Classes We Offer
~September to June~
Early Childhood Dance Program
ages 3 through 7
Three year olds are quite new to learning how their bodies move, as well as how to behave in a class situation, so we gently introduce them to the classroom environment. Because this age child loves and needs repetition, the same class is repeated several times before being changed. Some of the concepts that we teach are: stretching the foot (the foundation for a battement tendu), balancing on one leg (an essential skill for a dancer), weight transfers from one foot to another (the basis for balancé), jumping, simple arm movements, stretching, and moving across the floor. Many types of movement characterizations are used to develop both movement quality and imagination.
In the 4 & 5 year old class,the student now learns to further control their movements. Weight transfers are not only done forwards and backwards, but also side to side. Balances are more sustained. Jumps are now done in basic patterns, traveling steps are often done with partners, and skipping is learned. Their ability to remember patterning is developed, counting with the music is introduced, and weight transfers and steps are taught in more complex patterns.
The 6-7 year old class is a transitional one between the Early Childhood Dance Program and the Beginner levels of ballet/jazz/tap. Essentially this class takes the concepts learned in the early childhood program and begins to put the into the format used in a “traditional” dance class; warm-up, barre, center stretching, centre practice, adage, allegro, across the floor traveling steps. By the time the students complete the E.C.D.P., they are both mentally and physically ready for a formal dance class.
Educators now know that training young children in the concepts of movement sequencing, patterning and spatial relationships lays a strong foundation for the later development of reading, mathematics, and other educational skills. Children in our Early Childhood Dance Program work actively in all of these areas.
ages 7 through adult
Ballet is an excellent place to start; whether you are brand new to dancing or have progressed through our Early Childhood Program. Classical ballet training is invaluable because not only are most dance forms based from ballet, ballet also provides a basic understanding of dance principles and instills the proper execution of dance techniques. Ballet will also develop the line and form (the two and three dimensional images created by the dancer’s body), muscle strength, joint flexibility, balance and co-ordination; all of which is vital for a “good”, strong dancer. When a student is approx. 12 and has been approved by her teacher, she is allowed to progress to pointe (dancing on the toes) work, with an emphasis on strengthening exercises.
Beginner Levels introduce the fundamentals of ballet with an emphasis on developing proper technique (including balancing and turning). This foundation will save correcting bad habits or re-learning later on in a dancer’s training. Students learn basic weight changes and correct body placement. Exercises and dances in the beginner levels consist of simple structures at slower tempos to co-ordinate steps in basic patterns and sequences.
Intermediate Levels expand the vocabulary of steps/exercises and structures become more complex. A variety of music styles are introduced, there is less repetition, and tempos increase. There is a reinforcement to develop clean “lines” and body placement. Pre-Pointe work and strengthening exercises may be introduced. Students are encouraged to increase their class hours per week by this level in order to maintain muscle and flexibility.
Advanced Levels continues the focus to be placed on body line and the student concentrates on dynamics and artistry of execution of the movements. Steps increase in difficulty, attention is given to directional changes and traveling within the framework of the rhythm, complex turns and increased vocabulary are learned. Stamina, strength, and endurance are an important factor of training at this level. Some students are ready to be introduced to Pointe work and pas de deux (“the dance of two”--partnering) fundamentals.
ages 7 through adult
Jazz dance encompasses many types of dance and expressions. Historically, Jazz developed slowly and tended to be directly related to cultural fads so, in this way, jazz dance has a constantly changing style. With a strong base in ballet, Jazz also borrows from tap, folk, ballroom, and modern dance. Jazz can reflect and inspire a wide diversity of moods; from the classic Broadway style, to the funk of hip hop, to the flowing and expressive lyrical. Here at the Academy, we strive to introduce as many of these “faces” as possible as students progress and become more proficient.
Beginner Levels (1-3 years of training) introduce the fundamentals traditional steps of jazz with an emphasis on developing proper technique (including balancing and turning). All students are taught basic weight changes and correct body placement. Exercises and dances in the beginner levels consist of simple structures at slower tempos to co-ordinate steps in basic patterns and sequences.
Intermediate Levels (3 to 6 years of training) expand the vocabulary of steps/exercises and structures become more complex. A variety of music styles are introduced, there is less repetition, and tempos increase. There is a reinforcement to develop clean “lines” and proper body placement.
Advanced Levels (6 years or more of training) , steps have dramatically increased in difficulty, attention is given to directional changes and traveling within the framework of the rhythm, complex turns and increased vocabulary are learned. There is an emphasis on “flash” steps and developing greater technique, speed and diversity of styles.
LYRICAL JAZZ: (ages 11 +, and good background in both ballet and jazz) Lyrical jazz is an expressive type of jazz and ballet mixed together. The basic idea is to express the lyrics of a song, or the mood of the music through dance. Usually done to slower pieces that convey a strong message or feeling. Strength and flexibility are emphasized.
ages 7 through adult
Tap dancing is a style of American theatrical dancing distinguished by percussive footwork that marks out precise rhythmic patterns on the floor. Tap class always begins with a pre-warm up that helps to get the blood circulating and to prepare your muscles for the demands of the rest of class. The barre is used as a means of support in the next segment of class where the basics of all subsequent steps and movements are introduced and practiced. The barre allows students to fully concentrate on the sound and precise movement of each step. These steps are then later practiced in the centre, without support. Stretching is an important part of any dance class, and promotes flexibility and strength. There is also a section of traveling across the floor and a centre combination. Throughout the class, students work on proper technique, musicality, rhythmic execution, dynamics, speed, clarity of sound and style. Creative exercises are also used (sometimes without tap shoes) to explore the dynamics of music; tempo (fast, moderate, slow) levels (high, medium, low), emotional (happy ,sad, angry). Through these exercises students learn how to move expressively to music and also become more aware of their body and movements. This will ultimately assist students in their improvisation later in their training.
Our Session classes are just that--run by short sessions; usually 6 to 8 weeks in length. There are 4 main "runs"--Fall (October), Winter (January), Spring (March), and Summer (July/August). Registration takes place at the beginning of each session, and classes offered vary. Please contact us to find out about registration and when the next session is!
ONLY HERE AT THE ACADEMY! This unique class was created & developed by Andrea and incorporates Pilates mat work with yoga and ballet stretches. Hand weights are also used for arm/shoulder toning. Relaxation techniques leave you feeling refreshed. Class ends with a self-foot massage. Comfortable clothes a must. Excellent for gentle toning, stress relief, and flexibility. This is a wonderful class that makes you feel “worked” and revitalized.!
Dance With Me
NEW! This is a class designed for littles (aged 18 months to 3 years) accompanied by an adult. Our goal is to create a safe space for both adult and child to have fun, explore movement, and encourage imagination. The class is lead by a certified dance teacher, with each adult doing the activity with their little. This is meant as play-learning, so we encourage everyone to relax and just enjoy the time together—there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do the activities. Props will be used for parts of the class, and it is all done to age-appropriate music. Adults and children should wear comfortable clothing, easy to move in. Exercise wear is recommended. Socks/slippers—or dance shoes if you so choose.
Excellent for anyone (ages 10 +) wishing to improve their strength and flexibility. This is an excellent class for students who wish to improve their strength, technique, and execution in their regular class. It can also be taken on it’s own for it’s own merit by athletes wishing to improve their flexibility. This intense class combines pilates, yoga, and dance stretches designed to improve flexibility, balance, and strength. Weights are also incorporated to intensify the workout. A challenging class that will get results!
Latin heat infused with the grace of Ballroom--NO PARTNER REQUIRED! Have you always wanted to take ballroom classes but lacked a partner? Well, your dream has come true! Learn the basics of fox trot, waltz, tango, cha cha, jive, paso doblé...all choreographed into routines you dance by yourself. Class will begin with a traditional dance warm-up and stretches. Great work out, great fun, and great for self confidence! You will need comfortable exercise clothes and some sort of dance shoes (ballet, jazz, ballroom, etc)