Dance technique classes are offered at beginning/intermediate and intermediate/advanced levels. Classes are focused on creating a solid foundation of technical alignment, body awareness, and artistic expressivity. All techniques instill an understanding of full-body warmups, barre work for ballet, floor work, traveling phrases and skills across the floor, and choreography. Dancers receive opportunities to perform in the Performing Arts Center to showcase their class choreography for community events. Other performance opportunities include auditioning for the two school musicals, where they learn how to create different characters as well as choreography. Classes are taught in the Mary Johnson Dance Studio at the end of the academic day throughout the school year.
Ballet Beginning/Intermediate is open to dancers of all levels, particularly those with little to no experience. This class gives dancers an understanding of basic ballet alignment, vocabulary, musicality, and proper stretching. Intermediate/Advanced Ballet presents more complex barre combinations, turn sequences, and center phrases. More advanced dancers also learn soloist variations to expand their repertoire. All levels are welcome to learn pointe class exercises to strengthen the feet in preparation for pointe, while more advanced dancers upon approval may work en pointe from barre to center working toward variation work.
Jazz is open to dancers of all levels. This course works on fundamentals, specifically isolations of the body, turns, kicks, and leaps. Jazz builds on ballet basics, but in parallel alignment, also calling upon the dancers to generate their own style and energy to match the music. From classic jazz and musical theatre standards to current pop hits, dancers begin with a center warmup then move to traveling leaps and patterns before moving on to choreography.
Tap is an open level dance class. Dancers will become comfortable with simple warmup combinations, learning proper release of the ankles and to tap without tension. Musicality is emphasized, differentiating between straight and swung, as well as how to easily and quickly shift weight. From basic shuffles and time steps to grab offs and maxi fords, students learn classic steps and work toward more complicated patterns, culminating in choreography.
Hip-Hop is open to dancers of all levels. The class focuses on footwork, body isolations, strength, and introductory breaking skills. Hip-Hop uses some of the fundamentals from Jazz and requires a more grounded center of gravity to involve polyrhythmic movements. Dancers develop a vocabulary for classic steps and listening to the music and taking it into the body for choreography.
Contemporary Dance Beginning/Intermediate is an open level class focusing on differentiating between parallel and turned out alignment, as well as basic ballet technique in the center. This class integrates floor work and upper body strength to enable full body connectivity. Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary Dance allows more advanced dancers to improve their technical skills acquired in the beginning/intermediate course, and to gain more strength, flexibility, and dynamic performance qualities. Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary Dance focuses on more complex movement sequences and specific musicality to tell stories through choreography. Dancers develop a greater sense of their artistry and how to relay emotion and intention.
Strength & Flexibility is open to students of all backgrounds and levels, in sports or dance. This class is focused on giving students a full-body workout that expands their cardiovascular endurance as well as lengthening muscles and generating better coordination skills. Students learn basic dance moves from ballet pliés and relevés, to floor rolls, jumps, and leaps. The course helps students learn how to work different muscle groups to build strength, and to stretch different areas when they experience tight muscles or soreness. Exercises not only prepare dancers for any other dance classes they may take, but also help athletes stay in peak shape.