The Perth School of Ballet Elite Program (known as PSB Elite) is designed for committed ballet and contemporary dance students aiming for a career in dance.
PSB Elite is recognised as one of the top Full Time programs in Australia and is founded on the following principles:
- Providing a complete, well-developed program with clearly developed outcomes for each level from Foundation to pre-professional training in Level 8
- Emphasis on developing underlying strength and control for the ballet body which is crucial to achieving the technical requirements of dance.
- A commitment to work with teachers with a strong background in ballet and contemporary dance training.
- Many of our teachers have had illustrious careers in ballet and contemporary and are hungry to impart their knowledge and experience to the next generation.
- PSB also employs a core group of accredited teachers with more than a decade of experience in teaching young dancers.
- An integrated training program based on the following building blocks:
- Ceccheti Ballet technique
- ISTD Modern Dance (foundation for Contemporary)
- Open classes using Vaganova, RAD and other types of ballet training.
- A focus on artistry, musicality and stage craft – defining the individual quality of each student. Students work on a daily basis with teachers who have had brilliant careers in dance and who themselves have mastered the beautiful artistry required of a dancer.
- Ensuring ‘best practice’ training techniques are used to ensure minimal injury and maximum efficiency of one’s body.
- Strong collaboration with families, academic schools and allied health professionals to provide a holistic support team for each student.
Level 1 – PSB Elite Preparatory Year
Preparatory Year is designed to give promising young students the opportunity to experience dance training at an elite level while taking into consideration their young age. Students at this level are typically aged 9 to 11.
The program intentions are the following:
- To give students a clear taste of what it takes to work at a more serious level of training.
- To begin to develop dance technique foundations and mental resilience in preparation for Levels 2 and 3 of the PSB Elite Part Time program.
- To assess students’ physical, technical and mental capabilities and consult with families as to the future potential of each student.
The program is tailored to each individual student depending on their training to date and their ability to cope with a heavier workload. Typically, the program would include a total of 9 to 12 hours of dance per week including one afternoon class (currently Wednesdays 1.30pm to 4.00pm).
Levels 2 and 3 – PSB Elite Part Time Program
The purpose of the PSB Elite Part Time Program is to develop promising students towards a career in dance. Students who may have a desire to become professional dancers should consider this program for one to three years with a possible view to entering into the PSB Elite Full Time Program.
The program is designed to provide the following:
- Give students a clear understanding of what is required to become a professional dancer.
- Begin to develop dance technique foundations and mental resilience in preparation the PSB Elite Full Time program.
- Assess students’ physical, technical and mental capabilities and consult with families as to the future potential of each student.
The PSB Elite Part Time Program is offered to students between the ages of 11 years to 14 years (students outside these ages may be considered on an individual basis). The program consists of between 20 and 25 hours of classes per week.
As a guide, students entering this level should be working towards Grade 5 to Intermediate in Cecchetti Ballet (equivalent RAD or Vaganova accepted).
Level 4 – PSB Elite Full Time Program
Level 4 is the first level where students are required to attend PSB Elite on a Full Time basis. The aim is to give comprehensive study in classical ballet and contemporary dance. Priority is given to a focus on achieving a foundation of sound classical and contemporary technique.
A strong classical dancer needs to be well-trained in contemporary and likewise, a contemporary dancer must be well-trained in classical ballet. To meet these needs, the PSB Elite program provides extensive training in both techniques. Beginning at Level 6 in the program, emphasis will be placed on classical or contemporary depending on a student’s intention, talent and capabilities.
To be eligible to audition for Level 4 of the program, students must be working towards at least Intermediate in Cecchetti Ballet (equivalent RAD or Vaganova accepted).
Level 5 – PSB Elite Full Time Program
The aim of Level 5 is to introduce more complicated combinations of beats at a quicker tempo, demonstrating speed and brilliance. Artistic interpretation and presentation will be encouraged and must be performed with developing assurance. The study of jumps will be preceded by various preparatory movements, with emphasis on increased ballon and elevation in the Grand Allegro.
Students will be expected to develop the ability to pick up quicker and more difficult open classes and to begin to show professional maturity.
Development of Pas de Deux and Repertoire begins and an increasing level of difficulty and number of hours for Pointe work is established. Strength and control is further improved to increase range of movement.
A specialised program for male students is offered to develop strength and attributes required of a male dancer.
Students must be working towards Advanced 1 in Cecchetti Ballet (equivalent RAD or Vaganova accepted).
Level 6 – PSB Elite Full Time Program
At Level 6 students will choose between ballet and contemporary as the main focus of their training. Selection will be made in consultation with teachers, directors and families to ensure the best path for each student is selected.
The aim of the classical program at this level is to begin to perfect and polish all elements of the program, including the mastery of all the basic movements of classical dance from previous years of study. Pointe work is developed with the teaching of variations from the classical repertoire.
Students will expect to develop their repertoire solos to a level commensurate to participate in national and international competitions.
Choreography work will be introduced to the contemporary program and students will begin to develop the ability to create their own choreography – a skill essential to contemporary dancers.
Students must be working towards Advanced 2 in Cecchetti Ballet (equivalent RAD or Vaganova accepted).
Level 7 – PSB Elite Full Time Program
In the penultimate year of the program, students must be further perfect dance movements and polish of them for the stage. At the discretion of the teachers it is possible for more artistically developed enchainements to be created with adage, allegro and pointe movements.
The selection of more complicated musical material is essential. Of prime importance is the development of the virtuoso performer’s artistry and musicality.
Students will be deemed to have achieved Level 7 when they can compete confidently with ‘competition lists’ (age appropriate) honed to optimal technical and artistic level. Students should have achieved a level of competence where they are confident competitors for national and international competitions such as Alana Haines, Genee, Youth America Grand Prix, Ceccetti International and/or Prix de Lausanne.
During this year students will begin to prepare for auditions including preparing audition DVDs to be sent interstate and internationally
Level 8 – PSB Elite Full Time, Pre Professional Year
Level 8 is the Finishing year of the PSB Elite program. At this level students are expected to integrate all aspects of repertoire and artistry to bridge into a professional dance company.
Students should be very confident competitors for national and international competitions such as Alana Haines, Genee, Youth America Grand Prix, Cecchetti International and/or Prix de Lausanne. Students should expect to be of a standard where they will be sighted and offered placements during these competitions.
This is the year when students audition for professional placement. Advice and guidance will be offered with:
- Audition DVDs
- Specific audition tours in Europe and USA
- Competition with a view to be selected for professional work
- Company pre-professional programs.
Students are encouraged to undertake some professional work during this year including small performances and corps de ballet in local companies.