Across our curriculum, students will explore their artistry and creativity and develop problem-solving skills. They will learn about the history of dance, music, theatre and visual art as well as how these art forms relate to the world beyond the studio and stage. They will learn about human anatomy and best practices for dancing safely. Language arts and mathematical reasoning and understanding of the human experience grow through our multidisciplinary approach. Students will be challenged and nurtured in the learning process while being valued as individual artists, appreciated for their differences and thus build life-long habits as collaborators, critical thinkers, leaders, explorers and learners
Based on the acclaimed "Brain-Compatible" and Concept-Based dance curriculum originated by Anne Green Gilbert. Warm-ups include rhyming dance exercises, ballet-oriented stretches and listening activities using varied movements. Dancers will explore weekly concepts individually through a creative problem-solving approach, sometimes with props to aid the exploration. Children learn to copy each other’s shapes and mirror moving shapes. They will work on skills such as leap, gallop, hop, skip, run, slide, twist, bend, stretch, swing, turn and more as well as try skills already mastered in new ways (exploring levels, directions, speed, etc). Students will begin to learn short movement combinations and incorporate this learning into simple folk dances. A variety of music is used to enhance creative expression and improvisation. Storytelling, music studies, visual art and language arts are incorporated as well.
Classical ballet emphasizes strength, flexibility, alignment and musicality. Barre work begins at this level; dancers should enjoy the focus and attention that this portion of class time work requires. After having the previous experience of the brain-compatible curriculum in Creative Dance, students can more easily integrate the language of ballet with their own movement vocabulary. Folk dances encourage sequencing and learning choreography as well as improvisational whole body movement followed by stretches and strengthening for foot and ankle articulation and stronger abdominal and back muscles. The ballet vocabulary is introduced gradually to allow students to master the technical aspects of the fundamentals of the material. We will continue to explore concepts, incorporate music theory, ballet history and art exploration as well.
Our ballet classes are primarily based on the Vaganova method, which is a ballet technique and training system devised by the Russian dancer and pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova (1879-1951). Fusing elements of traditional French technique from the romantic era, with the athleticism and virtuosity of the Italian school, the method is designed to work the body as a whole, with total involvement of the body in every movement, and equal attention paid to the upper body as well as the legs and feet. Due to its strictly codified training system, the Vaganova method is widely considered to be injury-free, if taught correctly. For comparative purposes, we will study various aspects of other systems in ballet such as Bournonville, Cecchetti and Balanchine techniques. Our dancers will be carefully assessed throughout their training to place them into the class level that will give them the best balance between new technical challenges and reinforcement of fundamental skills. Dancers will be assessed individually for readiness for pointe work as well. Music history and theory, ballet history, visual arts integration, etiquette and choreographic styles will be studied.
Repertory, Variations and Enrichment
This specialized class is designed to challenge our dancers to learn excerpts from classical and contemporary ballets. As we learn these solo and group works, our dancers will have the opportunity to improve their performance quality, learn new movement vocabulary and dig deeply into the rich history of ballet. Enrichment work will include studies of alignment, pantomime and more…
Beginning Ballet (Teen/Adult)
This class is intended for teens and adults inspired to learn the art of ballet, and for students who may have studied ballet previously, but are interested in rebuilding their technique after time away from study. New vocabulary and steps will be broken down for understanding, we will build combinations gradually and students will be given corrections and guidance to build proper technique.
Modern Dance Curriculum
Our modern program is based on codified movement techniques from 20th Century dance artists such as Martha Graham, José Limón, Lester Horton and Merce Cunningham. Class work consists of an extensive warm up including floor work and short movement combinations, creative work such as improvisation and concept-based explorations, center work, movement phrases and choreography.
For our young Modern dancers we begin with an introduction to the vocabulary along with an exploration of movement concepts through structured improvisational activities. Visual and moving image arts as well as music history and dance history/appreciation will be incorporated. Students have the opportunity to create their own movement and collaborate with fellow dancers in class as they also build their technique.
As dancers progress in our Modern program, they develop increased understanding of the codified techniques mentioned above. Dancers will learn more complex movement combinations, and explore further into the history and aesthetics of the techniques. We will continue to incorporate improvisational activities, moving toward shared-weight and contact improvisation as the dancers build their strength and confidence. Through all of our Modern classes, the dancers are also exposed to a wide variety of musical styles and meters, which inspires and challenges them as they work through their study of modern dance.
This class is for young dance artists interested in learning about the choreographic process through use of structured improvisational work and through explorations of movement concepts and systems of composition. Dancers will collaborate with each other and explore solo work as well to build fluency in using improvisation to set their own choreography. We will practice and develop problem-solving skills. We will study various choreographic styles and dance genres as well as spend time viewing and discussing the work of well-known dance artists through time. Opportunities to present work are available at various times during the school year.
Our Jazz curriculum is an exploration of movement inspired by musical theatre, a study of the work of Jazz pioneers like Jack Cole, Matt Mattox, Bob Fosse, Gus Giordano and others, and also lessons about how this movement vocabulary relates to other dance forms. In Jazz dance, we find dynamic rhythms, syncopation, expression of the human condition and an emphasis on individuality within the technique. Jazz is a dance style that has evolved over time and has been influenced and fed by African Dance, ballet, modern dance, show dance, theatre dance and social dance...it is a wonderful blend of mind and body founded on a firm technical base.
Dancers age 10+ may attend pointe class to work on strength, balance and endurance for the lower leg muscles. This class may be done with hard pointe shoes or in soft ballet shoes, depending on the dancer’s level of training. Dancers’ readiness for demi-pointe and hard pointe shoes will be determined by instructor.
Our Lyrical/Contemporary curriculum will encompass a wide range of dance styles from ballet to jazz. Lyrical dancing is performed to the lyrics of the song in order to express the emotion the song conveys. This allows dancers to focus on emoting through their dance and movement. Contemporary brings together the connection of mind, body, and music through fluid movements and technique. It focuses heavily on floorwork and the dancer’s connection to the floor. We will combine these two styles and dance to popular songs, expressing the song freely through movement. Dancers will learn skills for improvisation, as well as expression through movement.
Our Broadway Dance curriculum will encompass a wide range of styles, including ballet, jazz, and modern, which all come together to form the dances used on Broadway stages! We will focus on musicality and how dance can be used to tell a story. We will explore movement from all different styles of dance to develop an understanding of timing, and we will work to develop well-rounded technique in many different styles. We will learn dance numbers from popular Broadway shows, such as West Side Story, Newsies, and 42nd Street. Broadway Dance is a fun way to learn movement from a wide range of styles accompanied by the familiar music of our favorite Broadway shows!
Gentle Yoga will focus on stretching, with a soft approach to flowing through yoga poses. The pace will be slow, and we will incorporate gentle stretches and poses, making it appropriate for a wide range of abilities. It will accommodate those who would like to try yoga for the first time, as well as those wanting to learn new stretches. The focus will be on building muscle, mobility, and flexibility in a gentle manner. The slow pace will allow you to relax, de-stress, and move in a gentle way. Gentle Yoga can bring about an energy boost for the rest of the day!
Kids Yoga will be a class specifically designed for children to learn yoga poses. We will focus on alignment and stretching to build a mind-body connection. We will build muscle and stretch in order to develop flexibility and mobility. Yoga can help improve memory and cognitive function, as well as increase body awareness. This class will be a good introduction on body movement, as well as learning to care for the body through stretching and strengthening. We will work on breathing skills as we move from one pose to the next, and it will be a fun way for kids to relax and get in tune with their bodies!
Yoga for Dancers
Yoga for Dancers is specifically designed for teen and adult dancers (ages 12+) to learn to take care for their minds and bodies with yoga. We will focus on poses to strengthen muscles commonly used in dance movement, poses to increase agility, and stretches to increase flexibility and mobility. Yoga can help with balance, alignment, and stamina, all of which improve our dancing. Yoga can also build a good mind-body connection. We will also focus on breathing techniques accompanied by the flow of the poses to bring awareness to how the breath is used in dance. We will also learn techniques