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Ballet Theory and Composition

Solo female ballet dancer in an arabesque on a stage with a gray background wearing pointe shoes, a blue dress, and a white apron

Professor: Lori Provost

Tuition: $295 member / $370 non-member

6 Weeks; 1.5 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

This course examines the diverse and multilateral Western training systems of the French, English, Russian, Italian, Danish, and American schools. By examining historical approaches, students will compose their own syllabus for classroom training. Due to its emphasis on ballet technique and teacher performance, the course relies heavily on visual learning (viewing videos), video recording of classroom teaching, and video conference feedback. This course is beneficial for university students, dancers who are making the transition from a performance career to a ballet-teaching career, and current teachers who want to brush up on theory with online flexibility. It is recommended that students have at the minimum, an introductory knowledge of ballet terminology and technique. It is recommended that students enrolled in this course are currently teaching a ballet class or have instructional access to a group of students, in order to apply assignments that require student demonstrations. If you do not have access to students during this course, please inform the instruction immediately for alternate assignment.

Book required:Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet by G. Grant. (2014) New York, NY: Dover Publications.

Questions about this Course?  Email

Past Student Testimonials

"This course brought me back to my days of ballet training which was so long ago. It opened my eyes to how disconnected I have been and how rusty I was to the terminology and movements. It definitely brought to light how I need to begin challenging myself and taking classes to develop as a dancer and dance educator in order to provide the best training for my students."

"It provided new tools to design my lesson plans and develop manuals. It is helping me feel refreshed and offset burnout."

"I feel more confident teaching my ballet classes. Creating the manuals for barre and center and the lesson plans were the assignments most beneficial and can be applied outside of this course."

"This course definitely gave me the opportunity to expand my resources of knowledge in the history, theory and knowledge of ballet. Additionally, I was able to collect teaching tools that I can implement with my students; and finally, I was able to find a network of invaluable people who enriched my process as a dance educator."

"I really enjoyed learning more about the schools of ballet, and thinking more about how my training, and how I can impart more knowledge on my students. I enjoyed the very clear assignments that helped us build a Lesson Plan from a step by step, logical progression."

"I really liked the methodology comparisons. It tied together a lot of aspects I knew from my years of dancing and training and put them into an academic perspective. I became a teacher from a professional background approach and not an academic approach. This course was a very good introduction to the academic teaching process."

"In getting ready for summer and fall instruction, it allowed me prep in a more comprehensive way than I have in the past. I also enjoyed the deeper history component that I have not encountered in past dance history courses."

Professor Bio

Lori Provost, MA earned her master’s degree in Dance Education from New York University with a concentration in American Ballet Theatre (ABT) ballet pedagogy. While studying in the program, Lori received her certification in ABT’s National Training Curriculum (NTC) Levels Primary thru Level 7 and partnering. She has implemented the ABT curriculum into several teaching environments to include private studios, middle schools and high schools, as well as conservatory, pre-collegiate, and university dance programs. In 2012, Lori presented research on a panel at NDEO’s national conference on integrating the NTC into a university dance course. She currently teaches for Towson University and has worked as Manager of the Towson Community Dance at the Owings Mills JCC Community Center program and Dance Company Manager for the Towson University Dance Company, as well as adjunct professor and Towson University Community Dance instructor. Along with her work as an educator in the field, Lori also served the National Dance Education Organization as a staff member in Special Projects and as a board member for the Capital Region Educators of Dance Organization (CREDO). Lori developed and currently teaches NDEO's OPDI course: Ballet Theory & Composition.

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