MAB’s training program is based on a carefully devised syllabus, which blends the proven English, Russian, and American philosophies of classical ballet training. A thorough mastery of technique is stressed at every level of training. Each dancer progresses at his or her individual rate, instead of automatically being advanced to the next level according to age. Every dancer is encouraged to achieve his or her full artistic potential.
Initial placement will be made following an evaluation by the Artistic Director. The Artistic Director will observe the student in class and recommend the most appropriate level based on age and ability.
Advancement to higher levels depends on the mastery of skills at each level. It is not unusual to remain at a level for several years. Skills taught at each level are available in a written syllabus, accessible for review with the Artistic Director.
Each level is carefully structured to develop technique, musicality, classroom etiquette, and discipline. Students are not advanced to the next level based on age. Each student progresses to the next level only when she or he meets training criteria.
We feel starting a child in Pre-Ballet or Beginner 1 will help beginner dancers learn the basics of dance. Teachers work on body awareness, posture, weight shifting and the child's understanding of high-low, left-right, positions and basic movements. We emphasize ballet training as the foundation for excellence in all other styles of dance.
Our two studios have sprung floors with marley covering. Dance puts stress on bones, especially leaps. Our floors are designed for dancing and absorb the shock of the landing.
Formal ballet training begins in Beginner 1 for children who are generally age six to eight. We recommend students at this early stage of development take class once a week. This is when the body is more prepared and ready for the demands of ballet (and making sure the moves can be done safely).
Intermediate 1 and 2 students, who are generally age 11 to 14, are individually assessed before putting them en pointe. The Artistic Director will determine when each dancer is ready for pointe shoes and will accompany the dancer for her first fitting to help determine the best style and fit for her feet.
Starting in our intermediate level (Intermediate 1 and up), contemporary, jazz, and tap classes are offered in addition to classical ballet. Our summer intensives continue this training and provide dancers the opportunity to learn from guest artists across different forms to help your child receive a well-rounded ballet education.
Our classes are structured to cultivate each student's unique physical and artistic qualities. MAB recognizes that not all students are intent on a professional dance career; however, our dance instruction encourages all students to achieve their full artistic potential. This curriculum also provides basic ballet training for those pursuing other activities such as competitive figure skating, gymnastics and synchronized swimming.
MAB encourages dancers to attend class consistently. However, if a dancer is absent due to illness or other obligations, it is the dancer’s responsibility to make up missed classes. A formal, written evaluation will be prepared for each dancer by the Artistic Director at the end of each semester for the following semester’s placement. One copy of the evaluation will be given to the dancer and a second copy of the evaluation will be placed in each dancer’s file.
The Artistic Director is available for informal consultation regarding student progress throughout the year by appointment or e-mail.
MAB is committed to providing high-quality performance opportunities for its students. With two main-stage productions of full-length ballets each year at the University of Delaware's Mitchell Hall, as well as several smaller in-studio performances and outreach programs, MAB's students continually delight and amaze audiences in northern Delaware and surrounding communities.
All students in Beginner 1 and up will be invited to audition to join our main stage productions.
All students are invited to perform in our showcase event at the end of the season to demonstrate what they have learned over the year. It is an intimate performance and is geared specifically to the families of our dancers.
No. We have a wonderful wardrobe department that provides the costumes for our performances. Dancers only need to purchase the basics, such as a nude leotard, tights and shoes.
Proper attire is expected at all times. Tights with runs or holes, worn-out shoes, clothing that is too loose, or hair that is not neatly secured in a bun or ponytail may be reasons for dismissal from class at the teacher’s discretion.
MAB is pre-professional ballet conservatory, not a competition studio. However, we do support our dancers interested in auditioning for competitive ballet intensives and scholarships and can arrange for individualized preparation. Our dancers have competed in Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and been accepted to summer intensive programs such as the following:
Alvin Ailey School Summer Intensive Program (New York, NY)
American Ballet Theater's Summer Program (New York City, NY, and Winston-Salem, NC)
American Repertory Ballet Summer Intensive Program (Princeton, NJ)
Ballet Austin's Summer Intensive Program (Austin, TX)
The Ballet Theater of Maryland's Summer Intensive (Annapolis, MD)
Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive (Middlebury, CT)
Boston Ballet Summer Intensive Program (Boston, MA)
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Summer Ballet Program (Carlisle, PA)
Joffrey Ballet School's Summer Intensive Program (New York, NY)
Pennsylvania Ballet Summer Intensive (Philadelphia, PA)
Point Park University International Summer Dance Program (Pittsburgh, PA)
Princeton Ballet School's Summer Intensive (Princeton, NJ)
The Rock School of Ballet Summer Intensive Program (Philadelphia, PA)
The Walnut Hill School Summer Intensive Program (Natick,MA)