Classes are graded on a student’s age, development, and physical strength. Through the school’s syllabus, students are introduced to progressive, age-appropriate levels of ballet technique with advancement between levels based upon annual faculty evaluation of each student’s technical ability, physical aptitude, strength, attendance, and classroom effort.
Entry into Level 1 of the student division is by audition only (though students enrolled in our Foundation Level can be reevaluated by school faculty to determine admission eligibility). A student’s feet, flexibility, turnout, structure, and overall physicality are also taken into consideration for admission, as these attributes are often considered requisite for professional accomplishment in classical ballet.
Student progress is assessed throughout the year on an ongoing basis, with in-year level adjustments made where warranted. Level placement for the following year of instruction will be determined by faculty evaluation of each student’s individual development, work habits, and progress throughout the previous year’s curriculum.
Students are permitted on pointe once it poses no risk of injury—a determination made at the sole discretion of the faculty. All upper-division students will study contemporary/modern dance and variations as well as Pilates or stretching classes. Students in studio work will have their instruction supplemented with lectures on dancer health, nutrition, injury prevention, music theory, and similarly related topics.
To ensure the health and safety of our students, their families, employees, and members of our community, the School of Philadelphia Ballet will require that all students be fully vaccinated with the primary series and up to date on vaccine booster dose(s).