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DANCE-141 - Beginning Ballet - Shelby Curtis

Course:Beginning Ballet
Professor:Shelby Curtis
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Greetings! My name is Shelby Curtis and I have been teaching at College of the Canyons for 15 years. I teach to learn, and enjoy sharing knowledge about dance history and technique with students.  My dance education includes a BFA in dance from California Institute of the Arts, and an MS in Dance Kinesiology from CSUN. My early dance training was rigorous in the areas of classical ballet and modern dance. Currently I teach ballet, yoga, and dance appreciation at College of the Canyons and am passionate about dance pedagogy and the integration of dance arts in K-12 education.

I look forward to meeting you in your online class! Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions that you may have.

Course Description

This course surveys the fundamentals of ballet technique through the practice of ballet exercises and combinations. Attention is given to developing strength and flexibility and applying improved strength and flexibility to the practice of ballet barre and center floor work.

This course is designed as an introductory course, however students with ballet experience will be accommodated with the option to practice intermediate-level exercises. Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions that you may have.

What to Expect in this Course

All content for the course is delivered via Canvas. Each week of the course, students will work through a module that contains the following:

  1. Lecture video introducing new concepts and exercises.
  2. Video class for the student to take that includes all exercises previously covered, synthesized with new exercises and concepts introduced in the week's module.
  3. Weekly self-assessment journal.
  4. Optional weekly office hour #1: One office hour a week will be devoted to offering a live class via Zoom with the instructor.
  5. Optional weekly office hour #2: One office hour a week will be an open office hour where students can meet with the instructor to ask questions and/or receive feedback on their work.

*Office hour times are determined based on student schedules through a Google survey that is collected at the beginning of the semester. If more than two office hours a week are needed to accommodate all student schedules, the instructor will add more office hour options.

Types of Assessments

Course assessments include:

  1. Weekly self-assessments
  2. Midterm (rubric-based assessment on barre exercises)
  3. Final Exam (rubric-based assessment on center practice combination)

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

This course does not require a textbook. An interactive ballet terms glossary, readings, and video/lecture content are provided in Canvas.

Other Relevant Course Information

To be successful in the course, the following materials are required:

  1. 5'x4' open space with a hard surface.
  2. Sturdy chair to be used as a ballet barre.
  3. Comfortable clothing that allows full range of movement.
  4. Ability to view computer or tablet while working in the open space.
  5. Movements can be performed in socks, barefoot, or at times in tennis shoes when the instructor requests them for safety reasons (mostly for jumps).


Non-required options:

  1. Students may prefer to purchase traditional ballet attire including a leotard, tights, and ballet shoes. If you are going to purchase one item for this course, my suggestion would be ballet shoes because they make it easier to perform the exercises. You can purchase these items at any dance store in your area. The dance store closest to COC is Chorus Line, and offers contactless pick-up and socially-distanced shopping appointments.      
  2. Students may want to purchase a portable dance mat. These surfaces roll out and store much like a yoga mat, and offer a skid-resistant dance studio floor in your home.  
  3. A sturdy chair is more efficient than almost all of the ballet barres meant for home study that are on the market. If you are interested in purchasing a ballet barre, email me and I can sent you links to options that will work for your space.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 09/15/2021 Sub#: 644