Founded in the French Court System in the 17th century, ballet is considered the basis of all other forms of dance. It is ordered and consistent in both movement and vocabulary. Dancers start class working at the barre moving through a structured series of warm-ups. Then dancers advance to center floor for additional training. Ballet is poised and elegant and dancers learn muscle memory, grace and musicality.
Maria’s School of Dance ballet classes are taught using the Cecchetti method of Ballet. Students who express an interest, the necessary commitment and progression in their ballet classes, will be invited to take the Cecchetti Council of America’s student exams.
Developed during the early 18th century, pointe work has brought choreographers’ and audiences’ imaginations to reality, giving spectators the impression that dancers are ethereal creatures floating across the stage. Pointe work is an extension of ballet technique. Ballet steps are transferred from demi-pointe to en pointe as the dancer develops technically. Once students have developed a sound base of technical skill, proper body placement, sufficient strength in the feet and legs, and is at least 12 years of age, they may be invited to start pointe work.
Tap dance is a dance form using specific shoes to create rhythms, sounds, and patterns. Students learn correct technique and terminology. Dancers work on a balance, improvisation, creativity and musicality. Dancers enjoy this fast-paced style.
Acro is a dance form that teaches tricks that are done on the dance floor as part of the choreography of a dance. The class will incorporate elements of tumbling, balance, strength, flexibility, and cardio. When added to a good technical foundation, the dancer will learn how to do tricks like handstands, cartwheels, and front and back walkovers to use in their dance choreography.
Jazz dance was developed over 55 years ago by many different dancers and choreographers including Gus Giordano, Bob Fosse and more recently Cathy Roe. Maria’s School of Dance incorporates many styles of jazz in their program. Our jazz style encourages the dancer to be dynamic, expressive and in the moment. Jazz technique is based on flexibility, strength, use of isolations, floor work, specific positioning and movement combinations.
Lyrical dance fuses stylized, seamless jazz movements, strength, flexibility with the grace of ballet. Students are taught with progressions and center floor combinations. Dances communicate expressions and stories through lyrical dance.
Hip Hop is an urban street form of dance. Hip Hop dance is strong, sharp and fun. Hip hop dancers learn flexibility, tempo, style, isolation work and rhythm. Students are encouraged to be creative and expressive.
Contemporary dance is a fusion of ballet and jazz technique, with the majority of emphasis on jazz. It is recommended for dancers who have had some experience in either ballet, jazz or other technical discipline. Strength, technical training, and creativity will be stressed through a vigorous warm-up, center combinations and improvisational work.
Conditioning/Stretching (not offered for 2019-20):
This class will emphasize strength and flexibility training. The importance will be placed on the dancers as athletes. Exercises will include center stretching, core building, and cardio work. This is great for all levels. This class is offered when schedule permits. Dancers, cheerleaders, athletes, and all others are welcome!
Originating in the late 19th century, modern dance evolved out of the need to break the artistic boundaries and structural form of ballet. This class explores the wide range of space surrounding the individual dancer, opposing dynamics, and encourages artistic individualism.
Combinations are taught to advance the individuals understanding of various rhythms, isolated movement, and improvisational skills. Through the use of world music, students gain a cultural appreciation for different musical styles while building a solid movement vocabulary. Modern is an exhilarating, energized dance form.
Special Needs classes include dancers with all types of emotional and/or physical needs. Each year a different discipline of dance is emphasized. It rotates between ballet, tap, jazz , hip hop and lyrical. Dancers work on rhythm, timing, flexibility, and social skills. Dancers perform in the annual recital. Assistance is provided for those that require help while performing. Everyone is included and welcome.
Dramatic Arts (not offered for 2019-20):
The Dramatic Arts class focuses on the fundamentals of acting for the stage. Through reading scripts, playing games, and performing, students learn what it took to be an actor in the past, as they travel back in time and learn about the history of theater and how it can apply to today's industry. The purpose of the Dramatic Arts program is to guide young performers as they discover their talents and coach them as they grow. Each week students can expect to learn a new "lesson" and will work together as well as with their instructor to fully grasp the concept. Periodically all classes will come together for a performance experience where they will showcase the progress they've made. Family and friends are always welcome and encouraged to attend Performance Experience!
We will touch on various types of theater including masks, pantomime, improvisation, kabuki, musical theater, monologues, scenes, and interpretive dance. DA (Dramatic Arts) is a safe and friendly environment for students to discover a little more about themselves, each other, and the world around them.