A YEAR AT CITY BALLET RALEIGH

How our year is structured.

Welcome to City Ballet Raleigh! Your dancer(s) and you are about to start a productive year with our program, whether you take ballet, pointe, modern, tap, or jazz. City Ballet Raleigh’s goals are to nurture a love of movement, music, and performance while training dancers through a structured syllabus that builds their technical expertise and their physical strength. Because of this, a season with City Ballet Raleigh has a distinct pattern that seeks to accomplish these goals for dancers over the course of a dance year.
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A year of regular classes runs from mid-August to mid-May. Summer classes are offered in May, June, July, and August. Dancers who have previously studied with City Ballet Raleigh will use their teacher’s recommendations as to class level; new students should consult with City Ballet Raleigh’s Directors, Andrew Lamar and Cherilyn Joy Lee, as to their best placement. Many students choose to take classes in more than one discipline (ballet, pointe, modern, tap, jazz, hip hop).

FALL – BEGINNING OR MOVING UP IN YOUR DISCIPLINE

The fall is spent building technique for all students through various structured exercises. Ballet classes are traditionally organized, including stretching, barrework, port de bras, adagio, pirouettes, petite and grand allegro. Students are also offered the opportunity to choreograph short dances during various holiday classes. The techniques and skills begun in the fall are built on throughout the course of the year.

THE NUTCRACKER – A PERFORMING OPPORTUNITY FOR SELECTED DANCERS

City Ballet Raleigh performs a full length, richly costumed and staged version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet in December. This is a wonderful, professional performing opportunity for students, and is made possible through the efforts of City Ballet Raleigh staff and parent volunteers. City Ballet Raleigh dancers are joined by guest artists, which in past years have included Carolina Ballet dancers. ~ Auditions are held in early Fall for enrolled students. There are roles available in the production for dancers and actors (male and female) from the ages of seven through adult. ~ Parents and dancers alike must realize ahead of time that a dancer who receives a role in the Nutcracker is making a serious commitment of time and energy from the beginning of rehearsals in September through the performance in December.

U.N.C. SCHOOL OF THE ARTS – A WEEKEND FOR SELECTED DANCERS

U.N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem sponsors the annual Festival of N.C. Dance in February. Selected dance schools are invited to attend, bringing a limited number of dancers for a very intense weekend of dance classes taught by the distinguished faculty of the School of the Arts. The City Ballet Raleigh faculty invites a small number of dancers to attend and represent City Ballet Raleigh. ~ City Ballet Raleigh also auditions an original work for the Festival choreographed by City Ballet Raleigh faculty or a guest choreographer. Auditions for this piece are open to advanced dancers. The piece is adjudicated and if selected is performed at the Stevens Center at the end of the Festival weekend.

SPRING RECITAL – A PERFORMING OPPORTNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS

In May, City Ballet Raleigh holds its annual recital for all students in its dance programs. Like our Nutcracker, this is a fully costumed and staged production. All enrolled dancers are given the opportunity to perform in a theater production. ~ City Ballet Raleigh is very proud of its recital productions, and suggests new and prospective students and families may want to view the videos of past recitals that are available at the studio.

SUMMER PROGRAM – A TIME FOR EXPERIMENTATION AND FUN

The regular dance year ends with the annual recital; however, City Ballet Raleigh runs a summer program including week-long intensive workshops in addition to evening drop-in classes offered in ballet, pointe, modern, tap and jazz. A number of guests are invited to join City Ballet Raleigh's faculty each summer. ~ Summer is an excellent time to try a new discipline. Dedicated ballet dancers might want to try jazz, modern or tap for a change of pace. Summer classes also allow dancers to accelerate their technical and artistic development.