The transition program is tailored to the younger student (between 11-16 years) keeping in mind their physical and emotional readiness for full time training. The program is led by Academy Principal, Jasmina Stefkovski in the Vaganova method of training. The aim of the program is to further develop and elevate the artistry and technique of serious-minded students who strive to have a professional career in ballet and in preparation of entering a full time school that is attached to a renowned company. It is also designed to expose young dancers who demonstrate talent and potential for classical ballet to the rigours of full time training whilst being sensitive to the students age and growing bodies as well as the importance of maintaining regular academic studies.

Students of the transition program train during the daytime, after hours and on Saturdays in a carefully structured program that is designed to allow them to have a greater balance and equal focus of their school work and classical training. The program is catered towards students studying via Distance Education or are home schooled and is modelled on international standards of teaching and curriculum to ensure students are trained to an exceptional standard.

Entry into this program is by audition or invitation only.  Please contact the Administration Team to arrange a visit and audition at our studio when classes are in session.  If an in-person audition is not feasible, students may also send a short video link via YouTube of the applicant performing barre, centre, and pointe work along with a classical variation/solo to our Administration Team.

History of the Method

The Vaganova method is a ballet technique and training system devised by the Russian dancer and pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova (1879–1951). It is acknowledged all over the world as the foremost training syllabus of the classical ballet.

The method, developed in Russia over the course of 300 years and was derived from the teachings of the Premier Maitre de Ballet, Marius Petipa, throughout the late 19th century. The method embodies the classicism of the Russian Imperial Ballet (now known as the Kirov or Mariinsky Ballet) and is designed and based on the ability to execute and perform all classical repetoire in 19th Century ballets such as Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle etc.

Aims of the Method

 Its goal is the creation of classical ballet dancers who are instruments of artistic and creative perfection. The Vaganova method provides students with a structured, scientific and methodological approach to dance which takes the human anatomy into consideration. Each step and element of classical ballet is studied in great detail and through carefully structured lessons and progressions these elements are made more advanced as the students progresses.

This method is technically difficult to master and requires a serious,  committed & patient mind who is willing to learn all the nuances of classical ballet such as port de bras, light ballon in their allegro, clean adagio lines, impeccable musicality in more complex & varied tempos and consistent dedication to a more slower yet focused system that will definitely shape a longer, leaner physique and leave you with a  more finished and polished dancer.

Why the Vaganova Method?

The Vaganova method that has created some of the world’s most acclaimed dancers, choreographers, and teachers: Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Rudolph Nureyev, Svetlana Zakharova, Diana Vishneva, Natalia Osipova, Uliana Lopatkina, Vladimir Malakhov, Alexei Ratmansky, and so many more!

It is believed that by using such a proven method in creating professional dancers, the foundation is solid and can allow the adding of different “styles” as a dancer matures and has already created the necessary building block of beautiful, safe, correct technique. A solid technical foundation is the pathway of any great dancer.

The Academy prides itself on providing our students with the best professional ballet training available by offering a systematic and consecutive method of instruction.

Areas of Focus & Curriculum 

Advanced classical foundation, technique, coordination & pointe work

19th, 20th & 21st Century Repetoire & Variations

Character, National/Historical Dance

Pas De Deux training & preparation

Contemporary

Jazz

Anatomy, Body Awareness & Self Correction

Performance skills, developing artistry & stylisation in varied genres

Flexibility, Limber & Conditioning

Theory, Dance Vocabulary, History & Music

Choreography, Mime & Improvisation

Planning & Goal Setting

Audition Preparation

Career Guidance and Advice

Other Information

Performance Opportunities 
In addition, students of this program participate in the Academy’s major annual production as part of the Australian National Youth Ballet. Our productions are based on 19th Century classic ballets, allowing students to develop a greater understanding of mime, musicality, history, variations and repetoire. Our productions provide our students with the necessary practice to apply the Vaganova method as it was designed, to flow into the Classical Repetoire performed at world class companies and  in order to further develop their performance & stage skills in preparation of a career in classical ballet.
The Program also offers greater insight, training & performance opportunities in Contemporary, in the styles seen at international competitions such as Prix de Lausanne & YAGP. This style makes up 50% of most world renown companies repetoire, it is imperative to be versatile and study, develop and learn this style in order to have alternative options with selection into varied companies and schools.
Extra Curricular Activities & Opportunities

Melbourne Academy of the Arts understand and value that it is important to learn different types of dance styles and genres and offer varied pathways for students to use their skills throughout the year. With this in mind the Academy provides extracurricular events as ways for students to apply such knowledge and skills outside of the regular classroom setting.

These extra curricular events also aid in community building and allow the students to work with external students from other schools attending internal Academy events or externally run third party events. Our students gain access to train and work with international exchange students from China and are showcased to industry professionals throughout the year with internal examinations, assessments auditions, workshops, master classes and productions.

Private Coaching
Transition students are encouraged to take private lessons.  The benefits of individualised private coaching are immeasurable. If your aim is to improve quickly and strengthen your technique or increase your flexibility & mobility, then private lessons are an essential and  integral part of training towards a realistic chance of pursuing a professional career in dance as well as fast tracking a students progress.
Private lessons also aid students to prepare them for international competitions, auditions and events in the hope that they will be offered a place/scholarship into a full time school that is attached to a world renown company.
Expressions of Interest
Please email our Administrative Team if you would like to know more about the program and to register your expression of interest.
Assessments & Reports
Transition students are formally assessed twice a year by Academy Director, Jasmina Stefkovski and the Academy faculty. Students are marked on their progress and achievement and are provided with detailed formal reports. In addition students are assessed and graded on their physical conditions, artistry, flexibility, anatomy and control and use of turnout.
Fees
To find out the fees involved with this program & any additional fees please contact the Academy Administrative Team.
Timetable
Please refer to the schedule below for allocated training times. For a detailed schedule of all classes please contact the Academy Administrative Team. The schedule takes into consideration ample time to study and rest, whilst also providing the necessary hours of training and daily classical classes required & offered in all prestigious companies and schools.