Combination Classes - Levels 1 - 8
Levels 1-8 are combination ballet and tap classes. While students will study both disciplines each year, they will alternate doing either ballet or tap for the recital. Generally, students are placed according to age. Students may begin dance at age 3 (with some restrictions) and continue until they are ready for Intermediate Ballet and Tap, which can be anytime between the ages of 10 and 14, depending on the dedication of the student.
Ballet classes encompass an eclectic mix of techniques, including Vagnova, Cecchetti, French School, and Royal Ballet. Your teacher will determine when the student is ready for Intermediate Ballet.
Students in Intermediate Ballet do not automatically move into Advanced at a certain age; rather, students are invited into this class when they demonstrate an understanding of technique, consistently work hard, take corrections well, and show responsibility and dedication to working on new steps and learning dances.
Jazz encompasses a variety of styles and influences, including but not limited to Luigi, Fosse, and Giordano, and may be taken when students reach the Intermediate Ballet level. Your teacher will determine when your child is ready to add Jazz. Students enrolled in Jazz must also take a Ballet class.
Intermediate and Advanced Tap may be taken when students reach the Intermediate Ballet level. Your teacher will determine which class is the most appropriate. Students enrolled in Tap must also take a Ballet class.
Modern dance arose as a rebellion against the rigid traditions of classical Ballet in the early 1900's. Rejecting the strict, linear technique, the elaborate sets and costumes, and music and themes deemed “suitable” for dance during this time period, Modern dance instead embraced the body's natural rhythms and responses to the gravity. Early Modern choreographers based their themes on the physical exploration of human emotion, and if a story line was conveyed, all of the dances served to enhance the story line as opposed to being mere virtuoso displays of technical prowess and perfection. Dancers discarded the stiff, restrictive tutus and Pointe shoes, dancing barefoot (which was considered scandalous at the time) in simple costumes that flowed with the body's own natural movement. The art form has evolved throughout the past century, bringing forth innovative choreographers and revolutionary ways of approaching dance movement.
Pointe refers to dancing on the tips of the toes. It is often referred to, incorrectly, as “toe-dancing.” Pointe is one of the most extreme things the human body can do, and, as such, requires a certain level of maturity. There is no specific age at which a child is ready for Pointe; readiness depends on years of ballet training, level of achievement, strength and flexibility, understanding of technique, and personal development factors such as responsibility, maturity, and dedication. Students must begin Pointe in the summer, and must also take a Ballet class twice per week.