Curriculum:

**It's so important for dancers to be invited to explore their artistry and to develop problem-solving skills. Learning 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 is vital to a well-rounded dance education. Students working with Liz 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**

Creative Dance:

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 explore movement concepts through a creative, problem-solving approach, sometimes with props to aid the exploration. Dancers learn to copy each other’s shapes and mirror moving shapes to expand their movement vocabulary. 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 and more).  Students learn movement combinations and phrases and incorporate this learning into folk dances as well.  A variety of music is used to enhance creative expression and improvisation. Creative dance concepts and lessons translate well into codified techniques (ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap) and working through this curriculum is a great way for dancers to incorporate structured improvisation into their studies. 

Ballet:

Training is 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, studying various aspects of other systems in ballet such as Bournonville, Cecchetti and Balanchine techniques is also explored. Music history and theory, ballet history, visual arts integration, etiquette and choreographic styles are also emphasized. The study of ballet is beneficial to aspiring dance artists across age groups and experience levels...dance is for everyBODY, and Liz will welcome you to explore this beautiful art form.

Modern Dance:

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. 

Visual and moving image arts as well as music history and dance history/appreciation are incorporated in a multi-disciplinary. Students have the opportunity to create their own movement and collaborate with fellow dancers in class as they also build their technique.

As dancers become more experienced in modern dance, they begin moving toward shared-weight and contact improvisation as they build their strength and confidence.  Throughout the  Modern curriculum, the dancers are exposed to a wide variety of musical styles and meters, which inspires and challenges them as they work through their study of modern dance.