Curriculum

Our highly experienced Colburn Dance Academy faculty has developed a well-rounded curriculum that includes ballet, contemporary dance, and study of dance history. Classes follow the standard academic calendar (late August through early June) and take place in the mornings and early afternoons, Monday through Saturday. Students must participate in all aspects of the curriculum.

Fall 2020 Schedule of Classes

Ballet

All our primary ballet classes have live piano accompaniment. Students must wear the Colburn Dance Academy uniform for each class: women wear black leotard, pink or flesh tone tights, and pink or flesh tone pointe shoes ; men wear black tights, white T-shirt or white men’s leotard, and white ballet slippers.

In separate men’s and women’s technique classes and in combined classes, these courses focus on musicality, precision, efficiency of movement, strength, and beauty. All dance students participate in at least one 90-minute class, six days per week. Female dancers must wear pointe shoes.

Students will develop a versatile classical ballet technique and gain from the many artists who have shaped the Dance Academy faculty, including: George Balanchine, Alexandra Danilova, Stanley Williams, Andrei Kramerevsky, and Alonzo King.

In this class, students begin with strengthening and balance exercises at the barre. Continuing in the center, faculty members coach dancers through combinations en pointe that, when mastered, appear quick, graceful, and effortless.

In this class, students develop powerful physicality through concentrated work on jumps, beats, and turns.

Colburn Dance Academy instructors challenge students to elevate their physical training into performance through learning choreography. Dancers learn solos from ballet’s vast repertory, past and present. We also invite professional choreographers to teach portions of their current works, so students become familiar with contemporary pieces.

All students attend this class to practice dancing with a partner, learning to support and amplify one another’s movements. Together, students develop a sense of collaboration and musical timing, and how to give an elegant performance. The 90-minute class is scheduled one day per week.

This mandatory class elevates students’ skills in solos, partner dances, and full ensembles. Dancers develop a stronger sense of spatial relationships as well as cooperation and coordination with multiple dancers. Our faculty, which consists of highly acclaimed professional dancers and accomplished teachers, prepares students for performances of established works and new choreography.

Extension Dance Classes

In addition to daily training in a range of ballet courses, Dance Academy students expand their movement vocabulary through weekly classes in contemporary dance, including Merce Cunningham technique.

Enrichment Classes

As an active member of the Los Angeles performing arts community, the Colburn Dance Academy continues to build and strengthen relationships with other institutions and companies in the city, including major theatres and performing venues. These connections allow us to create broad exposure to dance, music, and other art forms. Students benefit from the access to premier performances and the artists creating them.

A dancer’s body must be carefully cared for and nurtured. The body maintenance course features subject matter experts and certified instructors with knowledge of dance training. Students learn techniques to stay physically and emotionally healthy. Classes typically include regular instruction on strengthening, stretching, yoga, floor barre, and Pilates. Lecture topics include nutrition and healthy eating habits, stress management, and career development. Additionally, we bring in a physical therapist and sports medicine doctor who work with dancers on regular body maintenance and advise students on injury prevention.

Students participate in multiple Colburn School performances as well as a variety of regular lecture demonstration opportunities throughout the year.

There are numerous possibilities for Colburn Dance Academy students to collaborate with professional dancers and choreographers, including our acclaimed faculty, the L.A. Dance Project, and visiting performers. Dance students also join Colburn School music students to work together through coordinated curriculum, composition, and performances.

Each week, students devote time to studying the history and development of dance and its relationship to the other arts (music, drama, visual arts, design, architecture, and more). This will include analysis of choreography, lectures with guest speakers, field trips to cultural institutions, and opportunities for students to engage with their art practice through writing.