Adult Beginner Ballet Syllabus




Location: MCC

Instructor: Liane Fisher, M.A.

E-Mail Address: [email protected]


Required materials: 

pink leather or canvas ballet slippers (no isotoners!) 

Hair must be secured in bun or ponytail off face.  

Students should wear comfortable stretchy clothing as if for yoga class.   Acceptable clothing:  leotard with ballet tights or yoga pants and a form  fitting T-shirt.  Please no baggy clothing (sweats, baggy t-shirts)

Course Description:

This course offers training in the basic skills of ballet technique with emphasis on proper placement and alignment. 

Intended Learning Outcome:

Students will demonstrate knowledge of the theory of ballet technique covering the following topics: 

THEORY:Articulation of the feet; 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions of the feet, 

positions of the arms: 1st, 2nd, and 5th; demi-plies in 1st 2nd and 3rd; grands plies, tendus devant and a la seconde and derriere; divided dégagés, divided grands battements,  en croix, cou de pied, retiré, ronds de jambe, frappé, fondu, cambré, sous-sus, positions of the head: inclined, erect, turned;  intro to spotting, 1st and 3rd port de bras; 1st arabesque and Cecchetti 3rd arabesque; temps liés, sautés and echappés sautés; polonaise; chassé, balancé, mazurka, glissade, pas de bourée, assemblé, jetés ordinaires, intro to grands jetés, intro to pirouette, echappés relevés, petits battements

Students will be able to physically demonstrate the correct classical technique and dynamics of steps covered in this course to the best of their ability as a beginner.

Course Objectives:

1:  To physically be able to correctly perform the steps covered in this course as appropriate  for a beginner level.

2:   To begin to develop the ability to assess own and others’ technique in the execution of  particular steps and to then to implement the necessary corrections.

3: To identify ballet steps using the correct French terms see GLOSSARY here!

4: To have fun!

COURSE OUTLINE:   (NB:  schedule may be adjusted depending on class ability)

Lesson                                                    Topics Introduced

Week 1  
Posture and alignment:  “Center” and “Pull-up”:  what does it mean? 

discuss turn-out

Discuss: quality of movement in demi-plié and use of turn out; turn out exercise

1st  and 2nd positions of the feet; 

1st, 2nd, and 5th position of the arms

Discuss: use of the foot and parts of the foot and articulation of foot through tendu; 

press 4th toe into floor to lift arches; foot exercise


point and stretch feet




demi pliés in 1st and 2nd, 

 tendus a la seconde, 

 dégagés a la seconde, 

grands battements a la seconde (1 ct up, 2 counts to come down to tendu, close on 4)

SLOW relevés through 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 pointe,


Adagio: tendu, releve lent a la seconde (8cts) and releve 1st balance (8cts) other side

triplet walk


 divided relevés and sautés

Cecchetti 1st port de bras Discuss:  coordination of head and arms in port de bras


Week 2

review of topics introduced in lesson one

addition of:  

discuss articulation of the foot through cou de pied and retiré

add exercise in preparation for fondus

introduce exercise in preparation for developpés

cambré forward. 


 Positions of the head

Discuss:  neck and head, use of head in spotting; 

introduction to spotting

introduction to balancés

classical walks

Week 3
Continued practice of all learned previously

Addition of:  

  3rd position of the feet

demi pliés in 3rd

 Discuss:  Use of turn-out in tendu devant           

tendu devant

 dégagé devant and side

 grand battement devant (back to the barre, two hands holding barre)

introduction to demi ronde de jambe (through devant and to a la second only)

Cambré side (keeping hand over head in 5th and not distorting position)


 echappé sauté at barre           

Cecchetti 3rd port de bras (same as Vaganova 1st basically)
Adagio:  add releve lent devant

Week 4
Continued practice of all learned previously

 Addition of:

Discuss:  Use of turn-out in tendu derriere

Addition of:

 tendu derriere

dégagé derriere

grand battement derriere

add ronde de jambe through derriere position

introduction to fondu all directions (a terre)

developpé all directions a terre

in center:


Adagio- releve lent in all directions

intro to grands jetés (divided):


Week 5
Continued practice of all learned previously


relevé passé (at barre)

introduce cambré back

introduce changements at barre

transfer of weight- temps lié


polonnaise (add brush to down-up-ups)

Week 6

Continued practice of all learned previously

Addition of: 

tendus from 3rd; introduce en croix

jetés ordinaires at barre

tendus a la seconde travelling in center 

mazurka across floor

intro to chainee turns

intro to pas de bouree

introduction to pirouette (1/4)

Week 7

Review of everything learned previously