The dance program uses a progressive syllabus introducing movement fundamentals and stressing technique and dance concepts. At the core of the syllabus is commitment to emphasizing a child’s natural ability while introducing structure. This serves to increase skill level while encouraging self expression.
Ballet is a graceful form of dance traditionally performed to classical music. Two of the most well known ballets are Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Ballet takes an incredible amount of strength and discipline to execute its grandiose and intricate movement. Classical ballet’s origins are in 17th Century French court ballet.
CLASSROOM WORK – Students will learn ballet terms of positions and steps in French vocabulary. They will learn proper alignment, technique, and execution of steps such as leaps and turns. Barre exercises and center work will improve balance, agility, and coordination. Extensive ballet work can later lead to exercises on Pointe.
Jazz is a style of dance commonly seen in musical theater and entertainment industries. Productions showcasing jazz dance include Chicago, Cats, and West Side Story. It is rooted in social dance and jazz music, influenced by African American traditions in the 1930’s and 40’s. Today it has been molded and stylized to fit popular music and TV shows such as So You Think You Can Dance. It is an exciting, animated style of dance that can be sharp or fluid, fast or slow, embellished or subtle.
CLASSROOM WORK - Elements of class focus on body positions, body isolations, coordination, musicality, and performance skills. Students will participate in warm-up exercises to improve technique, balance, and strength. They will stretch to improve flexibility and range of motion of the body while dancing. Students will learn to execute jazz steps such as jazz walks, kicks, turns, jumps, leaps, and floor-work.
Tap dancing evolved from a combination of African tribal dances and Scottish, Irish, and English clog dances, hornpipes, and jigs. Tap dancing as we know it today emerged around the 1920’s. It was at this time that “taps” were screwed onto the heels and toes of shoes to produce distinct sounds. Two well known styles of tap dancing are Soft-Shoe and Buck-and-Wing. You may know famous tap dancers such as Savion Glover and Gregory Hines.
CLASSROOM WORK – Students will learn the basics of tap dancing such as flaps, shuffles, buffalos, and paddles. As they progress they will move into time steps, wings, pull backs, etc. They will practice clarity of sounds and develop musicality and presence while dancing.
Hip Hop dance stems from the cultural movement of Hip Hop which began in the late 1970’s in New York. This movement included four elements, DJing, MCing (rapping), Graffiti Painting, and B-boying (breakdancing). As hip hop dance crews became part of mainstream TV, dancers of all genres started to develop their own style of hip hop. It is now a main style taught in many dance schools.
CLASSROOM WORK – Students will learn basic isolations of the body. They will learn to interpret the music and find the beat within a song. Warm up exercises will be used to gain balance, strength, flexibility and coordination. Students will learn simple breakdancing tricks and will be able to experiment with their own style. Students are encouraged to make up their own movements and work with partners to build full movement phrases. This class is a great confidence builder.