Learning to walk sets you free. Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all: to express your whole self, the person you are.

-Melissa Hayden, Prima Ballerina, New York City Ballet

Dance Lessons for Kids

Ballet Classes Monterey, CA

Ballerina

Why Choose Us for Dance Lessons

1. History of excellence 
For over 60 years, the Carmel Academy of Performing Arts, (formerly the Carmel Ballet Academy,) has been recognized as the premier dance, theatre arts and private music training facility on the Monterey Peninsula.  Joanne Nix, the owner and director of the original Carmel Ballet Academy, concentrated entirely on ballet discipline and performance.  In the 26 years since Carol Richmond purchased the facility, the scope of classes offered has grown to include a complete dance and performing arts curriculum. In order to provide families with exciting and enriching programs for all ages, we continue to expand.

2. Personalized Attention 
Along with excellence in training at all levels at the Academy, many classes at CAPA have teacher training assistants allowing the teacher more flexibility in teaching, whether it be assistant demonstration, freeing the teacher to view the entire class and generally allow each student to be looked after properly.

3. Award winning Competitive Teams 
For over 25 years, TEAM CAPA has been an award winning competitive jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary and lyrical team.  Competition at CAPA is not the total focus for the team member, yet the inspiration given to the TEAM through outside choreographers, travel, team camaraderie and motivation can be an invaluable tool to the dancer, whether they choose to take a professional route or simply enjoy dance during the school years.

4. The ability to get immediate assistance and customer service
In many studios the teacher or the studio owner conducts classes and does the administration.  By trying to do two jobs at once, the class may suffer by the teacher having to use class time for customer service issues, or the studio may have no customer service available if the teacher is in a class. To have a good experience it is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes or schedules, even if a teacher is occupied in a class.  Our studio has office staff available during class times, so you can have immediate assistance for any customer service issues you may have. Our teachers are left free to focus on teaching so the class can always have their undivided attention.

5. No Recital Fee

CAPA doesn't charge a fee to dance in the annual recital/Showcase!  We offer free alterations for all recital costumes.

6. CAPA is a Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Registered School

Carmel Academy of Performing Arts' Classical Ballet Program provides the Royal Academy of Dance comprehensive ballet training from Ballet III/Intermediate Foundation through pre-professional levels.  With a focus on technical and artistic excellence, students in this program take on a grade level every academic year providing continuous ballet training.  CAPA is “an R.A.D. school” meaning the Academy teaches the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) method as the foundation of their Classical Ballet Program.  Taught in 79 countries around the world, the R.A.D. is the world’s leading organization in classical ballet
teaching known for its correct and precise technique providing for a safe, age-appropriate, and thorough foundation training in classical ballet.  (For more information about the R.A.D., please visit www.radusa.org)

Select students prepare for and participate in internationally recognized R.A.D. exams, which take place in March/April each year.  Exams are intended to help encourage dancers to achieve the goal of mastering their particular level of study elevating the dancer with measurable progress and “graduating” them to the next level. In 2016, CAPA held its first onsite exams and 25 students entered for RAD examinations.  Students in the Ballet program also participate in our annual Showcase recital. Select dancers in the program also have the option to perform at competitions or other community events, such as Youth America Grand Prix. 

See all RAD class outlines under the "BALLET" tab below.

Royal Academy of Dance 

Awards Earned


Gaining the Intermediate Certificate will now allow these students upon their 18th birthday, to enroll on the two year Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Certificate Program should they choose to pursue a career in the teaching of Classical ballet.



Some of these students also gained their Advanced Foundation examination. It is extremely rare for students to enter for two examinations in the same session and here at CAPA we are extremely proud of their commitment and the dedication they have shown to achieve these results.

We are extremely proud of these young ladies for their hard work and dedication to ballet!

Carmel Academy of Performing Arts is proud to announce an association with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).  RAD is an internationally recognized and accredited system of training in Classical Ballet.

The training of students at the Ballet III, IV and V levels will incorporate the RAD syllabi.  Students who we feel are suitably prepared, will have the option of taking an examination in their class level. (More information available from CAPA office). 

Two of CAPA's Classical Ballet instructors, Sandra Burnham and Philip Pegler, are registered teachers of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and this enables the school to offer this prestigious program to students in the three highest levels.

Tot Ballet and Tot Ballet/Tap
3-4 years old
45 minutes

Our young ballet student is introduced in these classes to the joy of dance and movement through age appropriate stretching to begin class, introduction to French ballet terms and creative expression through dance/storytelling and tempo, shapes and speed of movement.  If a Ballet/Tap class, then approximately a third of each class is an introduction to Tap dance including basic rhythm patterns. 

Creative Ballet and Creative Ballet/Tap
4-5 years old
45 minutes

This class explores both creative and physical expression, as well as introduction to ballet.  The student gains awareness of music, rhythm and movement. Activities are designed to develop strength, coordination and creative thinking.  If class is a Ballet/Tap class, then approximately a third of each class is an introduction to Tap dance; highlighting patterns, sounds and terminology. 

Intro to Ballet and Intro to Ballet/Tap
5-7 years old
45 minutes

The warm up period of class encourages socially appropriate behavior in a structured environment.  There is an emphasis on the growing knowledge of French terms for ballet. Gross motor skills that challenge both left and right movement are encouraged. If a Ballet/Tap class, then approximately a third of each class is Tap work introducing shuffle, flaps and rhythmic marching.  Many students are ready to begin work at the ballet barre by the end of the school year. 

Ballet I
7-9 years old
1 hour

This class emphasizes the development of classical ballet skills with a focus on proper placement and posture, alignment and coordination of port de bras with leg and footwork.  Flash cards are incorporated into the classroom to assure proper learning techniques for movements and French ballet terms.  Since ballet vocabulary is used in all dance forms, it is highly recommended that all youth division students take a ballet techniques class in addition to another dance discipline. 

Ballet II
8-13 year olds and up
1 hour

In these levels, the student uses the barre for tradition ballet technique both facing the barre and with one hand on the barre to begin the understanding of arms coordinating with leg movement.  Turns across the floor are introduced as well as small combinations of steps to encourage memory and retention.

Grade 4 RAD
By Placement
1 hour

The philosophy of Grades 4-5 is to provide teachers and students with an examination syllabus that encourages the development of sound technique, relevant for the ballet world of today. Through the elements of assessment, the syllabus identifies the skills that underpin secure technique, including core stability, weight placement, turnout, and line, while continuing to recognize and reward the candidates’ awareness of artistry and dynamics.  Musically inspired exercises and dances motivate the students preparing for these examinations, class awards and solo performance awards to acquire a well-rounded understanding of ballet, and will promote joy in movement, creative interpretation, and performance.

Intermediate Foundation
By Placement
1 hour 

The underlying philosophy of these levels expands upon embodied knowledge and understanding of ballet technique nurtured in the graded syllabus. The syllabus challenges and inspires students technically, artistically, musically and creatively with exercises that encourage critical thinking and physical fitness while also developing a sense of theatre, movement dynamics and musical interpretation.

Intermediate
By Placement
1 hour

Advanced I
By Placement
1 hour

The underlying philosophy of these levels expands upon embodied knowledge and understanding of ballet technique nurtured in the Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate syllabi. Students are challenged and inspired technically, artistically, musically and creatively with exercises that encourage critical thinking and physical fitness while also developing an advanced sense of theatre, movement dynamics and musical interpretation.

Ballet III
By placement
1.5 hours

This is the first level of ballet that has a one and one half hour time period.  The student is encouraged to warm up before the class begins to foster responsibility for the instrument of dance, the body.  A comprehensive barre makes up at least half of each session.  The introduction of steps that are more difficult, terms and combinations make for a challenge to the Ballet III student.  Head and arm movements are coordinated and synchronized.  

Pre Pointe/Intro to Pointe
By Placement
1 hours

Pointe Technique is for the student with consistent ballet training in technique.  Discussion continues on purchasing and proper sewing of shoes, strengthening of the ankles, feet and toes.  These concepts and exercises are basics needed to perform pointe work such as reeves, balances and turns.

Solos & Repertoire
By Placement
1 hour

For the more advanced students (Ballet IV and Ballet V), dancers may be considered for Pas de Deux class where they study both fundamental Classical Ballet partnering techniques and also have the opportunity to learn Pas de Deux repertoire from some of the great Classical Ballets.


For more info on the Royal Academy of Dance, please visit:
www.radusa.org

Intro to Jazz/Hip Hop
5-7 years old
1 hour

The warm up period of class encourages socially appropriate behavior in a structured environment.  Gross motor skills  challenge both left and right movement are encouraged.  Age appropriate jazz dance techniques are introduced.  Hip hop is fun and encourages individuality of movement!

Jazz I
7-9 years old
1 hour

For the beginning student these classes will cover basic jazz dance techniques, terminology and movement quality.  The positions of the feet and simple jazz dance combinations are introduced.  Students are given time for creative expression in addition to structured activity.

Jazz II and Jazz II-B
9-14 years old and up
1 hour 

Jazz II classes include basic jazz dance technique, terminology and movement quality.  Instructors will focus on teaching basic body isolations of the head, shoulders, ribcage, hips, feet and arms. Jazz style will be layered over the traditional technique of ballet.  As students develop and become ready for a more comprehensive class, they are promoted to Jazz II-B.

Jazz III
By placement
1 hour

Jazz III is an intermediate level jazz class for students who have progressed through Jazz II and Jazz II-B or have other comparable technical training.  Continuation of jazz fundamentals and pattern building skills are taught.  Students learn increasingly difficult combinations.  Students will learn about the history of jazz dance and movement that is in pace with today but rooted in the traditions of yesteryear. 

Jazz IV
By placement
1 hour

Jazz IV is an upper-intermediate jazz class for students as per teacher placement.  More complex jazz skills, patterns, and memorization of choreography are the focus of this class.  Students are able to retain corrections and critique personal and group issues.  Performance quality dance technique and expression are emphasized. 

Jazz V
By placement
1 hour

Jazz V is an advanced jazz class for students as per teacher placement.  Students work on a variety of jazz styles, rhythmic awareness, individual expression and the use of the body as a rhythmic percussive instrument.  Immediate retention of choreography and artistic expression are the focus of this class.

Lyrical II
9-14 years old
1 hour

Lyrical combines techniques and skills from ballet, jazz and modern.  Students will also explore how lyrical dance emphasizes interpretation of music lyrics to tell a story with movement that can be fluid or abstract.  Students move to Lyrical II-B as a bridge toward Lyrical III.

Lyrical II-B, Lyrical III, Lyrical IV and Lyrical  V
By placement
1 hour

Students grow in these levels adding unique brands of musicality and expressiveness and learn not only what has influenced their own creativity, but what has influenced many future teachers and choreographers.

Modern III & Up
By placement
1 hour

Centers on a dancer's own interpretations instead of structured steps, as in traditional ballet dancing.  A modern dancer rejects the classical ballet stance of an upright, erect body, often opting instead for deliberate falls to the floor.

Contemporary IV & V
By placement
1 hour

Contemporary dance borrows from classicalmodern, and jazz styles, and incorporates elements from many styles of dance.  Due to its popularity, CAPA only offers this level to the trained dancer. 

Tot Ballet/Tap
3-4 years old
45 minutes

Our young ballet student is introduced in these classes to the joy of dance and movement through age appropriate stretching to begin class, introduction to French ballet terms and creative expression through dance/storytelling and tempo, shapes and speed of movement.  If a Ballet/Tap class, then approximately a third of each class is an introduction to Tap dance including basic rhythm patterns.

Creative Ballet/Tap
4-5 years old
45 minutes

This class explores both creative and physical expression, as well as introduction to ballet.  The student gains awareness of music, rhythm and movement.  Activities are designed to develop strength, coordination and creative thinking. If class is a Ballet/Tap class, then approximately a third of each class is an introduction to Tap dance highlighting patterns, sounds and terminology.

Intro to Ballet/Tap
5-7 years old
45 minutes

The warm up period of class encourages socially appropriate behavior in a structured environment.  There is an emphasis on the growing knowledge of French terms for ballet.  Gross motor skills that challenge both left and right movement are encouraged.  If a Ballet/Tap class, then approximately a third of each class is Tap work introducing shuffle, flaps and rhythmic marching.  Many students are ready to begin work at the ballet barre by the end of the school year.

Tap I
7-9 years old
1 hour

This class teaches basic tap dance steps at the introductory level for young students.  The positions of the feet, simple tap combinations and terminology are introduced.  Students are given time for creative expression in addition to structured activity.

New to CAPA for our Saturday dancers!
Beginning Tap I/II ages 7 years old & up
1 hour

This class teaches basic and fundamental tap dance steps at the introductory level for young students.  The positions of the feet, simple tap combinations and terminology are introduced.  Students are given time for creative expression in addition to structured activity.

Tap II
9-14 years old & up
1 hour

This class continues to teach students the fundamentals of tap dance steps and terminology.  The importance of choreographic styling and performance quality concepts are introduced.

Intermediate Tap
9-14 years old & up
1 hour

This class continues to teach students the fundamentals of tap dance steps and terminology.  The importance of choreographic styling and performance quality concepts are introduced.  This one hour class is designed to focus on intermediate percussive footwork.  Students will progress into increasingly more complex rhythmic patterns, routines and develop synchronization techniques.

Advanced Tap
By placement
1 hour

This one hour class is designed to focus on advanced percussive footwork.  Students will progress into increasingly more complex rhythmic patterns, routines and develop synchronization techniques.

Hip Hop evolved from street dance of the 1970’s to a technical aspect.  It is characterized as hard-hitting; involving flexibility and isolations, moving a specific body part independently from others.  The feet are grounded, the chest is down, the posture is hunched and the body is kept loose, so that dancers can easily alternate between hitting the beat or moving through the beat.  Like African dance, new style hip-hop is very rhythmic and involves a lot of footwork and radial movement.  In addition, emphasis is placed on musicality- how sensitive your movements are to the music- and being able to freestyle (improvise).

Intro to Jazz/Hip Hop
5-7 years old
1 hour

The warm up period of class encourages socially appropriate behavior in a structured environment.  Gross motor skills challenging both left and right movement are encouraged.  Age appropriate jazz dance techniques are introduced.  Hip hop is fun and encourages individuality of movement!

Hip Hop I
7-9 years old
1 hour

Both boys and girls who want to learn the latest urban dance steps that are influenced by some of today’s hottest video choreographers presented in an age appropriate level enjoy this high energy dance class.  Beginning with a warm up, hip hop and simple dance combinations are introduced.  Students are given time for creative expression in addition to structured activity.

Hip Hop II
9-14 years old
1 hour

No previous dance experience is necessary to joining Hip Hop II.  It is an energetic way to learn new hip moves and have fun at the same time.  At this level students continue to learn the style and feel of hip hop dance.  Each class period includes a quick warm up and then moves into combinations of dance movement.  Students are taught to remember basic steps up to full 16-8 count combinations.  Students are continuing to understand the style of hip hop dance.  Some main objectives for this class are for the students to break away from any shyness and to have fun while continuing to learn and improve! 

Advanced Hip Hop
By placement
1 hour

This an advanced class for teens and adults with substantial previous hip hop dance experience.  Choreography is fun and challenging and the emphasis is on complex combinations and mastering dance as an art form.  Students are able to understand, retain and dance new choreography of varying styles with ease. 

Intro to Tumbling
5-7 years old
45 minutes

Tumbling involves the performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, power, agility, coordination, grace, balance and control.  Intro to tumbling is key to a strong technical base to grow in the safety of a knowledgeable instructor.

Tumbling I/II
7-14 years old
1 hour

This class will focus on round-offs, back tucks and many other higher level tumbling skills.  This class also reviews skills such as cartwheels, back walkover and front walkovers.  Stamina, power and strength are vital components for this group.  Limbering skills are vital while helping the student get stronger and prepare for more challenging skills. 

Tumbling III/IV
By placement
1 hour

Dance students at advanced levels will benefit from Tumbling to improve their current dance performance and take skills to a higher level.  Stand out stage presence and extensive “tricks” used in advanced choreography are taught at this level.  Our goal at each level is for our students to develop confidence and trust in themselves so they can achieve their goals while loving and enjoying the sport of tumbling.

Adult Classes

CAPA currently offers Beginning/Intermediate Adult Ballet (1.5 hours), Intermediate Adult Ballet (1.5 hours) and Mat Pilates (1 hour)

Team CAPA

Our highly awarded elite dance team has four levels of age appropriate teams.  Mini, Junior, Teen and Senior compete in the Northern California area four times a year.  We are consistently recognized with Platinum and Gold ratings as well as top awards for choreography and top studio dancers!  Please call the front desk with questions.  Ongoing entry potential throughout the year.

Mommy & Me
18-36 months w/ parent or guardian
45 minutes

Teaches basic beginning Ballet and Tap movements .  Geared toward the 18-36 month age that wants to dance with Mommy in the class and who are already movin’ and boppin’ to the beat!  This dance class helps develop your child's motor skills and enhances creativity through imaginative play, and story-telling through movement...until they’re ready to be on their own!  

Stretch & Strengthening
Levels III & up
1 hour

Stretch and strengthening is designed to build stamina and condition the body for difficult tricks and aerobic requirements needed for advanced dancing. Major focus on appropriate alignment and core strength.  Laurel’s degree is in kinesiology and she has a wealth of information to help the dancer stay healthy and injury free. 

Musical Theatre I/II
7-14 years old
1 hour

Introduction to the incredible word of Musical Theatre.  Sing and dance your way thru the show tunes and dance steps that make the world of Broadway the best place to be!

Musical Theatre III and Up
By placement
1 hour

A fun class for all!  Students learn basic theatrical, vocal and dance skills through skits, songs, scripts and games taught by a professional actor currently working in theatre.  Dance styles of Fosse and Robbins will be introduced along with strong acting skills and improvisation.  

Why Dance?

For you, it may seem like your two year old child is too young to be starting dance lessons.  After all, it wasn’t so long ago he or she was just learning to walk. We’ll bet they haven’t stopped moving since those first steps and you are looking for a fun, creative and positive form to channel that never ending energy!  For your child, dance lessons are a way to have fun while learning to move in exciting new ways.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddler dance classes are a great way to develop strong, flexible, healthy muscles, not to mention complex motor skills and essential social competencies like listening, cooperation with others, and increased self-confidence. Our teachers are there to create a fun and safe atmosphere for your child to learn and grow!

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