Music for Ballet Class: Syncopé

Christopher Ferris

A contemporary and exciting framework for exploring the heart of ballet: the joy of movement to music

Thank you so much for bringing my music into your class. I hope you and your dancers find it inspiring!

I’ve structured this recording to follow the classical ballet class order of combinations, and have provided versions in many cases to allow you to choose the tempo and feel that suits your choreography best. The titles of the tracks only suggest the combination; I'm certain you'll find the tracks useful for many different applications. I’ve also included the time signatures and a tempo reference to help you select faster or slower versions. Most of the tracks for barre are long enough for both sides; the shorter ones are indicated with “One Side” in the name.

As the subtitle of this recording suggests, there’s plenty of syncopation in this collection which may make it less suitable for beginning level students, but you’ll find that the tracks while improvised are carefully metered and measured. I’ve also made a point of leaving long tails or extra counts at the end for balances.

I owe thanks to a great group of people who have in their way made this recording possible. I’ve been playing class with Kevin Kaiser, former Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer and artistic director at Evergreen City Ballet, for many years and he’s encouraged a lot of the funk that appears in this class. Kevin also has helped develop and review this collection, along with help from my test teachers Tessa Olmstead, Jocelyn Horne, Elizabeth Parr, and Danielle Wilkins. Instrumental in encouraging me to pursue this project were Louise Nadeau, Andi Bryndza, and Marty Kneeland.

Special thanks also to the many dancers of Pacific Northwest Ballet I’ve had the honor to accompany for master classes. Your enthusiasm and support for my music has been invaluable to me.

Dancers featured in the album artwork are performance division students at Evergreen City Ballet, photographed by the amazing eye of Tim Aguero and brought into visual harmony by designer Ryan Obermeier. The cover and CD images feature dancers Ainsley Montemayor and Raleigh Peregrine.

Christopher Ferris is a Seattle-based artist, composer, and performer. Entirely improvisational, Ferris' work juxtaposes the structure of the classical ballet class with the refreshing motivation of contemporary sound. His talent for composition provides students and teachers alike with an exciting framework for exploring the heart of ballet: the joy of movement to music. Learn more about his works at

Read more… close