Syllabus Program

Portland School of Ballet’s Syllabus Program is designed for dancers starting at age seven and progresses through their teen years. The Program begins with establishing a strong foundation in correct posture, classical placement, musicality, and coordination, and it develops through the levels with the end result of a clear understanding and execution of classical ballet technique, vocabulary, and artistic expression.

Our Syllabus Program follows the Vaganova-method. This Russian training system creates a connected sense of movement and expressive range. Students are placed with age and ability taken into consideration. Placement is determined by the director. Each level participates in an annual exam that allows the director and faculty to evaluate the progress of the individual student and the class as a whole—these exams do not determine level progression, nor are they pass/fail. At the end of each year, students receive a written descriptive evaluation from their level’s teacher and have the opportunity to discuss their progression throughout the year. It is not uncommon for a student to stay in any particular level until they achieve the curriculum set in that level.

Male students also have the opportunity to participate in a Strength & Conditioning Class, and students in Syllabus Levels 4 through 6 can take supplemental Modern classes.



Students will have multiple performance opportunities. All Syllabus levels will participate in our Building Ballets Series—a lecture-demonstration to educate the public about classical ballets—and our Year End Showcase. Older students might participate in outreach shows, such as Kennebunk's Annual May Day Festival or First Friday Art Walk performances.



S1 — 1x per week for 1 hour
S2 — 2x per week for 1 hour
S3 — 2x per week for 1.5 hours
S4 — 3x per week for a total of 5 hours/week (pointe evaluation year)
S5 — 4x per week for a total of 7.5 hours/week
S6 — 5x per week for a total of 9 hours/week



Our goal at Portland School of Ballet is to create a healthy environment for all students to learn the art of ballet. We are determined to help our dancers set and reach goals, while at the same time assisting with the development of their artistry. Regardless of whether or not our dancers pursue dance at the collegiate or professional level, the lessons they learn in our classrooms will be an asset to the next steps they take in their lives