At Yarra Valley Ballet, we believe that students (of all ages) experience optimal learning when their environment is safe, nurturing, team-oriented, and fun.
We commence tuition from the age of 4 years, however, we occasionally accept students younger than this depending on their social maturity and ability to focus in a class environment.
Classical ballet is the primary focus of our school. We offer additional classes in Jazz, Contemporary and National Character however these are available as complimentary styles rather than the main focus.
Students aged 5-9 years can choose from formal examination classes or recreational 'just for fun' classes. Our recreational classes provide quality tuition, but shift the focus to enjoyment and creativity rather than intense study of the art form. Recreational students are still involved in all school performances.
Students aged 10+ are offered formal examination classes only. At this age and stage of development students need regular training to build whole body strength and flexibility. Ballet is an art form but also an athletic discipline that becomes more demanding as students mature. Regular and repeated training ensures that students can safely take on more challenging (and fun!) steps - pirouettes, batterie, grand allegro (aka turns, jumps and bigger jumps). It also sets female students up with the foundation they need to progress into pointe work.
YVB's Adult School fosters joy, creativity, collaboration, friendship and life-long learning. Some of our adults have gone on to enjoy the nerves and excitement of stage performances, whilst others find solace in regular ballet classes as a form of active meditation - a chance to step out of your everyday worries and experience a complete mind-body-spirit reset. We also offer our adults the opportunity to do formal exams, so please let us know if this is something that sparks interest for you.
Whatever your age, whatever your aspiration, we are here to support you in your dance journey.
Dance is a Performing Art and we strive to give our students opportunities to shine during the year.
The past two years have prevented regular theatre events from taking place, however we hope to remedy this situation in 2022.
In past years, our school has held two theatre events. Our first theatre event traditionally takes place at the end of Term 2 and is an informal theatre presentation. Students are introduced and guided onto the stage, the curtain remains open throughout and lighting is simple and unrefined (ie, no blackouts). The purpose of this event is to ease students into the feel of the theatre, build confidence and encourage positive anticipation for future performances.
Our second theatre event is a fully costumed, stage-lit, curtained and formal performance. This event usually takes place towards the end of Term 4, in late November/early December. This performance represents the culmination of the year's work and is usually a highlight of the year for teachers and students alike.
In 2022, we will be making adjustments to our usual plans and will be holding an informal theatre event in Term 1, 2022. In Term 4, our formal end of year performance will be a unique rendition of 'Alice in Wonderland' and we simply cannot wait to see our students having fun with this programme on a live stage.
Students of Yarra Valley Ballet have also performed annually at the Yarra Glen Christmas Carols since 2017. This event has been cancelled the past two years running, but we hope to be back in 2022. The Carols usually take place at MacKenzie Reserve in Yarra Glen, in mid-late December. It is a casual, relaxed atmosphere - a bit of a last hurrah before we head into holidays.
YVB also looks for community performance opportunities and welcomes your input or invitation to perform at a public venue or event.
Yarra Valley Ballet offers Examinations through the Ballet Conservatoire, which is based in Richmond, Victoria. Their website can be explored here: http://www.acbaustralia.com.au
Exams are encouraged, as students benefit in numerous ways by having a personal & achievable goal to work towards. Exams are an objective and measurable achievement of a student’s progress and learning. They also provide an opportunity for teachers to receive constructive criticism from an objective and well respected member of the ballet community.
Examinations begin at Pre-Primary Level and can be taken as young as 5 years. Due to the intense nature of exams, we generally recommend students wait until they have completed their first year of schooling before sitting their first exam.
When undertaking an exam, students will be asked to:
• attend all scheduled classes wherever possible,
• practice specific steps or exercises at home, and
• attend 3x exam rehearsals in the lead up to the examination.
If students are under-prepared, they may be asked to attend additional classes or schedule private lessons.
Students who fail to attend classes and/or rehearsals and who may therefore be under-prepared may not be permitted to participate in examinations and in this instance will forfeit any fees paid.
"Being a Dancer will never end, because the lessons you learn in the studio stretch a lifetime."
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