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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. 

Introduction to Ballet, Ballet I, and II

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 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

Ballet Conservatory 

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.

MORE INFORMATION on our Ballet Franklin Website!

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 90 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.

Recreational Classes

The 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

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.

Boys' Ballet

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.

Related Faculty

Cheryl Madeux

Conservatory Ballet Director, Instructor of Ballet/Pointe/Variations - Children's Program and Pre-Professional Program

memberphoto Cheryl Madeux, a Connecticut native, received her training at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts under the direction of Sharon Dante and Donna Bonasera. She has enjoyed a long professional career, dancing with such venerable companies as the Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet under the direction of Kirk Peterson. Madeux performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe and has 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. It also includes works by choreographers such as Gerald Arpino, Kirk Peterson, George Balanchine, Michel Fokine, Anthony Tudor, Martha Graham, Margo Sappington, and others. Among her early accomplishments, Madeux was awarded first place in the National Society of Arts and Letters Ballet Competition at the age of 15, as well as a finalist at the III International Ballet Competition in Paris and the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. She was later recognized by the White House Commissions Program for excellence in academics and dance and was awarded a Level One Presidential Scholar in the Arts. As an educator, Madeux has been a guest teacher and coach for many ballet institutions across New England. In 2005, she became ballet director at Franklin School for the Performing Arts and assisted in developing their conservatory ballet program, as well as choreographing and directing their full-length ballet productions. In 2009, she successfully completed her certification in the ABT National Training Curriculum for Primary through Level 7 & Partnering and was later appointed to the prestigious Board of Examiners for the curriculum. In addition, she became a summer faculty member for the ABT Young Dancer Program and ABT summer intensives, as well as an assistant instructor for the NTC teacher certifications. Madeux was a guest judge for the Connecticut Classic Ballet Competition in 2014 and 2019, an adjunct professor for ballet and pointe at Dean College and successfully coached dancers from FSPA to the YAGP finals in NY. Madeux resides in Wrentham, MA with her husband and two children.  

Dara Nicole Capley

Instructor of Ballet

Dara Nicole Capley is a dancer, choreographer and teacher based out of Boston, Massachusetts. She is originally from Florida, where she received early training with Gloria Gaither before moving on to train under Peter Stark and Ivonne Lemus at Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory. After her training Dara found freelance work for a year with Brandon Ballet and The Sarasota Opera, and then danced for Nashville Ballet’s second company for two years before joining Festival Ballet Providence, under the direction of Mihailo Djuric. In her time with Festival Ballet Providence Dara has performed works by Yury Yanowsky, Mary Ellen Beaudreau, Christopher Huggins, George Balanchine, José Limón, and many others. Dara has also originated soloist roles for both Viktor Plotnikov and Ty Parmenter. Dara choreographed her first piece ‘Vivisection’ for the Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project in the spring of 2019 and received multiple choreographic commissions as a result. One of which, was a commission for Festival Ballet Providence’s 2020 spring season, this work has yet to premiere due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the summer of 2020, Dara was chosen as one of Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s emerging choreographers, a work she created virtually from Rhode Island while in quarantine. In the spring of 2021, Festival Ballet Providence’s School commissioned a piece from Dara to be used to compete in the ensemble category in the Boston regionals of Youth America Grand Prix. The piece, entitled ‘The Yawn’ placed in the top twelve ensembles, and was invited to compete at YAGP finals. Currently, Dara works as a freelance dancer and choreographer for projects in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and many more. This is Dara’s first year teaching for Franklin School of the Performing Arts and she is thrilled to be joining the faculty of such a great school for so many different artistic disciplines.

Victoria Collins

Instructor of Ballet/Pointe - Children's Program

Victoria Collins, a former FSPA Ballet Conservatory student, has been featured in the Franklin Performing Arts Company's production of The Nutcracker as Clara. Other ballet credits include Cinderella, Coppelia, and other repertoire concerts. After her time at FSPA, she continued her studies at Dean College in Franklin. At Dean, she had the opportunity to continue learning from Cheryl Madeux and other credentialed faculty such as Marc Arensten (Dean of the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance), Jill Silverman, Roshni Pecora, Kimberly Calore-Sedlak, Dina Ternullo Melly, and Todd Shanks. Her knowledge of dance expanded after newly receiving her ABT certification in pre-primary-Level 3 and she plans to continue her certification in the other levels in the future. Victoria is glad to be a new addition to FSPA faculty that she has long admired.   

Clyde Nantais

Instructor of Ballet/Pointe - Pre-Professional Program

Clyde Nantais joined the FSPA Dance Faculty in 1992. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts 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 was the principal ballet teacher at the National Institute of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan. 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 was also the Executive Director of the Boston Dance Company Studios and Associate Director of the Boston Dance Company. He recently retired from teaching Ballet for Musical Theater students at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee and has also retired from the faculties of the Boston Ballet and Charlotte Klein Dance Centers.   

Christopher Phillips

Instructor of Ballet/Pointe - Pre-Professional Program

Mr. Phillips teaches classical dance using the Vaganova syllabus and is dedicated to providing the best classical ballet education for young and adult dancers; passing on the classical art-form through foundation, discipline, and artistry. Christopher has been teaching classical dance for over 15 years and is certified to teach all levels in the Vaganova system, pointe work, and partnering. 

Dr. Marisa Babb-Wetherell, PT, DPT

Instructor of Progressing Ballet Technique - Guest Faculty

Marisa trained as a young dancer in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. She performed with the Movement Ensemble Dance Company under the direction of Liana Ciaglo, including appearances with the Commonwealth Opera. Marisa also appeared in The Nutcracker with both the Moscow Ballet and Academy of Ballet Arts. Through her college years, Marisa performed with Springfield College’s Singers, Dancers, and Best of Broadway groups on campus. She also completed a minor in dance at Springfield College while pursuing her degrees in Physical Therapy. She has continued to dance as an adult including appearances in FPAC’s The Nutcracker. Marisa holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and currently practices in outpatient physical therapy in North Attleboro, MA. She specializes in dance medicine and is passionate about educating young dancers to use their bodies as effectively, efficiently, and safely as possible.  Marisa achieved her initial certification in Progressing Ballet Technique in 2018 and has continued on to achieve her Level 3 PBT Certification. Marisa enjoys teaching the PBT curriculum and feels it holds great value in training safe and efficient use of the body to advance dance technique and performance while preventing injuries.  

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