BALLET CURRICULUM: Class offerings & descriptions

Petite Ballet (Level 1)
Our youngest, beginning dancer learns ballet terminology and body awareness through imaginative play, participating in movement that is guided by the experienced instructor, with an emphasis on ballet classroom etiquette and lessons on following instructions.

Pre-Ballet (Level 2)
Dancers learn basic, elementary ballet movements, as the instructor teaches proper French vocabulary for the skills, defined in traditional order for ballet class. Elements of imaginative play, musical interpretation, as well as classroom discipline and order are incorporated. Class components include building coordination, strength and core muscles.

Ballet Basics (Level 3)
Elements of imaginative play, musical interpretation, and classroom discipline and order are still incorporated while dancers begin to broaden ballet vocabulary. Class components include building strength and core muscles, elementary movements are defined, and flexibility and stretching are taught. Dancers are ready to apply corrections to their dance development, memorizing choreography, and are encouraged to practice outside of class.

Intermediate Ballet (Level 4)
Dancers execute exercises independently, without the help of a demonstrator. They begin to learn barre etiquette with two hands on the barre, and some exercises with just one, which requires more focus, body control, strength, and coordination. Dancers are taught to actively apply corrections to their dance development. They begin learning to independently execute routine exercises. Barre and classroom etiquette is expanded, enforcing customary ballet culture. An emphasis on timing and musicality is stressed during routine barre exercises. Guided note-taking and written skills become an integral part when learning new vocabulary and refining technical skills. There is an emphasis on stretching and increasing core strength at this level.

Pre-Pointe (demi & pointe) (Level 5)
Difficulty of skills and exercises increase, with added vocabulary of new skills and positions of the body. Guided note-taking and written skills are still an integral part when learning new vocabulary and refining technical skills. Dancers learn to describe movement by writing exercises in proper French vocabulary. Emphasis on barre and classroom etiquette is stressed in the maturing dancer. Spatial awareness and relationship to fellow dancers is taught. Dancers are encouraged to relate to their audience and are introduced to concepts furthering performance technique. Petit allegro expands from elementary jumps to include slightly more complex footwork. Pre-Pointe exercises are introduced. Preliminary pointework begins with 15-20 minutes at the barre in newly-awarded shoes, once dancers come of age, prove adequate technical training, and are checked by a podiatrist. Those not en pointe will continue pre-pointe exercises demi-flat.

Beginning Pointe (Level 6)
All dancers are en pointe. They have a broadened ballet vocabulary. Adagio combinations further test balance in skills formerly performed only at the barre. New leaps are incorporated into grande allegro as well as more complex petit allegro sections of class. An emphasis on timing and musicality is stressed during routine barre exercises. Technique at the barre is honed, and center-floor combinations and floor passes become more technical and fast-paced. Spatial awareness is key in dancing with others as well as knowing how to modify for varying amounts of performance space, and some partnering may be introduced. Note-taking of combinations and exercises becomes routine and independent from instructor guidance. Performance technique and polishing become a larger focus. Strengthening and conditioning become a focus in combination with ballet technique. Dancers are expected to independently apply corrections during class time, and stretch at home. A half hour of pointework is given, mostly at the barre. Dancers are carefully instructed and guided through two-handed barre exercises, learning to break in their pointe shoes and further develop muscles to support their body en pointe. Once stability and good-practice of body posture, balancing technique, and safe practice have been instilled, pointe dancers graduate to one-handed exercises. After extensive barre exercises and strengthening, elementary center-floor exercises are taught and repeated to gain confidence and instill good technique.

Performance Pointe (Level 7)
The difficulty of skills greatly increases, as ballet vocabulary further expands. Combinations increase in length and complexity. Variations are taught and expected to be remembered independently. Dancers are encouraged to find their inner creativity in expressive performance. Technical focus turns to pointe exercises, strengthening and further readying the body for pointe work centerfloor. Partnerwork increases, as dancers develop bodily-awareness in relationship to other dancers. While technique is still reinforced en demi-pointe at the barre, center-floor exercises graduate to pointework. Skills formerly executed only en demi-pointe are now executed en pointe. Adagio, petit allegro, across-the-floor combinations, variations, leaps, turns, and grande allegro combinations are given at a higher skill level. Performance technique and methodology is stressed, and personal style, creativity, and solo performances increase. Partnering en pointe occurs.

Adult Ballet
Depending on the desires of any given class, the instructor guides barre and center-floor exercises to teach ballet steps with technique with proper French vocabulary. There is an emphasis on posture, core strength, and proper execution of an elementary to intermediate ballet vocabulary. Whether new to ballet or returning in a different stage of life, adult ballet will provide a mature but low-pressure opportunity to give the body a thorough, structured workout.  

Ballet Technique
For the individual who is wanting to begin dance or return to dance at an older age (tween or teen), but not comfortable taking class with the little kids in primary levels, this introductory ballet class (re)teaches skills at an elementary level, in a more mature context. Technique is taught with a focus on proper execution of basic exercises. The pace of the class progresses quickly, as basics are built upon progressively in a structured curriculum that older minds capture fairly quickly. Once barre and center-floor skills progress in vocabulary and dancers are ready for further complexity, competent dancers can be transferred to a leveled-class that appropriately suits developing capabilities.

Technique & Variations

Advanced dancers (levels 6 and up) are encouraged to take this class which provides a thorough warm-up at the barre, stressing technique, followed by an hour of learning a ballet variation--dance combinations that are excerpts of well-known or classical ballets, such as but not limited to: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Balanchine’s Rubies, Coppelia, Don Quixote, or Giselle. Variations may be learned en pointe, with instructor approval.

​​CONTEMPORARY STYLES: Offerings & descriptions

Modern 1 (offered during Spring Session only)
Begin developing body awareness outside of the ballet bubble; learn how to break your ‘center’ but maintain core strength to control the body. Floorwork teaches connection to the standing elements, partnering and group work. Abstract dance concepts, patterns, and social themes all contribute to the complexity of this style of dance, oftentimes communicating strong social, emotional, or political messages.

Modern 2(offered during Spring Session only)
Modern theory, physics, history, and choreography background are all components studied in this class, along with further exploration of body awareness and connectivity to the body’s core. Learn about how and why modern dance is so impacting, and portray strong messages through varied choreography, pushing the limits of the physical body meeting with emotion. Group work, creativity and exploration, as well as dance theory are large components of this class.

Lyrical 1
Learn to dance with the music to relay a story. Use what is learned in ballet and take it to a different place in portraying a picture through dance movement. Advance stage presence, performance technique, and get in touch with emotions and feelings in your dance.

Lyrical 2
For the intermediate dancer, become one with the music, lyrics, and story that a dance communicates. Use a ballet foundation to center the body as it learns additional moves and steps that flow with the music in a beautiful or in a strange way. You’ll be surprised at what you may create! Advance stage presence, performance technique, and get in touch with emotions and feelings in your dance.

Lyrical 3
Creativity, group work, activities for self-created choreography, and lessons to develop one’s skills as a choreographer are all components of this class. In addition to drills and exercises that warm the body and make it stronger, learn skills that contribute to furthering dance vocabulary Dance in-class choreography weekly, in a variety of styles and to a diversity of song genres, thus diversifying the dancer’s scope and adaptability. Leave sweaty and sore!

TAP: Class offerings & descriptions

Tap 1
Learn basic skills through disciplined class structure, including games and exercises that develop a sense of rhythm, musicality, and promote memorization skills. Develop awareness of the foot, ankle, and leg, as well as promoting eye-hand coordination.

Tap 2
Further develop rhythmic skills through games and exercises, broaden tap vocabulary with time-steps, turns, and backwards movements, and advance eye-hand coordination. Learn to count steps, combine steps to create and recall sequencing, and perform call-and-response type exercises independently.

Tap 3
Continue to develop tap vocabulary, learning new steps. Be able to verbalize and communicate regarding tap steps. Execute known tap steps in longer sequences, interact with other tappers based on keeping track of counts, and perform independently. Gain improvisational skills to self-create sequences that fit without certain counts. Learn to tap at different tempos, keeping a steady rate, and learning to vary tempos, where music guides.

Tap 4
Perform in the context of a broad tap vocabulary at a high-functioning level: capable of varying tempo, memorizing quickly, and quick improvisational skills. Know how to count music and execute tap skills that interact with, complement, or coincide with the song’s underlying rhythms. Be capable of communicating tap choreography with proper vocabulary, and teaching classmates when collaborating on choreography project.

Teen / Adult Tap
For the teen or adult who is wanting to begin in the style of tap, or return to tap at an older age, this introductory tap class (re)teaches skills at an elementary level, in a more mature, but fun context. Technique is taught with a focus on proper execution of basic tap steps, as confidence is gained in the footwork, and new steps are memorized. A fun class to take in order to improve upon rhythmic skills, come to a better understanding of musicality and timing, and use different body parts to execute a fun style of dance!

TRICKS & FLEXIBILITY: Class offerings & descriptions

A class that encourages body awareness and control, balance, flexibility, and strength. Floor-based tricks are learned: rolls, bridges, and stands. These basic skills provide a foundation for future acrobatics, and are integral in learning how to safely perform fun tricks.

Acro Fusion
Once a dancer has a foundation of flexibility, control, strength, and balance, these skills are maintained and further honed in sending tumbling tricks a bit more complex, and in some cases, aerial. Instructor-guided tricks are taught, and group work, lifts, and poses are safely and creatively explored. Discipline, training, and consistency are key in creating a dedicated acro pupil. Dance elements (musicality, timing, grace, and fluidity) are all incorporated in works of choreography
that highlight acrobatic tricks.

Hip Hop
We remain committed to our "ballet-first curriculum" and the technical foundation and structure that our other studio dance forms offer. It is a prerequisite that any dancer enrolling in Hip Hop must also be simultaneously enrolled in another style of studio dance: ballet, tap, jazz, or lyrical. This is to facilitate appropriate studio decorum and facilitate an atmosphere of academia. Our Hip Hop Instructor, Mr. Krisuan, is committed to education of not just the body, but also the mind, with age-appropriate movement and music suitable for the family-atmosphere cultivated at SBDA. (Enroll in a section according to age.)

What are all these dance styles?

* Ballet: the classical core of other dance types... technique, control, core support, turn out, flexibility, timing, classroom decorum, and more!

* Jazz: stylistically influenced by popular culture, rhythmic, tricks and flexibility, and strengthening technique

* Lyrical: contemporary dance expressing movement to music's lyrics (words)

* Modern: expressive, theatrical, and contemporary dance form comprised of oftentimes abstract movement, based on technical and stylistic choreography

* Tumbling: intro to acrobatics with exploratory movement, emphasizing control, and increasing bodily awareness and flexibility, learning rolls, ground-based inversions, and core strength

* Acro Fusion: acrobatic tricks, flexibility, and stylistic flair all compacted into exciting dance form, requiring both control and fluidity

* Tap: rhythmic steps learned in patterns and sequence, primarily focusing on footwork

​* Hip Hop: a class that provides not just energetic dance moves, but the implementation of cultural aspects in Hip Hop such as Art, Music, Voice & Dance that contains multiple styles, but not limited to: Commercial (trendy), Breaking, Popping, Locking, Femme & Steez. Classes work on techniques, routines and cyphers to build self confidence, not just in dance, but in life. Please note that at SBDA, a dancer must fulfill the prerequisite of actively being enrolled in another additional style of studio dance (ballet, jazz... etc.) in order to enroll in hip hop.

We also have many other adult, workout, and fitness classes offered;
check out the list of class descriptions below for more details!

Know that we hold classes as regularly scheduled even on
Monday and Friday/long-weekend legal-observance days/holidays,
in order to give fair offerings to all classes each week.


(Check Portal for message if you can't find in your inbox from Aug. 1st)

NOTE: Those with delinquent/unpaid accounts and those who were not enrolled as of Spring Session
will need to contact studio Bookkeeper Alisa Vass:
( or 408-391-2342) to resolve and enable enrollment privileges. 

SUMMER dance opportunities

are detailed on


Ballet Level Class Attendance Requirements


Shoes, leotards, tights, & accessories are sold at SBDA's studio store.

Reference chart below for full details by level.
* Saturday classes "Nuances de Samedi" *

anycolorleotard& tights

For all ballet levels:

• Hair must be a in a tight, high classical ballet bun
(secure w/ hairspray or gel, no fly-aways or bangs)

• Tights should be clean and without holes
• Ballet shoes: laces should be tucked in/hidden
• Ballet levels 4 and up, uniform leotard required
• Ballet levels 3 and up, including Teen Beginner Technique: skirts are not permitted, black jazz shorts (skin-tight) are acceptable, by instructor approval only

For Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, & Tumbling/Acro:

• Leotard (form-fitting exercise shirt permitted over leotard, by instructor approval) & tights (transition style)

• Jazz shorts or pants (leggings)- ok if skin-tight

• Footwear: (as appropriate by class/style) jazz shoes, Footundeez, lyrical sandals, half-soles, contemporary/modern/turn approved socks--must be approved by instructor

• Hair pulled back and secured out of face (tumbling: braids)

For Tap:

• Appropriate, danceable outfits that won't get in the way or obstruct movement (NO SKIRTS/DRESSES)

• Tap Shoes (mary jane/oxford styles ok. Tap shoes must never be worn outside of studio.)

Workout/Exercise & Adult Classes:
Comfortable exercise-appropriate clothing, preferably form-fitting--

not to impede movement, footwear as per class description. 

Strength & Conditioning/PBT classes: leotard & transition tights/ballet attire required; sneakers & ballet shoes may be worn in addition to bare feet.

Hip Hop: exercise clothing that covers knees, will not flip up, and with hair out of face. Footwear: CLEAN, black-soled shoes to be worn ONLY INSIDE the studio.

For Male Dancers:

• Black or white tights/leggings (may wear spandex-shorts over)  

• White shirt (form-fitting; tee or tank; nothing baggy!)

• Black or white ballet shoes

• Hair off face (gelled/slicked back, headband, bun, ponytail)

Dancer Incentive

If an individual dancer* takes more than 7.5 hours

of dance classes/week, additional classes are free.

*non-pointe dancers. Pointe dancers are free after 9 hours

Family rates for multiple dancers max out at $275, or $320 for pointe dancers


Updated as of 8/4/2022


Ballet, Jazz, Tap & Contemporary Styles

Dance opportunities for all ages!

101 McCray Street, Suite 104 Hollister CA 95023 USA        


Copyright © San Benito Dance Academy  |  All Rights Reserved

The Fall Session 2022  will run August 29-December 15,

with Nutcracker dress rehearsal at Sherwood Hall on Friday, December 16

and shows performed in Salinas on Saturday, December 17 & Sunday, December 18.

Know that we hold classes as regularly scheduled even on Monday and Friday/long weekend legal-observance days/holidays, in order to give fair offerings to all classes each week.
View schedules in various formats below to keep updated on the class offerings & scheduling:

In Your Dance Bag:
- Water bottle, Healthy snacks, $ for snacks
​- Dance shoes
- Sweats, shorts/skirt, warm up clothing, etc.
- Notebook, writing utensil
- Hair/Bun kit (brush/comb, hair pins, hair ties, net, etc.)
- Towel (floor work, sweat, etc.)
- First Aid kit (basics for needs: bandaids, etc.)

- Supplies for Strengthening & Conditioning class (click here)

Stay Connected

JAZZ CURRICULUM: Class offerings & descriptions

Jazz 1
An introduction to Jazz technique (parallel alignment, range of motion in the hips and upper body, and flexibility), strengthening the core, finding control over the body, and learning basic jazz vocabulary, all in a fun and structured context. Flea hop and jazz-walk to age-appropriate tunes for the little ears. Classroom discipline and order, as well as basic steps and foundational jazz technique are taught.

Jazz 2
The jazz vocabulary broadens, as an increasing number of steps are introduced. Musicality and rhythm are key components in dance theory taught in this class. Dancers learn to execute short routines and strengthen memory capabilities without a demonstrator to follow. Conditioning and strengthening are also integral in this dance style, as well as control over the body, and further enhancing their developing skills with increased flexibility.

Jazz 3

Tricks and more advanced steps are introduced at this level, learning more leaps, turns, and floorwork. Rhythm and ability to understand music and interact with it, as well as performance technique, are all stressed at this level. Flexibility and discipline to control the body’s abilities enhance previously-learned steps. Intensive conditioning brings the body to a highly aerobic state, and the body gets a thorough workout that strengthens and prepares the dancer for more complex movement. Dancers are independent and self-execute longer routines, further strengthening memory capabilities.

Jazz 4
The most advanced dancers understand rhythm, timing, and are able to technically control their bodies. Complex exercises become routine, and cardio, strengthening, conditioning are key elements in training. Advanced tricks are taught, technique is polished, elements of performance are honed, and dancers are encouraged to create, improv, or develop choreo of their own.

 (offered based on interest)

An upbeat, cardio workout utilizing jazz skills, isolations, and movement to get a great calorie burn!

Broadway Jazz (offered based on interest)

Broadway Jazz: a more simplified, reduced Jazz-style dance class that is stage/actor-friendly, to gain experience by learning fun choreography to popular musical tunes, learn stage directions and performance technique, and still a great cardio workout!

Broadway Kids (offered based on interest)
No experience is necessary for this class which encourages young performers to learn a general dance vocabulary and improve stage presence. Learning fun, theatrical production-based choreography, participants dance and act to well-known and beloved tunes--from musicals, stage plays, Broadway productions, and occasionally Disney or favorite musical movies. Classroom discipline is taught in a safe, accepting, and fun atmosphere. Gain experience in musicality, acting, learning and recalling choreography, and performing! Great for the young performer who wants to build confidence or needs experience or training before auditioning or acting on stage!

Broadway Teen/Adults
(offered based on interest)
Gain experience in learning a variety of show-themed choreography, hone performance skills, and get in a fun workout with fellow performers! After warming up, learn basic jazz steps that are frequently used on stage. Learn theatrical routines that will make you sweat, and develop or improve performance skills to make your dance more dynamic and entertaining. Great for the teen or adult performer who wants to build confidence or experience and training before auditioning or acting on stage!

WORKOUT/EXERCISE: Class offerings & descriptions
Barre Aerobics (offered based on interest/pending seasonal scheduling)
A cardio workout comprised of repetitive exercises at the barre, burning fat, building muscle, strengthening and conditioning the body using muscles you may not have ever used! Barre aerobics provides a total-body workout: arms, core, and legs. Routines are comprised of ballet-based movements: stretches, kicks, releves, passe, and more, which exercise balance, posture, and more! Follow along with the instructor as you jam to upbeat tunes and get (or keep) in shape!

Mommy & Me Workout*

(offered based on interest/pending seasonal scheduling)
For Mommies with Immobile Babies:

... more of a workout for Mommy! A fun and strengthening workout that will help moms burn calories and sweat, (re)developing and (re)toning muscles… all while spending quality time with your baby (or a friend’s or sister’s… see if you can borrow a baby or toddler and come with a mom-friend!). The possibilities are endless: lifts, squats, lunges, downward dog and other held-poses that interact with your child, or use the child’s body weight for added benefit in the exercise! Jam out with your kiddo, and get pumped while working out, without having to find a sitter or put the child down for a nap!
For Mommies with Mobile Toddlers/Children:

... guided activities and exercises lead exploration and body awareness through play with Mommy! Ball pits, slides and tunnels, basketball, flying airplanes, butterflies, or birds, parachute, obstacle courses, and more, all to learn lessons in taking instructions, following guidelines, body awareness, eye-hand coordination, playing with others, and learning to follow elementary dance-studio etiquette and rules.
* Let us know if you need childcare for older kids while you are in this class.

Click here for more details & info about our Mommy & Me Classes (dress code, exercises, how to be prepared for your first class).

Strengthening & Conditioning / PBT
Click to view the supply list & dress code for this class.
Intermediate and advanced dancers (levels Ballet 5 and up) are encouraged to take this class that further develops and maintains the body’s overall abilities to create a well-rounded dancer, ready for partnering, long classes, extensive rehearsals, or performances that demand longevity in energy levels.

PBT component: SBDA has instructors certified in teaching Progressing Ballet Technique. Equipment such as yoga and pilates balls, resistance bands, blocks, and racquetballs, prime the body with fascia-release, core, and rotator-focused exercises that conditions the body with control & strength specifically over the arms/back and abdominal and hip areas.

Other conditioning in the class is comprised of exercises that put the body into a highly aerobic state: cardio workouts that will make one sweat, repetitious combinations, and strengthening stretching or poses, also involving rollers and resistance bands. Strengthening work includes muscle building and toning specific for the dancer's lengthened muscles. There is jumping, high impact-movement, and lots of sweating. (Everything can be modified to be dancer-specific, or in case of injury/rehab needs.)

* Those with health concerns should speak to the instructor prior to participating, to see if this class is right for them, or if  exercises might be modifiable.