This class is the foundation of all dance styles. The vocabulary, body alignment footwork and arm placement learned in ballet will be used (in some form) in all dance disciplines throughout a student's education. Students will progress to more challenging and advanced levels of classes by demonstrating sufficient proficiency in the relative levels of technique. Concentrated efforts in ballet classes, whether it is bárre, allegro or center work, etc. will develop flexibility, balance, plyometrics and core strength. This will result in not only the necessary building blocks for other classes, but also a balanced, healthy body with innate strength, poise, and posture.
Jazz credits its origins to the early forms of dances performed in burlesque halls, Vaudeville, Broadway, and the Golden Years of cinema. Through the years it has evolved to the very eclectic style it is today. Jazz style is wholly dependent on the teacher's/choreographer's influences, ranging from musical theater to street dance. Common to all styles though are dynamic leaps, turns, and high energy performance qualities. The dancer will develop strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and strong technical skills necessary for the big leaps, kicks and turns characteristic to Jazz. Because of it's diverse characteristics this class should be taken in conjunction with the other styles from which it draws. Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Musical Theater and Hip Hop are advised.
Tap is danced in shoes fitted with metal plates on the front (or "ball") and heel of the foot. The manner in which these plates strike the floor produces different sounds and rhythms. The concentration involved to create these varying sounds and rhythms develop coordination and a strong sense of musicality in Tap students. "Tappers" also become proficient in manipulating their weight placement and center of gravity due to the constant shifting required to utilize both feet. Whereas some students choose to enroll in Tap classes exclusively, it is recommended that they take Jazz and Musical Theater as well. This is especially true if they have any aspirations to audition and/or perform in any musical productions be it for school, local theater companies or professionally.
Traditional and contemporary styles are taught in Musical Theater classes. Students will learn technique and performance quality based on Broadway, cinema and other media. Some combinations may be inspired from these sources or they may be actual choreography from original productions. This is an excellent class to develop a student's confidence and performance sensibility, as the emotional intent and the desired projection of that intention tend to be extremely relatable. Because the primary focus of this class is to explore various styles and performance quality, it is recommended that students also take Jazz and Ballet.
Dancers will explore the basic elements of rhythm and the Hip Hop style. Teachers use current and popular clean versions of today's hits, as this is the most relatable of dance/music styles for the newest students. This is an upbeat and fun way of learning choreography and the structure of a dance class. This class includes a wide range of styles including breaking, pop and lock, Capoeira, African, Latin and many other new and current trends represented in commercials and music videos. Because the music is typically very familiar and the movement vocabulary is highly recognizable the class is fun, yet it is also challenging in that it trains the body and mind to learn combinations of movements while improving ones coordination and musicality. Students who study hip hop tend to be very comfortable at school dances, parties, etc. as the material learned in class can be used directly or modified for each individual in these and other social events.
Typically, lyrical dance focuses on a direct relationship between the lyrics of the song and specific dance movements. The movement quality tends to be very flowy and fluid with a strong emphasis on emotional expression through the choreography. Many simply describe Lyrical as the fusion of Ballet and Jazz. This may be a slight generalization, however the aforementioned are recommended to properly prepare you for the technical demands of Lyrical. Classes in Modern and Contemporary are also recommended.
Defining this style of dance can be difficult, as it is a fusion of multiple styles of dance. It is typically fluid and flowing in nature, but it can also have accented moments of athleticism and rhythm. At first glance one may find it difficult to discern a contemporary piece from a modern piece as they both utilize similar movement vocabularies, however contemporary pieces tend to be more emotion-based in their content. Because of it's diverse characteristics this class should be taken in conjunction with the other styles from which it draws. Ballet, Jazz and Modern are advised.
Modern dance is the only dance discipline recognized as an art form. While this recognition is sometimes scrutinized, it originates from the fact that it's pioneers like Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham , Denishawn, Lester Horton, Alvin Ailey, José Limón and a host of others used movement and composition to explore conceptual subject manner and social issues, rather than simply using dance as a spectacle. While established technique is taught in a Modern class, experimentation, improvisation and individual contributions from the students themselves are also nurtured and encouraged. This organic and collaborative environment fosters creativity, engages the students intellectually while they learn to use their bodies and dance ability in a more unconventional approach to dance. While the various techniques taught in Modern will strengthen the students' understanding of core stability and off-center movement, breath rhythm, and musicality, as well as develop their overall strength and flexibility, it is recommended that they take Ballet in conjunction with Modern.
Boys Class is designed specifically for boys. Unlike a conventional dance class, the warm-ups in Boys Class are more likened to that of drills typical to a sport including, but not refined to push-ups, sit-ups and plyometrics. While the students in Boys Class will learn actual technique and dance styles like hip hop, breaking and others it is presented in a manner that is related to sports, athletics, martial arts and even movies and comic books. Students who persevere in Boys Class develop coordination, strength, agility and an overall confidence that can augment and improve any sport in which they may particIpate. Since students learn a great deal through observation and emulation, Boys Class will always be taught by a male instructor (with the exception of an occasional substitute if necessary). Students that develop the specific interest in additional dance classes are recommended to take Hip Hop and Jazz.