Academy NB


School of Nashville Ballet faculty members carefully nurture each student’s technical execution, artistic expression and maturity. Through careful development and attention to the syllabus, our instructors implement a curriculum that is designed to produce dancers with both expressivity and clear classical lines. This guidance enables students to develop their own artistry, while pure classical technique provides the vehicle for their artistic expression.

Fall Semester Classes: August 22 – December 17, 2016
Spring Semester Classes: January 16 – May 6, 2017


Academy Division assignment is based on a placement exam according to age, ability and experience.

New Students
New students seeking admission into the Academy Division must take a placement exam evaluated by Nashville Ballet’s faculty and/or artistic staff. Placement exams for the 2016-2017 academic year have passed. Students who missed the audition may register for Studio Division classes and take the next Academy placement exam in April 2017 or August 2017 for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Current Students
School of Nashville Ballet’s Children’s Division is a natural feeder into the Academy Division. Students graduating from Pre-Ballet III in the Children’s Division will be notified of their acceptance into Level 1 of the Academy by mid-April. Students currently enrolled in the Academy will be notified of their level placement for the following year by mid-April as well. Registration is currently closed for the Academy Division for the 2016-2017 academic year. Students who missed the registration period may register for Studio Division classes and take the next Academy placement exam in April 2017 or August 2017 for the 2017-2018 academic year.

For assistance, contact us at (615) 297-2966 x203 or

2016-2017 Classes

Enrollment is on an annual basis, unless otherwise noted.

Meets 2 days per week


Students learn basic stance, physicality in turnout, essential vocabulary and beginning fundamentals.

meets 2 days per week

Level 2

Classes emphasize strength and flexibility, increased physicality, more complex movement patterns, a more expansive vocabulary and mastering fundamentals.

meets 3 days per week

Level 3

Students delve more deeply into complex movement patterns. Learn more steps, increased linking combinations, across-the-floor movement and variations.

meets 4 Days per week

Level 4

Areas of focus include ballet technique, stretch and conditioning, variations and contemporary. Students solidify foundational vocabulary and increase awareness of presentation and artistic sensibility. Students focus on strengthening feet and ankles in preparation for pointe work in Level 5.

meets 4 days per week

Level 5

Classes include ballet technique, stretch and conditioning, variations and contemporary. Students are introduced to pointe work in Level 5, and work toward mastery of all foundational vocabulary. Level 5 is offered as a two-year progression.

meets 5 days per week

LEvel 6

Level 6 curriculum emphasizes ballet technique, pointe, stretch and conditioning, variations and contemporary. Students develop turning sequences and allegro, bigger movement and bravura, complex movement patterns and skill in dynamics.

meets 6 days per week

Level 7

Classes include ballet technique, pointe, stretch and conditioning, variations, contemporary and partnering. Major areas of focus are developing artistry, strength-building, stamina, speed and dynamics. After completing Level 7, students have the skills to advance into a pre-professional program, such as Nashville Ballet’s Professional Training Division.

NEW! Young Men'S Scholarship Program

Male and female dancers require different skills to perform different roles, so why should their training all be the same? Nashville Ballet’s new Young Men’s Scholarship Program offers specialized training for young men, tailored to their unique needs and taught by men. Working together, male dancers push themselves and each other in a supportive environment that centers on athleticism, strength, camaraderie and discipline. The curriculum mirrors elements of the Academy Division, but with a special emphasis on developing specific male technique and addressing the unique challenges that face young men.

Optional Classes

Optional classes are offered semesterly at certain levels to enhance skill and artistry. Optional variations classes are offered for Levels 3-5. Students are taught classical ballet repertory, building confidence and the ability to learn choreography quickly. Optional jazz/hip hop class is offered to Levels 6 and 7 to broaden flexibility. Levels 1 and 2 are encouraged to take the jazz and/or musical theater classes offered in our Studio Division to enhance their movement style and broaden their horizons.

Specialty Workshops/Master Classes

Specialty workshops are offered throughout the year and have included Afro-Caribbean, contemporary, mime, theater arts, stage combat, improvisation, yoga, Pilates and more. Whenever possible, guest artists, choreographers or teachers visiting or working with the professional company will teach a master class to our Academy Division students.

Photos by: Tim Broekema

Academy Division Benefits

  1. Academy Division students have several opportunities to interact with Nashville Ballet’s professional company. Whenever possible, Academy Division teachers take students to company rehearsals to be exposed to a professional dance environment. Level 7 students have the opportunity to take class with Nashville Ballet’s professional company three to four times per year, as well as with guest teachers and visiting choreographers.
  2. Many of the youth casts in the professional company’s performances are exclusively from School of Nashville Ballet. Students also receive priority casting in auditions open to the general public.
  3. Many other dance companies host Summer Intensive auditions at School of Nashville Ballet, allowing Academy Division students to take several auditions without leaving the area.


Attire for Young Men

Click here for attire requirements for young men, located on the Young Men's Scholarship Program page.

Attire for Ladies

Footwear for Ladies: All Academy Levels

  • Bloch Dansoft full sole ballet shoes in pink (ladies) or white (gentlemen)
  • Pointe shoes upon teacher approval
  • Black nylon/cotton blend socks for contemporary class

Ladies: Levels 1, 2, 3 & 4

  • Mirella M207LD (adult nylon) or M207CD (child nylon) periwinkle leotard
  • Body Wrappers tights A45 (adult) or C45 (child) in theatrical pink
  • Level 4: black convertible tights, black socks (contemporary class only)

Ladies: Levels 5, 6 & 7

  • Mirella 207LD (nylon) black leotard or So Danca D401 (microfiber) black leotard
  • Mirella 207LD (nylon) white leotard or So Danca D401 (microfiber) white leotard
  • Hip Alignment Belt: Radiance 3/4”
    • Level 5: Lilac
    • Level 6: Royal
    • Level 7: Hot Pink
  • Body Wrappers tights A45 (adult) or C45 (child) in theatrical pink
  • Black convertible tights, black socks (contemporary class only)
  • Mirella MS12 skirt (one black, one white)
  • Optional simple color leotard for Saturday classes
  • White practice tutu is recommended, but not required for variations class
  • Level 5 Leotard Schedule
    • Tuesdays: White
    • Wednesdays: White
    • Fridays: Black
    • Saturdays: Any Color
  • Level 6 Leotard Schedule
    • Tuesdays: White
    • Wednesdays: Black
    • Thursdays: White
    • Fridays: Black
    • Saturdays: Any Color
  • Level 7 Leotard Schedule
    • Mondays: Black
    • Tuesdays: White
    • Wednesdays: White
    • Thursdays: Black
    • Fridays: White
    • Saturdays: Any Color

In the tradition of classical ballet and in encouragement of each dancer's positive self-image, we strive to have a clean, uniformed appearance for all students.

All students should wear street clothing and shoes over their ballet attire when coming to and from their classes. Extra layers ensure modesty and help muscles warm up and cool down properly. We encourage dancers of all ages to practice this healthy habit.

Clothing should be changed in dressing rooms only, not the lobby or hallways. Ballet shoes cannot be worn outdoors as this tracks dirt into the studio, can compromise the safety of our students and dancers, and is detrimental to the studio floors.

Jewelry, other than small earrings, may not be worn in the studios. Young ladies' hair should be pulled away from the face and secured neatly. A ballet bun (long hair) or with a headband/barrettes (short hair) is a requirement for the Academy Division.


We want to provide you as many tools as possible to help create and maintain the standards of appearance to reinforce dancers’ positive self-image in the classroom or on stage. Watch the tutorials below on how to create the perfect ballet bun on yourself or someone else.


Complete this form and a School of Nashville Ballet staff member will contact you.

Name *
Address *
Years of Ballet Experience *
Tell us about the student's other dance experience, if any.
Where the student currently studies dance, if applicable.


If you need additional assistance, please contact School of Nashville Ballet at (615) 297-2966 x203 or