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
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 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.
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, Instructor of Ballet and Pointe
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 many of 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 currently continues her work with FSPA and ABT, and resides in Wrentham, MA with her husband and two children. Ms. Madeux joined the FSPA Dance Faculty in 2002.
Instructor of Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theater
Amanda Dubois has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance Performance and Communications from Rhode Island College. Her musical theater performance credits include Godspell
, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
and It’s All Your Parents’ Fault!
Dance performance credits include Triptych
, Arms of Justice
, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas
, La Giornata Omicida
and A Long Memory
. Amanda joined the FSPA Drama and Dance Faculty in 2016.
Instructor of Ballet
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.
Instructor of Ballet
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
Ellen Oliver combines her interdisciplinary interests in movement, film, and painting through her choreography, performance, and teaching. Ellen actively presents her projects in venues and festivals inside and outside of New England. She is the 2020 Artist in Residence for the White Mountain National Forest, and she is a returning Young Artist in Residence at Bearnstow, Maine. Her dance short films have been screened at local and international dance film festivals, including Motion State Dance Film Series in Rhode Island and Festival of Recorded Movement in Vancouver, Canada. Ellen is currently a performer and Youth Program Director at Metamorphosis Dance Company/TEN31 Productions, and she is a dancer at Lorraine Chapman The Company. She has recently performed for HDC Dance Ensemble, Ali Kenner Brodsky & Co, Fusionworks Dance Company, Cynthia McLaughlin, and Kelley Donovan & Dancers. Ellen co-founded ProviDANCE Project and 3 Spice Dance in 2017. Ellen continued her dance studies in high school at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and received a BA at Hampshire College and the Five College Dance Department, where she studied for a semester at Universidad de las Artes in Havana, Cuba. She joined the FSPA Ballet Faculty in 2019. Learn more at: www.ellenoliverdance.com