Course Descriptions

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This is the first level of ballet and pointe technique.  The vocabulary is introduced slowly, allowing students time to feel the tautness of the legs and feet, and to perfect the proper classical ballet alignment.  Through mastery of the turnout of the legs and the development of movement coordination skills, both at the barre and in the center, the foundations of classical dance can be developed with an emphasis on correctness and clarity of execution.  As strength and stability are increased the vocabulary is expanded the musical accompaniment becomes more varied and taken to faster tempo and the enchainement become longer and more demanding.  The focus remains on the methodical building of the classical style through a clear understanding and application of the basic elements of technique.

This level is the continuation and progression of Ballet A. The emphasis is on strengthening the body, gaining flexibility, and enlarging movement vocabulary.  Postural alignment is stressed, as is quickness of sequencing.  Particular importance is placed on developing all the grand poses, especially the arabesque line, petit allegro vocabulary, and on the strengthening of the students’ pointe work.  Pointe classes are given three to six hours a week; thus, this level student develops strength, precision, and pointe vocabulary including a variety of pirouettes, pas de bourree, and work on pique and releve in all positions.  The students’ performance sense and musicality are encouraged and developed through rhythmic and musical variety of the accompanists and with the variety of enchainement given in class.  Some performance work is given to students who have achieved the appropriate technical level.

We continue the study of the classical style with an emphasis on refining technical and performance skills, with the teaching of more advanced vocabulary, and with longer movement enchainements.  A healthy, dynamic alignment will be stressed with concentration on moving more skeletally with less muscular tension in order to increase joint mobility and ease, to promote line, quickness, and fluidity of movement, and to avoid injury.  By emphasizing the quality of movement and phrasing of enchainement, this class assists the students in learning how to solve technical problems related to their physical limitations.  Students work on partnering, corps de ballet, and solo material.

This level focuses on the exploration of all aspects of virtuosity in technique and style. The most advanced steps are introduced, challenging the student both technically and artistically.  Musicality, which has been an integral part of all the previous levels, now becomes one of the focal points.  This is particularly evident in the tempo and complexity of the allegro, both petit and grand.  Students are expected to strive for a high level of proficiency through the application of the smallest details of technique.  Extensive performance work is involved at this level.

This is our first level of modern dance technique and introduces the student to a wide variety of movement styles.   Limon and Horton techniques are introduced.  This level emphasizes body alignment, flexibility, and strengthening of the body, as well as strengthening aerobic endurance.  The student is exposed to the intensity of concentration and discipline needed for success in our program.  We encourage students to perform with aesthetic maturity as the movement vocabulary develops.  The vocabulary includes floorwork, standing warm-up, floor descension, jumps, turns, transitional movements, and leaps.  The term begins with simple sequences, which  progressively become more complex as the year continues.

This course is a Horton and Limon based technique that stresses alignment, flexibility, physical and kinesthetic fitness, along with performance quality.  Students are encouraged to explore their own innate sense of creativity while exploring established modern techniques.  Physical and kinesthetic awareness are stressed in order to reach an organic movement sense.  Concepts such as space, time, and force, fall and recovery, and spatial awareness are stressed at this level.

Based on Limon, Horton, contemporary principles and Release techniques, these modern classes are characterized by highly physical movement that maximizes the body’s expressive potential.  The mobility of the spine, fluidity of the joints, breathing, and the use of weight and momentum in space, are emphasized in both warm-up and combination material. 

This course further encourages students’ creative endeavors.  Students are given advanced modern dance technique with an emphasis on expressions of performance and movement qualities.  They are also exposed to movement improvisation through various problem–solving methods, and they explore choreography by studying basic choreographic forms, which are used to compose and perform short dances.

In the repertory class, long combinations of movement will be taught which are representative of several different contemporary styles.  The class will involve an in-depth look at the stylistic differences of the repertory selected and emphasize a continued refinement of performance skills.  Stamina, focus, movement initiation, dynamic contrast, and transitional movement will be the main areas of concentration.  Encouraged will be the use of imagery and the cultivation of an inner dialogue to further the intent of the choreography and to create a dynamic audience-performer relationship.

In this class students learn to recognize the meter in music and to identify dance styles in music, including the waltz, polka, polonaise, and mazurka.

In this class students learn to recognize and to employ the essential elements of composition.  Students will learn to use directed improvisation to gain access to their creative potential, from which they will organize their concepts into short dances.       

In this class the basics of classical Spanish dance will be introduced.  This type of Spanish dance is highly stylized and incorporates elements of classical ballet, regional Spanish dance and Flamenco.  Dramatic movements are enhanced by the use of percussive footwork and castanets.

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"TWIGS was a chance for me to be with other kids I was not in school with, to be with different teachers who were serious about art."
Dorian Dean
Visual Art Student

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