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In the professional world of dance, the most valued company members are the
ones who understand the context of the work they are doing, and are able to
understand the choreographic movements beyond the mere steps they are
given. The more fluent the dancers is in composition, stage craft, music, and
other elements of dance performance, the more valuable they are to the
choreographer, and the more fulfilling their experience of dancing is. Most
students only begin to learn about these peripheral, though fundamental,
aspects of art after they become professionals. And even then, it often isn’t
until they become a soloist or higher in the company’s ranks, when such
knowledge becomes mandatory for survival and progression in their career
path.

Many times, a professional dancer is first exposed to sophisticated or
historically significant pieces of music when they first hear it while learning the
choreography. The more sophisticated the musical form, the more difficult it is
to understand and interpret with dance steps. They are doing this while they
are struggling to find their interpretation and to fine tune it for public
performance. Thus, it is only after the fact, when the ballet is finished, that they
begin to understand the significance of the music, or the musical forms it uses,
which will in turn strongly effect their interpretation. Academy students will
know this before hearing the music, or, in the case of a new type of music, will
have the tools and references to understand it quickly.

A stressed student cannot perform well in academics or dancing. Academy
students are also high school students, with progressive demands on them as
they near graduation. The Academy recognizes this, and while introducing the
general arts curriculum and requirements, the presentation and experience of
these general arts studies is more geared to education than testing or the stress
of a ranking system. To progress to the next level in the Academy, the student
must meet the requirements. If this cannot fit into their normal academic life
without causing excessive stress, the Academy will work with the student, to
present general arts work during break times from their academic schedules,
and fit with their home life as well.

The Academy views the entire future of all students, not only the portion of life
that will represent the dance career. By providing basic education and skills
needed to branch out into other careers, the Academy ensures students will
have the best possible chance to fulfill their life’s energy. While each field of
expertise requires its specific training and credentials, knowledge of the basic
skills will inform the individual of the true level of interest and/or suitability they
have for a specific field other than dance.

                                                                                                                                                               

Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet. Copyright ©, 1986-2017. All Rights Reserved.