program, The Adult Program and The Adaptive Dance Program.
Young Children’s Program
Our Goal in this program is to bring the classical art form of ballet and other dance forms into the lives of young children in a structured and playful environment. We introduce our young dancers to classical music, classical ballets, and movement in a gradual and age appropriate progression. We foster respect and an understanding of proper etiquette within our classrooms.
There are no dance prerequisites for entering into our Young Children’s Program at any level. Students enrolling in our Young Children’s Program must meet the age requirement for each level by September 30th of the current school year. Students will spend a full year in the enrolled level and will not move up until the following year. All classes in this program are 45 to 60 minutes in length. In the tradition of training young dancers, we expect even our youngest dancers to come to their study properly dressed with the appropriate uniform for their level. (See our uniform guidelines). Students typically take one class per week in this program.
Students graduate from our Young Children’s Program at 8 years of age and will move into either our Youth/Teen Program in the Open Enrollment Division or into our Core Ballet Program in our Pre-Professional Division.
Dance with Me (ages 1.5-2.5)
45 Minutes. In this class, young children begin their dance studies through their attachment to parent or primary caregiver. In a safe and supportive environment parent/caregiver and child are offered the opportunity to learn and move together by introducing music and dance through discovery exercises. Parent/Caregivers help guide the child in exploring how the body moves, listening and creating music, and telling stories through improvisation and character development. In addition to being a lot of fun, parent-child dance classes are great preparation for very young children to become independent dancers and eventually participate in a creative dance class on their own.
Rhythm & Movement (ages 2.5-3.5)
45 Minutes. Designed for our youngest unaccompanied students. This class fosters independence, creativity, and develops gross motor skills, coordination, musical awareness and spatial skills in a structured yet playful and nurturing setting. The use of simple musical instruments and other props help engage the student’s attention and foster imagination and natural creativity. Each class is limited to 10 students.
Creative Movement (ages 3-4)
1 Hour. This class follows the same structure and purpose as the Rhythm & Movement class with an increase in the amount of time students spend in the studio. We continue to engage the child in similar activities while providing an environment for them to build confidence and independence. Each class is limited to 12 students.
Pre-Ballet I (age 5)
1 Hour. This class continues to focus on coordination, motor development, listening skills, musical awareness, spatial skills, and begins to introduce elements of classical ballet through age appropriate activities. Each class is limited to 15 students.
Pre-Ballet II (age 6)
1 Hour. This class slowly introduces a more formal study of classical ballet through age-appropriate skill development, creative expression, music appreciation, and the relationship between music and dance. Each class is limited to 18 students.
Pre-Ballet III (age 7)
1 Hour. In this class, we continue to use a creative approach while introducing children to the structure and discipline of a ballet class. This class builds on the student’s knowledge of basic ballet terminology. This class provides a bridge between our Young Children’s Program and either our Youth/Teen Program in the Open Enrollment Division and/or our Core Ballet Program in our Pre-Professional Division. Each class is limited to 20 students.
FBPS’s Youth/Teen Program is designed for the student with a keen interest in ballet and other dance forms on a recreational level. Students in this program dance one to two times per week.
Ballet (ages 8-14)
Students not ready to fully enroll into the Core Ballet Program in our Pre-Professional Division are welcome to take a modified schedule of classes at the discretion of the School Director. Students not fully enrolled in our Core Ballet Program may not be allowed to participate in our annual culmination performance. (See Core Ballet Program for a description of class levels).
Open Beginner Ballet (ages 8-12)
1 Hour. This class is designed as an introductory class for students who have graduated from our Young Children’s Program or who have not had any previous ballet training. This class meets once per week and is a potential bridge to our Core Ballet Program in our Pre-Professional Division.
Modern and Jazz (ages 8-14)
1 Hour. Open classes in Modern and Jazz are offered to any Beginner or Elementary student wishing to join our school. We recommend pairing the jazz or modern class with the open beginner ballet class to help the student build a strong foundation.
Our adult classes are designed to promote an understanding of the technique and artistry of movement in ballet and modern dance while developing a strong and flexible body. Taught in a welcoming and non-competitive environment, our classes are for everyone, whether you are a beginner or returning dancer. Our faculty have years of experience and will make class adaptations for mixed levels.
1.5 Hours. This basic beginner ballet class is designed for men and women who have had some previous ballet experience or who have taken our Introductory Ballet Workshop.
1.5 Hours. This is a strong intermediate class designed for men and woman looking for a fun way to exercise or for former dancers looking for a complete workout.
1 Hour. This class introduces the basic principles of somatic work and incorporates modern dance vocabulary. Exercises and combinations work to improve strength, flexibility and stamina in a fun modern movement class.
Open Advanced Ballet
1.5 hours. This class is for men and women with advanced ballet background seeking a challenging ballet class in a supportive environment.
Adaptive Dance Program
Adaptive Dance class is open to children and young adults with Down Syndrome. The hour long class provides exploration of movement with a focus on the individual. Exercises specifically designed for safety are introduced to develop coordination, overall fitness, balance, rhythm and musicality. Classes are taught with percussion accompaniment or recorded music to support movement exercises. Students in the Adaptive program are offered performance opportunities throughout the year. This class serves as a bridge to our Youth/Teen Program in our Open Enrollment Division. FBP offers many inclusive classes for students from our Adaptive Dance Program.
The Pre-Professional Division is designed for students age 8-23 who are interested in intensive training and may aspire to the possibility of a professional dance career. Students from our Open Enrollment Division are allowed to enroll in a modified schedule of classes from our Core Ballet Program at the discretion of the School Director.
The goal of FBPS’s Core-Ballet Program is to provide each student with a solid dance foundation, both technically and artistically, that allows for individual success and accomplishment. Many students graduating from this Division are accepted into high level college dance programs, become post graduates or trainees in our company or are accepted into professional dance companies. Other students go onto college to pursue a different career path yet, upon completion of this program, have developed elite physical fitness, a strong sense of self, discipline, confidence and a lifelong understanding of ballet and the various art forms associated with it. In this Division, students are placed in classes according to their age and ability at the discretion of the School Director and Faculty. Students move through the levels of this program at their own pace. Students in this division are offered performance opportunity through our company productions and through participation in Ballet Competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix.
Beginner Ballet Level
Beginner Ballet consists of three levels: Beginner Ballet 1, 2 and 3. To be eligible for enrollment in Beginner Ballet 1, students must be at least 8 years old by September 30th, must have had pre-ballet training or have taken our open beginner ballet class. Technique classes emphasize proper placement, turnout of the hips, correct ballet posture, and coordination of the arms and legs. As the student progresses to Beginner Ballet 2, training builds on previously learned skills, and more difficult exercises begin to develop strength and memory skills. The use of port de bras and the coordination of arms and head are introduced. In Beginner Ballet 3, continued development of proper port de bras continues. Technique is stressed while the training begins to prepare the students for turns and jumps.
To enhance the ballet training and facilitate student progress, supplemental classes for Beginner Ballet students include Repertoire/Conditioning.
Elementary Ballet Level
Elementary Ballet consists of two levels with integrated scheduling: Elementary 1 & 2. In Elementary 1, simple combinations of previously learned steps are practiced. Extension (the height of the working leg) is developed and exercises to develop strength for pointe work are practiced. An increased emphasis is placed on turns and medium and big jumps. Pre-pointe is introduced at the Elementary 1 level. In Elementary 2, barre work becomes faster and the vocabulary of dance steps increases.
To enhance the ballet training and facilitate student progress, supplemental classes in the Elementary Program include Pre-Pointe, Character, and Repertoire/Conditioning.
Intermediate Ballet Level
Intermediate Ballet consists of two levels: Intermediate 1, 2, 3 with integrated scheduling. In Intermediate 1 and 2, barre work becomes increasingly faster and the vocabulary of dance steps increases. Pointe work is an important part of study at this level, with a strong emphasis on line, expression and artistry. Supplemental classes in the Intermediate Program include Pointe, Repertoire, Variations, Contemporary, Character and Conditioning.
Students will be exposed to partnering and pas de deux through special workshop classes throughout the school year.
Advanced Ballet Level
Advanced Ballet consists of three levels. Along with the continued development of technical skill, line, performance quality and artistic presentation become a strong focus at this level.
Supplemental classes at this level include Pointe, Repertoire, Variations, Contemporary, and Character.
Students will be exposed to partnering and pas de deux through special workshop classes throughout the school year.
Pre-Professional Advanced Program
This program offers young adults who are preparing for a ballet career the opportunity to continue their training in a serious school environment while working alongside a professional ballet company. This program offers students a bridge between school and profession.
Students accepted into FBPS’s Post Graduate Level continue to train full-time in our school while attending all company classes and rehearsals. Post Graduate students are offered all of the benefits of our advanced level students while working alongside the company dancers in rehearsals and productions.
Company Trainee Level
Dancers are accepted into FBPS’s Trainee Level through an audition process offered during our 4-week Summer Dance Intensive. Trainees are required to take a limited number of classes in the school while engaging fully in the company schedule. Trainees work extensively in our outreach program and are afforded many performance opportunities with our Company. After two years, Trainees may move on to become company members at FBP or are hired by other professional companies.
FBPS offers a full array of summer programs that enhance our school and the community.
Open Summer Program
FBPS’s open summer program serves our community by offering a wide range of dance classes for all ages and abilities.
We have a full roster of evening classes in our Youth/Teen Program, Core Ballet Program and Adult Program. The summer is a great time to learn something new or to hone previously learned skills.
Morning classes are offered through our Young Children’s Program.
FBPS offers two creative dance camps intended to introduce students to the world of ballet in a fun and non-competitive environment.
Magical Dancer Camp (ages 5-7): Runs for 1 Week for a total of 15 hours. Students engage in a daily pre-ballet class, learn the story line from one of the ballet classics, explore movement and music related to the ballet, and use arts and crafts to create props and costumes.
Create-a-Ballet Camp (ages 8-12): Runs for 1 week for a total of 30 hours. Students will explore aspects of classical ballet and theater while creating their very own production based on a traditional story ballet. Students will be involved in developing choreography and designing sets and costumes.
FBPS offers two Summer Dance Intensive Programs for the serious ballet student from age 10-pre-professional. Both programs provide intensive study and performance opportunity. Residential options are available for both the Junior and Senior Programs.
Senior SDI Program (ages 13+)
This program is designed for serious pre-professional ballet students eager to work hard at refining their skill. Through this comprehensive 4-week training program, students develop technically and artistically in a nurturing but competitive environment. Our exceptional faculty includes year round FBP faculty, current Company Dancers and national and international guest teachers. Guided by Summer Intensive Director, Marissa Parmenter, students are offered a diverse curriculum, professional training, and an opportunity to learn choreography from the FBP repertoire. Enriching field trips enhance their education. Class sizes are limited to ensure individual attention. Students from this program perform at Providence’s famed Waterfire and in the FBP Black Box theater.
Junior SDI Program (ages 10-14)
This program is for serious ballet students with a minimum of 2 years of training. It is designed for students who wish to develop a stronger technical base in an artistically supportive and developmentally appropriate environment. Guided by School Director Mary Ann Mayer and FBP faculty, students are challenged to enhance their previously established dance training in a fun and nurturing setting. Enriching field trips enhance their education. At the end of the program students perform in the FBP Black Box theater.