Conservatory Ballet Curriculum

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Curriculum Information

Let’s Do It

The Conservatory Ballet Foundation, a Principal Ballet Company, is the oldest and most reputable dance academy in the Washington, DC, area, offering early childhood, pre-professional, and adult programs. Whether age 1 or 100, there is a place for you here in a challenging yet nurturing environment where students learn to embody the three e’s – excellence, experience and leadership by example.

For more than 47 years, the Conservatory Ballet has helped thousands of students excel in dance and in life, by fostering an environment where they are celebrated and challenged to exceed their personal expectations. Now partnered with Principal Ballet with new vibrant classes and internationally renowned teachers, both Conservatory Ballet and Principal Dance provide our community and students with a rich history, and a bright future.

Dance is revered as both an art as well as a science. All age groups from 18 months to 18 years through adult are exposed to the intellectual, emotional, physical and visual aspects of dance and the mind/body connection. The Conservatory Ballet's classical curriculum is based in the Vaganova method. Students benefit from complete and correct technique, which differentiates them in this crowded industry, along with the passion to pursue their dreams.

Audition for the Conservatory

Join the new studio with a 95-year family history. At the excellence-driven Conservatory Ballet program, students are rewarded daily by their peers and faculty, and recognized semi-annually by the community for their hard work and dedication at the winter Nutcracker and Spring Festival performances and Principal Dance programs throughout the year.


For over 47 years, Conservatory Ballet has been the premiere academy in Northern Virginia for ballet as a discipline, art form, and physical activity for children. Our goal is to develop the individual student to the best of their ability while enhancing their joy in movement.

Our method of instruction begins with the very youngest in developing hand-eye coordination, musicality and early socialization with classmates and teachers. All students are exposed to the intellectual, emotional, physical and visual aspects of dance.

Conservatory Ballet promotes a value system based on work ethic, respect, support, and professionalism which requires a positive attitude and patience to experience results. ​

Lower School Levels

On Your Feet

After auditioning, students are placed in one of the following programs based on their experience and age. 

  • Future Etoiles, Ages 6 and under: These students attend Conservatory classes once a week for 3-4 year olds, and twice a week including Saturday for 5-6 year olds. Future Etoiles are introduced to the curriculum through basic ballet steps, barre work, and lots of fun, creative movement and expression.

  • Jeune Danseurs, Ages 7-11: Jeune Danseurs attend 2-4 classes per week, including Saturday. These students are introduced to the full breadth of ballet training, including character and repertory work, and with a focus on stamina, strength and flexibility. 

Upper School

"Big Kids"

  • Demi Etoiles, Ages 10-13: These students attend the Conservatory 4-6 times per week, including Saturday. Demi Etoiles continue to  refine their mastery of movement, with the introduction of more complex combinations, advance barre work, pre-pointe work, and emphasis on physical and mental coordination.

  • Repertoire, Ages 14-18: Repertoire students attend the Conservatory every day of the week. Classical repertory, variations and character work are expanded. Pas de Deux study includes pirouettes, promenades and strength conditioning in preparation for aerial work such as lifts and throws. Students en pointe study complex combinations, jumps, and strive to attain technical proficiency, elegance of form and beauty of artistry that Vaganova-based students embody

Boys Ballet

Let’s Do It

  • Boys Dance, All Ages: This program emphasizes physical agility, flexibility and strength in a non-competitive environment full of expression, movement and music. Boys are provided with an outlet for their boundless energy and guided towards focus on power and the unique elements of men's ballet: leaps and turns. This class is free for admitted Conservatory boys who participate in one of the previously listed programs.


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