**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 tap program is geared toward teaching the fundamentals of tap dance to dancers from age 5 to adult. In our tap classes dancers will gain skills in musicality, speed, balance, strength, and coordination of their upper and lower body. They will also learn about the development of tap dance and its history along with its amazing artists through time.
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.