UIYB offers a ballet-focused curriculum with supplemental classes for youth 11+ in levels 3A, 3B, 4, and 5. Classes emphasize skeletal alignment, functional strength and range of motion, integration of the spine and limbs (for beautiful port de bras and épaulement), and musicality.

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Levels 3-5 are designed for students to stay at the same level for multiple years before progressing. Each student is unique and often progresses at a different rate from their peers. After a student has learned the ballet technique appropriate for each level and developed the strength for these movements, instructional staff will recommend that they progress to the next level. 


Two ways to take class:

Enroll in the full level.

  • This signs students up for all weekly classes at their level and is recommended for students who wish to progress and perform.
  • Full-level enrollment qualifies students to sign up for Ensemble participation and performance.
  • Level progression and enrollment information is sent to each May for the coming academic year. 

Enroll in classes à la carte.

  • This is a great way to sign up for one or two weekly classes.
  • Please note that à la carte registration does not qualify students for Ensemble participation and performance. 
  • New students must be assigned a level by instructional staff. Are you wondering which level will be the best fit? Email dnc-communitydance@uiowa.edu for help with level placement.

Levels 3A and 3B

Although they dance together, Level 3 contains two subdivisions, Level 3A and Level 3B.

Level 3A students have completed level 2B or have undergone a placement class. Moving into level 3A means the dancer has a strong sense of ballet alignment as well as their standing leg. They should be able to maintain placement during the entire class. Level 3A dancers work toward greater independence in taking in instructor feedback and applying it to improve their dance technique. A student is advanced to Level 3B when the instructor observes the appropriate artistic development, work-ethic, and consistency in the student's dancing. 

In levels 3A and 3B ballet sculpts the body and dancers begin to feel greater confidence in the fundamental principles of dance. Progressing through Levels 3A and 3B can take up to 4 years of working diligently year-round in at least three ballet classes per week. Additional classes are available after assessment by the instructional team. 

Levels 4 and 5

Advancement to levels 4 and 5 is earned through consistent hard work, determination, and discipline over many years. Students at these levels should have sufficient technical knowledge to attempt execution of more advanced/complex steps and stylistic details (i.e. multiple pirouettes, extended balances, petit allegro with beats, and head/arm coordination and expression). Students should demonstrate an ability to work thoughtfully with multiple teachers in the manner of a professional dancer.

Level 4 students invest their time in a minimum of four 90-minute UIYB ballet classes per week and one modern dance class, and conditioning. Students at this level train year-round. 

Level 5 requires the highest degree of commitment and excellent attendance in all applicable classes. Like earlier levels, Level 5 continues to train year-round. 

Modern 4/5 

Students who have attained levels 4 and 5 in ballet technique take Modern 4/5 to broaden their technical skillset and prepare them for a range of choreographic work as part of the Youth Ballet Ensemble.

Conditioning 4/5 

New for AY 2024-2025

Students who have attained levels 4 and 5 in ballet technique take Conditioning 4/5 to work on strength, stability, and stamina.  

Foot and Ankle Conditioning

This class teaches strength, agility, and balance exercises to prepare students for upper-level jumps, turns, balances, and pointe work.  

Beginning Pointe

Upon the recommendation of their instructor, students who have achieved substantial technique, strength, and maturity may be invited to participate in Beginning Pointe. Students must take at least three ballet technique classes weekly to enroll. 

Pointe 1 and Pointe 2

Following ballet 4/5 classes, pointe students take UIYB pointe class three times per week to build and maintain strength. Pointe may only be taken with the approval of the faculty and after the student is warm from ballet technique class. Pointe students must take at least three ballet technique classes weekly to enroll.