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Class Descriptions 

 photos by Zaire Kacz

Ballet is a formalized style of dance that originated in the European Renaissance courts and has since become a highly technical art form with its own vocabulary. Students begin by studying the five basic positions of the feet, arms, head, and seven movements of dance, (plie, tendu, saute, etc.), and spotting for turns. All modified movements are performed first at the barre then in center, and finally moving across the floor. Each class finishes with reverence, a way of saying thank you and goodbye that also shows respect for the teacher, the student and the art of ballet.

Tap is a form of dance wherein rhythmic sounds are created by the feet. Students learn to dance in plie on the balls of the feet and articulate the toe taps and heel taps in various patterns. Basic steps like shuffle, ball-change, toe heel, and hop can be combined an infinite number of ways to create simple or complex steps and rhythm patterns. Tap increases musicality, speed, and precision of a student’s dancing.  

Hip Hop is a broad category that incorporates a variety of old and new urban dance styles including breaking, popping and locking, free-styling, where students improvise their own movements to the music, is an important part of the genre. We also incorporate a jazz-funk style.

Musical Theater and Jazz  Jazz is a kind of stylized theatrical dancing conceived in America and influenced by classical and folk traditions throughout the world. Jazz allows wide freedom of expression and movement yet adheres to basic principles of correct posture and placement of the body. Basic technique includes isolations of head & neck, shoulders, rib cage, and hips as well as strength and coordination in the core, arms, legs and feet.  Musical theater is the term given to plays that include song and dance as a means to further the plot.  Learning to tell a story with your body and portray a character are at the root of the musical theater style of movement.

Contemporary dance draws from ballet, modern and jazz backgrounds and can be accompanied by a wide variety of music. Contemporary technique emphasizes contract-release in the spine, fall and recovery of the torso and entire body, floor work, improvisation, and lifts. Dancers not only learn steps but also learn to share each movement as part of their unique contribution to the greater human experience. 

Modern   class will incorporate many of the foundations of modern dance technique, including suspension and release, fall and recovery, the use of momentum and connecting breath with movement. Dancers will explore new ways of moving in combinations, floor work and partnering. The class also  various in methods of improvisation.

Acrobatics incorporates techniques from gymnastic floor work and to increase the student’s flexibility, strength and balance. Acro classes include plyometric exercises, which are designed to produce fast, powerful movements, increase speed and prevent injury. Basic movements learned include various jumps, splits, cartwheels, handstands, rolls, and backbends.   

 

Class Levels

Class placement is determined by our trained faculty. Placement is based on student’s maturity, ability, focus, and prior dance experience. Age and grade are used only as a guideline. Students will often stay in the same “level” for more than one year while continuing to increase their knowledge and skills quite unlike a school environment. We request that parents respect our recommendations, as they are made with great consideration by teachers who have experience, danced professionally and receive continuing education through master classes and workshops. Our goal as teachers is to provide quality dance education in a positive learning environment to each child in every class level and style.