In a typical ballet class, exercises for different technique aspects are taught in a pre-set sequence, each one practised in the form of a mini-combination to music, repeated right and left.
- No matter the level of the class, the order of the exercises (see below) remains the same.
- For beginner classes the exercises are kept simple, yet the full body is still incorporated in all of the movement sequences.
- Pre-Warmup (warm up by yourself before class officially starts)
- Barre Work (technique combinations, see below)
- Deep Stretches (guided or independent stretching (See this post for a discount on online stretch programs)
- Centre Work (combinations without the barre, see below – executed in smaller groups in the centre of the dance space)
- Reverence (a mini combination with port-de-bras, poses and a curtsy to end the class)
- Optionally (in some schools this is a separate class, and I will be writing a separate post on this) the class may be followed by Pointe Work
Pictures and short descriptions of the basic ballet foot positions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th)
Combinations are done with the right leg at first (ie. the left hand at the barre) and then repeated on the other side, sometimes with a small balance exercise in between.
- Pliés and port-de-bras – in 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th position.
- Tendus (sometimes divided into slow and fast tendus) – starting in 5th
- Battement Jetés or Dégagés – starting in 5th
- Rond de Jambes – starting in 1st
- Fondus – starting in 5th (flat or relevé)
- Grand Battement
Centre work is usually done in groups, starting either in the center/back (for static/traveling combinations) or in the diagonal (for traveling turns and bigger jumping sequences) of the classroom
- Tendus (sometimes combined with other exercises from the barre portion of class)
- Waltz and/or Pirouettes
- Petit Allegro (small jumps)
- Grande Allegro (big jumps)