Uptown Academy of Classical Ballet

We are proud to announce our acceptance into the Society of Classical Ballet and the launch of our formal ballet program—Uptown Academy of Classical Ballet.


What is Uptown Academy of Classical Ballet?

Uptown Academy of Classical Ballet is a ballet training and educational program for ballerinas ages 5+. Admitted students will study and practice the Vaganova Method and take annual formal exams.


What is the Vaganova Method?


“Prior to her death in 1957, Russian ballet instructor, Agrippina Vaganova, made seminal worldwide contributions to the theory and practice of contemporary ballet training. By blending the best elements of the old imperial Russian style with more athletic movement, she developed what is now known as the Vaganova Method or System.


Her method did not isolate the body into separate parts, but viewed it as an integrated system. Students received precise corrections based upon anatomical knowledge.


Hallmarks of the Vaganova Method is renown for its expressive fluidity of the arms in coordination with the upper body. Movement originates “from the body” rather than the appendages. Precision and breadth of movement, particularly in allegro work, are visible characteristics of the Vaganova trained dancer.”


What are Ballet Exams?


In affiliation with The Society of Classical Ballet (Vaganova Method), students will study a designated syllabus [based on their level] consisting of a series of set exercises.


Ballet exams are a test of students’ learning and application of the material they have been studying throughout the year. Examiners from The Society of Classical Ballet (Vaganova Method) will evaluate students during a formal exam [which is a class comprised of the exercises that have been studied; led by their ballet teacher]. Successful candidates receive a certificate, which includes their mark, and from Levels Primary through Four a medal of achievement. From Level Five onward successful students may purchase their medal of achievement.


Examination Categories


Levels Primary to Four

Levels Primary to Four introduces the beginner to the joy of dance. The fundamental principles of ballet technique are established in these important years. Musical comprehension, mime and improvisation are vital components in the development of movement and expression in the young student.

These levels are open to students from five to 14 years of age. This broad age range welcomes the late-starter to ballet and the examination process. Vocabulary specifically for male students is introduced. The set exercises in these levels are readily achievable for the average child.

Levels Five to Eight

Levels Five to Eight, for students aged nine to 18 years of age, expands on the basic fundamentals of the lower levels. Students are challenged by the introduction of more complex adage, allegro, turning movements and work specifically for male students in preparation for advancement to the major levels. Again the broad age range welcomes students of varied experiences to the exam process.

Major Levels – Pre-Elementary to Pre-Professional

These levels are for the serious dance student, who is potentially career oriented. These examinations are available to students aged 13 years and over. The major levels focus on the development of performing artistry and virtuosity. Two hallmarks of the Vaganova method, expressive coordination of port de bras and powerful allegro are emphasized. Extensive pointe work for female and virtuoso allegro movements for male students are included.



Society of Classical Ballet. “Agrippina Vaganova & the Vaganova Method - Scbvm.org.” Agrippina Vaganova & The Vaganova Method, 1980, https://scbvm.org/agrippina-vaganova-the-vaganova-method/.