Once a student has mastered the basics of ballet, tap, and jazz, he or she is ready to begin progressing through the Springs Dance program. Students will continue to practice ballet, tap, and jazz as the core of their program but as they grow in age and ability will have the opportunity for additional advanced training in each of these styles as well as in modern, contemporary, and pointe.
Level 2 classes still meet twice a week and focus on additional technique in ballet, tap, and jazz. Students strengthen their foundation, memorize terminology, and develop greater control. Most level 2 classes will devote one class a week exclusively to ballet training, and divide class time between tap and jazz in the second class.
The Level 3 program includes one hour of ballet, and one hour of tap and/or jazz weekly as students continue to progress in ability and technique. Most students will continue to take both tap and jazz at this level, but may elect to focus on one or the other style if they choose.
Level 4 dancers will add a second hour of ballet weekly in addition to an hour of tap and/or jazz. Some level 4 dancers may receive instructor permission to join modern/contemporary classes or pre-pointe.
At Level 5, students continue to strengthen their ballet technique in two hours of class each week. Students at this level may be recommended for pre-pointe and then pointe classes. It is extremely important that a student has reached the appropriate developmental age and has built the necessary technical strength to do pointe training safely. Level 5 students may add Jazz, Tap, Contemporary/Modern, and when approved, Pointe classes to their program.
The Springs Dance ribbon ranking system exists to motivate and reward students for their progress through the dance program. The ribbon system gives students attainable, short-term goals that will help them get the most out of our dance curriculum and aid them in progressing through our levels. Ribbons are awarded quarterly upon completion of progress checks. Instructors communicate to students and parents goals for each quarter and give feedback as to how students are doing and what they can practice to reach their goals. Each level within the ribbon system has a name beginning with Young Artists and progressing through Apprentice, Peak Performer, Elite Artist, and eventually to Graduate.
Required for all dancers Level 2 and higher. The leadership program is designed to help Springs Dance students get the most out of their experience at the academy. Students will explore and develop their personal leadership skills as they work through a character development curriculum that will not only improve their success in dance, but also allow them to translate the important goal setting and confidence building experiences they are having in the studio to greater success in their social, academic, and professional lives. Once a week, 5-10 minutes of class time will be devoted to lessons on that month’s leadership principle. Instructors will work with students to set specific goals to practice that principle in their dancing and in their life outside the studio. Focusing on principles like personal responsibility, goal setting, public speaking, and community service in the Springs Dance leadership program is part of what has allowed us to create the extremely supportive and positive environment at the studio.
The Core Program
Ballet is a centuries old dance technique that is still regarded as the foundation to many other styles of dance. Ballet not only increases strength and flexibility, but also can help improve balance, coordination, and poise. Ballet is at the core of our dance program here at Springs Dance to help us build strong, confident dancers. While our younger students begin to learn basic movements in every program, more formal training does not begin until dancers are five years old or older.
Tap dance is a rhythmic style of dance that stems from Irish step dance and was popularized in the Jazz era. Tap dancers use special shoes with metal taps to create percussive sounds either a cappella or to add to the music. The toe tap is like a snare drum with its lighter, treble sound and the heel tap is like a bass drum with it’s deeper, bass sound. In class you will learn how to isolate these taps and build small muscle control in your feet, ankles and lower legs to make many different sounds and rhythms with and without musical accompaniment. Basic music theory, counting, and rhythms are an emphasis in this style.
Jazz dance is a style that became popular in the 1950’s that fused African dance elements withe more formal theater dance and was created for trained dancers. Jazz is a fun, high energy style of dance using isolations, a lower center of gravity (plié), and stylized kicks, turns, and jumps that is set to music ranging between old Broadway favorites to current, popular music. It will call on your ballet training as well as introducing new steps, footwork, and stylization. Improvisation is also a skill you will learn as you begin to develop your own voice as a dancer.
Modern dance was created in the early 20th century as the counter response to ballet. One of the founding mothers of Modern, Martha Graham, viewed ballet as one-sided and opted to create her own dance technique. Many other like-minded dancers of the age followed suite. In this class you will learn a combination of these techniques that will include parallel positions, more freedom of movement in the torso (contraction and release, spirals, etc.), floor work, and exploring personal expression. This style is not only a full body work out, but will exercise your mind as well.
Contemporary dance utilizes ballet, modern, and jazz techniques and is often taught to more experienced dancers as a way to cross train styles and increase personal expression. There is an emphasis in improvisations as well as more advanced movement and inversions. New students must have teacher approval before taking this class.