Ballet is a specific dance form and technique. Works of dance choreographed using this technique are called ballets, and may include dance, mime, acting, and music (orchestral and sung). Ballets can be performed alone or as part of an opera. Ballet is best known for its virtuoso techniques such as pointe work, grand pas de deux and high leg extensions. Many ballet techniques bear a striking similarity to fencing positions and footwork, perhaps due to their development during the same periods of history, but more probably, because both arts had similar requirements in terms of balance and movement. Its unique positions and movements had their beginnings in courtly dance and are shaped the way they are because of the fashions worn at that time. Ballet’s curved arms were to accommodate the full puffy sleeve and the turn-out of the feet enabled one to move without hinderance by one’s high heeled shoe (and was found to make moving sideways much easier).
Ballet class stressing basic techniques. Helps dancers stay in touch with the floor. Will not be showcased in the recital.
Beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Irish Step Dancing
Soft shoe and hard shoe work. All levels are available.
Jazz dance has two meanings, depending on the era. Both dance forms are related by evolution.
• Until the middle of the 1950s, jazz dance in shows meant mostly tap dance, because jazz was the music and tap was the main dance of the era. American “tap dancing” has its roots both in the “Irish” folk dance tradition and in the African dance tradition.
Also, during the jazz era, a popular form of jazz dance was Swing dancing and its related dances Cakewalk, Black Bottom, Charleston, Lindy Hop, all forms of dance commonly danced to jazz music.
Another essential root of jazz dance comes from the [African American Vernacular Dance] from the late 1800’s up until the mid 1900’s. After the 1950’s, pioneers such as Kathrine Dunham took the essence of Caribbean traditional dance and made it into a performing art.
• Since the fifties, with the growing domination of other forms of entertainment music, jazz dance evolved with broadway choreographer into a new, smooth, modern Broadway style that is taught today and known as Modern Jazz, while tap dance continued to evolve on its own.
An early popular “jazz dancer” was vaudeville star Joe Frisco in the 1910’s. He danced in a loose-limbed style close to the ground, with eccentric steps, and juggled his derby and cigar. Jazz dance is a form of dance commonly used in Broadway shows and movies. Jazz is more a contemporary kind of dance as compared to ballet, for instance. Even though jazz dancing might look easy and fun when the dancers do it, the dancers have to be in really good shape, and practice sometimes six hours a day. Some traditional musical jazz numbers are All That Jazz and Chicago.
Both Jazz dance and modern dance techniques are based on the basics of the old ballet tradition, even though both forms where considered to rebellions against it. To excel in jazz dance, the dancer must master ballet techniques. In jazz dancing the movements are big and exaggerated and there is usually an attitude the dancer conveys to the audience.
Leap and Turns
Specialty class focusing on various leaps, turns, and tricks. Will not be showcased in the recital.
Must have ballet background. Beginning, intermediate, and advance levels.
For students of appropriate strength and technique. Classes organized accordingly.
Extra class for serious students. Dancers must be taking both pointe and jazz. Curriculum may consist of pointe, jazz, musical theater, or modern. Classes arranged according to skill level. By permission only.
Tap dance was born in the United States during the 19th century, and today is popular all around the world. The name comes from the tapping sound made when the small metal plates on the dancer’s shoes touch a hard floor. This lively, rhythmic tapping makes the performer not just a dancer, but also a percussive musician.
individualized focus on strength and conditioning and tumbling skills for ages 7 and up. 45 minutes