Levels 2 - 7
Children ages 8-18 enter the Student Division by audition. If accepted, the student is placed in one of curriculum levels. Students learn progressive levels of ballet technique following the school syllabus for each age-appropriate level. Classical classes are taught using principles from French, American, and Russian technique and styles. Taught by classically trained instructors, students are instructed in classroom etiquette, attire, vocabulary, wellness, injury prevention, nutrition, ballet history, career paths, and ballet conditioning to fully round out the dancer.
Yearly advancement is based on faculty evaluations of the individual student’s technical ability, physical aptitude, strength, classroom effort and attendance.
Melissa Tillman, BSN, has been a movement educator for over 10 years in the
Middle Tennessee area. Melissa is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher.
Melissa studied ballet for 15 years the Chattanooga Ballet, where as a
member of the Chattanooga Ballet Children’s Company, and then the
Corps de Ballet, she had many opportunities to perform soloist,
demi-soloist, and corps roles.
In her passion for modern dance, Melissa co-founded and directed Charis,
a modern dance company housed at Chattanooga Christian School. Her
contributions there included teaching modern and jazz classes,
choreographing works for the company, and performing. Melissa continued
her modern dance training with an emphasis in Limon technique under the
direction of Sharona Paller Rubinstein. During this time Melissa was invited to
become a member of the Macon Moving Company, in Macon, Georgia,
performing many original modern works throughout the community.
Melissa also enhanced her training in ballet, modern, and jazz, studying at
places such as Ballet Magnificat, Harvard University, the American Dance
Festival, Tennessee Association of Dance, and intensive dance
conferences in Washington D.C. During these experiences Missy was able
to study with such artists as David Dorfman, Rennie Harris, Garth Fagan,
Jeffery Bullock, Donna Faye Burchfield, Gerri Houlihan, and Kathy Thibodeaux.
Melissa received her certification in Progressive Ballet Technique in 2015.
Teaching this conditioning program for dancers, which combines concepts from
classical ballet and Pilates, sparked an interest in the bridge between dance and
Mindbody Movement, leading her to her interest in yoga and other combined
somatic movement modalities.
Melissa is one of Tennessee’s only certified Roll ModelR Method Practitioner
and certified Yoga Tune UpR teachers. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher
(RYT) with the Yoga Alliance, having completed her 200 hour RYT, Ayurveda
Certificate, and Restorative Yoga immersion training, with the Yoga and Ayurveda
Center. She is currently working on becoming a Yoga Medicine Specialist and
receiving her 500 hour YTT through Yoga Medicine.