Founded in September of 2016, The Ballet Taos Academy houses our pre-professional training program for serious students ages 10-19, in addition to our elementary dance program and open community classes. Our students receive exceptional training in a nurturing environment with no more than ten students in a class. The individualized attention given allows them to grow as dancers, artists, and people. Our faculty and guest faculty share the same teaching philosophy; an education in dance is beneficial even for students who choose non-dance careers. The Ballet Taos Academy provides quality dance training, that implements the most current methods and standards, to dancers ages four through
adult, novice through professional, in several forms of movement.
Our Classical and Pre-Professional Training Programs
The primary focus of the Pre-Professional Training Program (BT II), is to ready young, talented dancers for higher education and professional careers in dance. Classical ballet technique classes are available to our students daily to improve their technique, artistry, and to refine all of the intricate details that make for a great artist and athlete. The Academy offers an eight year syllabus derived from the Vaganova system of classical training which provides a complete movement vocabulary taught in a balanced manner. Our Russian based syllabus emphasizes injury prevention, overall health, and self-esteem, ensuring the potential for a long, successful career in dance.
Dancers advance to the next level within the program according to their age, ability, desire, physical development, and mastery of the curriculum. Dancers may begin classes at the age of four in the introductory Elementary Ballet Level. Here, they explore basic movement vocabulary, and artistic expression through stories, music and rhythmical patterns. By age six, in Levels I and II, they are introduced to the fundamentals of classical ballet technique. Upon completion of Level II, dancers may audition for the Pre-Professional Training Program (BT II) designed for students who choose to pursue classical ballet technique and further their dance education on a serious level. Dancers at the highest levels of BT II attend class and rehearsals six days a week to prepare their bodies and minds for the diverse and demanding art form that is dance today. Pointe technique and variations, partnering class, contemporary ballet, men’s class, strength and conditioning classes, character dance, modern dance and repertoire are integral additions to our curriculum at the most advanced levels.
Our training program is the first of its kind to be offered in Northern New Mexico. The faculty of BT II provide many hours of private coaching to ready these young professionals for auditions, elite ballet competitions like Youth America Grand Prix, and to create challenging work to be performed alongside side the professional dancers of Ballet Taos. Our training method has proven to create dancers that are technically precise, rhythmically sound, as well as, artful and spirited in movement. Dancers from the Ballet Taos Academy have received recognition, scholarships, and acceptance to Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive; Alonzo King LINES Contemporary Ballet; North Carolina School for the Arts; New Mexico School for the Arts; Zikr Dance Ensemble; Denver Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive; American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive; The Nutmeg Conservatory Summer Intensive; Colorado Ballet Summer Intensive; and company positions with Ballet Taos.
Our Contemporary Program
Embracing the creative process, the contemporary program at Ballet Taos educates and promotes the 21st century contemporary dancer. We view contemporary dance training as an experiential and contemplative study essential to the development of compassionate dancers and innovative choreographers. Classically trained students in the Ballet Taos Academy are introduced to modern dance classes at approximately age ten. They immerse themselves in a diverse, relevant curriculum inspired by a wide range of theoretical practices. Authentic and somatic movement encourage self-expression, selfawareness, and inclusivity in their work. Contact improvisation opens their eyes to alternative movement possibilities, and often, a choreographer is born. Learning to observe inspiration, exploring the bodies fullest capabilities through mindfulness and integrating all genres of art into motion through collaborative ensemble work, embody the foundation of our contemporary program.