The first levels of the ballet program begin an earnest study of classical ballet. Barre work is introduced with a strong focus on individual turnout, foot development and port de bra. As dancers progress into the intermediate levels, the faculty carefully evaluates each student's progress and potential for pointe work while continuing to nurture the desire to dance. The Pre-Professional Program begins advanced ballet technique and pointe.
This is a primary course which allows 5-7 year-olds the opportunity to progress into any form of dance. Rudimentary ballet positions, as well as basic ballet vocabulary are taught along with floor exercises, simple steps and correct posture. A greater emphasis on musicality and rhythm is encouraged.
Introduction to Ballet
This class is for students ages 6-8 and begins a wider study of ballet vocabulary with a greater focus on correct posture and placement. The importance of concentration, self-control, and discipline are emphasized and necessary for the progression to Ballet I. Basic steps are performed in the center, across the floor, and in simple pathways.
Ballet Conservatory Classes
Ballet Level I of the ballet program begins an earnest study of classical ballet. Barre work is introduced with a strong focus on individual progress, foot development and port de bra. As dancers progress into the intermediate levels, the faculty carefully evaluates each student's progress and potential for pointe work while continuing to nurture the desire to dance. The Pre-Professional Program begins in the upper levels and incorporates advanced ballet technique and pointe. Admission is by teacher evaluation and audition only. This program consists of our most challenging and demanding schedule and provides additional performance opportunities for dancers, along with private coaching and extra classes if desired.
Ballet Conservatory Ensemble
This class is designed to expand students' repertoire while improving technique and developing artistry. Dancers will learn challenging variations and ensemble sections from classical ballets such as Paquita and Sleeping Beauty and will work on original choreography with appropriate. There will be a studio showing each trimester to showcase their efforts and put performance skills into practice. Conservatory Ensemble is offered to Ballet levels II-VI.
Standard Ballet Classes
The Standard Track is designed to train and educate students in classical ballet so they may use this knowledge to enhance other disciplines and prepare to enter competitive college dance programs, if desired. Pointe is not offered on this track, allowing for fewer requirements and greater flexibility of schedules. Students will be evaluated for placement in the level to assure continued development and success. Ballet levels A and B meet once a week for 60 minutes. Ballet B has the option of twice per week by participating in Ballet A as well. Levels C, D and E meet for 90 minutes twice a week.Teacher evaluation is necessary for proper placement.
The three-level Recreation Ballet Program is comprised of once-a-week classes to meet the needs of older students with no prior experience who wish to explore the discipline of classical ballet, dancers with some experience who want to continue study for enjoyment, and advanced dancers with limited time in the schedules. All Recreational Levels present a studio demonstration for parents in lieu of Spring Concert.
Character Dance is offered to ballet students of all tracks and levels as a supplement to students' classical ballet training. The class enhances dancers' knowledge of the classics and improves musicality, coordination, use of the upper body and stage presence. A subdivision of classical dance, character dance is the stylized representation of traditional folk or national dances, mostly from European countries, and uses movements which have been adapted for the theater. Character dance is integral to many classical ballets, including Swan Lake and Paquita. Popular character dance adaptations that are seen in these ballets, such as mazurka and tarantella, are introduced.
This is an introductory-level class for boys ages 10 and up. Class focuses on alignment, turnout, flexibility, strength, coordination, turns, and jumps and utilizes traditional vocabulary. The class consists of warm-up barre work and basic movements in the center.
FSPA Ballet Director
Cheryl Madeux received her training at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts under the direction of Sharon Dante and Donna Bonasera. Ms. Madeux has enjoyed a long professional career, dancing with such venerable companies as the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, and as principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet. Ms. Madeux has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe, worked with leading choreographers including Gerald Arpino, Kirk Peterson and Twyla Tharp, and been coached by such ballet luminaries as Igor Youskevitch and Eleanor D’Antuono. Her extensive classical repertoire includes all the full-length classical productions as well as principal roles in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppelia, The Firebird, Balanchine’s Serenade, Spectra de La Rose
and much more. Among her accomplishments, Ms. Madeux was awarded first place in the National Society of Arts and Letters Ballet Competition at age 15, was a finalist in the Third Paris International Ballet Competition and the Prix de Lausanne, and was awarded a Level 1 Presidential Scholar in Dance. Many of Ms. Madeux’s FSPA Ballet Conservatory students have been accepted to some of the most prestigious summer programs available and a select few recently participated and advanced to the finals of the Youth America Grand Prix in NY. Ms. Madeux is also a summer faculty member for the ABT® Young Dancers Program in NY and an examiner for the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She was recently a guest judge and teacher for the IV Connecticut Classic Ballet Competition. Ms. Madeux joined the FSPA Dance Faculty in 2002.
Instructor of Ballet, Jazz and Boys' Dance
Clyde Nantais joined the FSPA Dance Faculty in 1992. He holds a BFA from Boston Conservatory and a Master of Education from Temple University. He has performed leading roles in Equity Summer Stock and dinner theater productions. Mr. Nantais danced with Boston Ballet for seven years before teaching in its school for 17 years. He also was the principal ballet teacher at the National Institute of the Arts in Taipei. He has served as Ballet Master for the Boston Conservatory Dance Theater, the Berkshire Ballet and the Pioneer Valley Ballet. As choreographer, he has staged over 50 original works for more than 40 companies and schools worldwide. Mr. Nantais is the Executive Director of the Boston Dance Company Studios and Associate Director of the Boston Dance Company. He also teaches Advanced Ballet for Musical Theater students at The Boston Conservatory and is on the faculty of the Boston Ballet and Charlotte Klein Dance Centers.
Instructor of Ballet
Jennifer Markham received her early training from Judi Drozd at Terpsichore Dance Center and with Madeline Cantarella Culpo, Deirdre Duffin Swindlehurst and Nancy Ropelewski King at the Cantarella School of Dance/School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet. She danced with the Albany Berkshire Ballet and toured throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania. Miss Markham has appeared in A Dancer’s Christmas
with the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble and has performed with CreationDance and Margot Parsons Dance Company. With Margot Parsons, she was privileged to have new works created for her using both live and recorded music, in classical and contemporary forms. Ms. Markham holds a BA in Political Science and History, with a minor in Women’s Studies, from Emmanuel College and an MS in Arts Administration from Boston University. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. On the FSPA Dance Faculty since 2012, Ms. Markham also teaches at the Boston Ballet School and South Shore Ballet Theatre.
Instructor of Ballet
Rilla Tolmie began her dance training at the age of seven with Teresa Sheridan Dubois. After studying acting at BU’s School of Fine Arts under Samuel Hirsch and William Lacey, she continued her ballet training at Boston Ballet with Virginia Williams, Ballet Rusee Prima Ballerina Madame Ana Roje, Lithuanian ballerina Tatiana Babushkina and Meicyslaw Morawski of the Kirov Ballet. Having joined FSPA’s Dance Faculty in 1992, her teaching experience also includes Green Meadows School, Needham Arts Center, Mary French Dance Studio in Wellesley Hills and Backstage Dance Center in Ashland. Ms. Tolmie currently serves as Ballet Mistress at the Capachione School of Performing Arts in East Bridgewater. She began choreographing for the Franklin Performing Arts Company in 1996 and also danced the role of “Frau Silberhaus” for the Company’s production of The Nutcracker
Marina Van Winkle
Instructor of Ballet
Ms. Van Winkle, originally from Russia, danced with the Kiev State Dance Classical Ensemble, appearing in both principal classical and character roles. She has taught ballet for the Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater and the Acton School of Ballet, with many of her students accepted to top ballet schools. With a master’s degree in Education from Kiev State University and a master’s degree in Health Education from Middlesex Community College, Ms. Van Winkle is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy focusing on Sports and Dance Medicine at the University of Rhode Island.