OUR PHILOSOPHY

Uninterrupted Creative Time

For all dancers there is a time to perform and a time to be self absorbed, learning about the body through the pleasure and freedom of movement.  Classes are closed to visitors.  Parents are asked to wait outside the classroom to free the children to take risks with movement, to focus on their feelings and to perform for themselves, not for others.  Concentration, focus and understanding are easier for students when the class can proceed without interruption. We make every class focused by closing out the outside world to make dance the center of attention.  Parents can view their child's class at scheduled viewing times.

The Best Dance Introduction

We want every child's introduction to dance to be a positive one and this means respecting each student's independent learning styles.  Some children learn by watching and others will joyfully jump in to try something new.  Whatever your child's learning style, we will work to make them comfortable with initiating this new activity.  We believe in giving a child time to learn the beauty and impact of dance.  After developing an appreciation and sincere love for the art, it is easy to teach children dance discipline and technique.

Learning When Ready

Children need to know what is expected of them and may need time to adjust to a new space or teacher so they will feel safe and comfortable. We never force or push a child to dance, because a great dance experience is born of an individual's desire to participate.  If your child needs time to just watch when new exercises are introduced, don't be alarmed.  They are still learning and deciding how they feel about the experience.  We feel patience and encouragement will always lead to a healthy love for dance.

Respecting Dance

From the first moment a dancer steps into the studios we teach them to honor and respect dance.  Proper dance class etiquette is observed and respect for others is encouraged.  Listening and following directions are the first steps toward learning.  Students are expected to participate in all the activities and are not allowed to wander around the room or distract others.  Learning to dance is not about "discipline" but about "self-discipline".  Self-discipline is the path to success in all areas of life.  We are firm about proper behavior in class because with focus and self-control, we create an atmosphere where creativity can surface and bloom.  Self-discipline is introduced to students in 2nd grade at the advanced combo level because this is where we begin to do serious ballet barre work.   

 

Parents Role

We believe an important facet of dance education is teaching the parents about dance so they can make appropriate choices for their child's training.  As parents learn about dance, they are able to guide their child to better class choices and can share in the discovery of dance with their child.  The staff is also available to discuss your child's needs and to help with placement or study recommendations.

What will my child learn in the dance lesson?

Traditional dance is taught, but sometimes it is best introduced in non-traditional ways.  Our children's classes are designed with emphasis on creative expression and physical awareness.  Each class blends a variety of exercises to enhance the following skills.

**Creativity

It may look like their playing but learning about shape while molding their bodies to look like a tree, or discovering space while playing our dance games teaches your child about concepts of movement through space. Studies prove creative dance is the most beneficial form of dance training for children under 8, and we take this theory to new heights.  Self expression and physical exploration are discovered with creative exercises that teach traditional dance concepts in non-traditional ways.  We make dance a theatrical adventure for your child.

**Coordination

Using a fun atmosphere, we insert exercises for posture to make learning to move with grace and control easy and natural.  Physical conditioning and body development improves as your child works on safe exercises, stressing physical awareness and coordination.  We make sure your child's dance education is complete without the need for harsh discipline or mundane repetition.  Dance is embraced as a joyful experience, making your child ready for more structure and personal discipline after their basics are learned.

**Basic Dance Skills

Learning serious dance does not have to be serious.  We are committed to teaching dance in a positive way and this encourages us to teach the basics with imagery and creative methods. With bean bags we teach proper foot placement and posture.  With props and games, we introduce dance terms and basic technique.  Your child will learn his/her basics camouflaged in activities which are inspirational and fun.  As they grow they will embrace the discipline and challenge of dance out of the love for the craft.

**Musicality and Rhythm

All music used in youth classes is pre-selected to assure every song is age appropriate and inspirational for the children enrolled.  Music awareness is encouraged as your child is introduced to a variety of music from classical, upbeat instrumentals and reggae, to jazz, Broadway tunes and pop.  Children's favorites like Disney songs and other popular children's artists are used as well to make every class an adventure in music.  Music selections for even the older dancers are pre-selected to make sure the language and concepts are appropriate. Musical instruments, rhythm exercises and dancing games are used to teach rhythm basics.  Exploring rhythm and tempo with a drum, rhythm sticks or through movement games make understanding music easy and fun!

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