Many parents who are new to the "dance game" wonder what distinguishes one form of dance from another.
Classes are typically offered in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Acro-Dance, and Irish Step.
A brief description is provided here to help parents understand what each class entails.
Ballet: Shoes: Ballet Slippers, Pointe Shoes for very advanced and mature dancers.
A disciplined dance technique that is based on a movement vocabulary specifically referencing the ballet movements. The vocabulary is written and spoken in French. Classes begin with stretching followed by a series of exercises at the ballet barre. Choreography is referred to as classical, with romantic ballet themes being very popular.
Briefly, Ballet consists of a precise form of dance technique developed out of Italian Court Dancing. It may be romantic, sad or comedic. Think of it as dancing to classical music. It often follows a romantic story line consisting of boy meets girl. Virtuoso female dancers are referred to as prima ballerinas. Ballet training creates a strong foundation for any dance technique. If you have ballet training, you can do just about anything when it comes to dancing! Every little girl wants to be a ballerina!
Pointe | Pointe Shoes...also referred to as "Toe Shoes"
For advanced level female ballet dancers. This is dancing on your toes, with pointe shoes often being referred to as "toe shoes." These shoes are stiffened with glue and muslin to create a rigid platform on the toe area of the shoes. Professional ballerinas wear their shoes only one time per perfomance!
Lyrical/Modern | Shoes:Half-Soles or Bare Feet
Modern dance first developed as the antithesis of ballet. Ballet is light and ethereal, whereas modern dance is more down to the earth and grounded with broad, heavy movements. Google Martha Graham and you'll see what we mean! Modern Dance has since grown to become an personally interpretative form of movement which is crossing the boundaries into Lyrical Dance. Lyrical Dancing interprets the moods and emotions of the lyrics of a song. It is like painting the words with your movements. This is a very beautiful and expressive style of dance which appeals to many teenagers who have a ballet background.
Tap Dance | Shoes: Tap Shoes
A rhythm based dance enhanced by metal plates positioned on the soles of the shoes in the toe and heel areas. Many tap dance style techniques first emerged as "street dancing" or "hoofing". New styles continue to develop and include percussion sounds with instruments and vocalizations. Fun! Fun! Fun! We love to experiment! Kids love our classes!
Jazz Dance | Jazz Shoes or Sneakers
A contemporary form of dance technique often accompanied by popular music styles, broad stretching movements and fast paced choreography. This is a popular class for high energy students who need to "blow off some steam!" We always screen our music selections so the music appeals to the student, but is age appropriate. No bad words allowed!
Hip Hop | Hip Hop Dance Sneakers (sneakers with a split sole designed for dance)
Similar to jazz in that it is often fast paced and requires a lot of energy and concentration. Hip Hop dancing is a stylized street dance involving movement isolations which resemble the dis-jointed actions of a marionette. This is popular with cheerleaders too! We use family friendly music with a positive attitude!
A form of rhythmic and lyrical dancing made popular by RiverDance and Lord of the Dance. Dancing is done in "hard shoes" with typical Irish rhytms, calling to mind tap dancing, or in soft gillie slippers for the lyrical dancing.