Besides being lots of fun, our PreDance Program is specially designed
to provide children between three and seven years of age with a strong
foundation in dance and movement. It teaches the young dancer the
basic elements of movement:
- space and how we relate to it, both as an individual and a
member of a group
- the eight basic loco-motor movements
- musical rhythm, beat and time
- opposites and directions
- as well as elementary dance steps
Integrated with these physical concepts are the intellectual concepts
of self-awareness, creative expression, imagination, teamwork and basic
Through participation in these classes, students also learn the
basics of classroom behavior and manners, which remain basically the
same throughout their dancing years. These concepts include
learning how to take turns, following another dancer or leading the way,
waiting patiently, working together with others and having a positive
Educators know that training young children in the concepts
of movement, sequencing, patterning and spatial relationships lays a strong
foundation for the later development of reading, mathematics and other
educational skills. Children in our PreDance Program work actively in all
of these areas.
how our pre-dance
combo classes are structured
Classes are grouped into four age-specific levels, A
through D. These classes meet once a week and last from 45 to 60 minutes.
- Level A- 3 year
olds and young 4 year olds (students must turn 3 by Sept 30th to join
our Main Session)
- Level B-
4 year olds and young 5 year olds
- Level C-
Kindergarten age students (5-6 year
- Level D-
Also known as Ballet/Tap, for 1st
and 2nd graders. This is a good transition class between
our Pre-Dance Combos and our Open Division classes.
Class structure for Levels B & C is essentially the
same, with the content based on appropriate developmental skills for their age.
Each class begins with a brief sharing time and discussion of classroom
Tap fundamentals are explored during the first portion of
the class for Levels B & C. Students learn beginning tap steps and combinations of those
steps to music. Tap enhances rhythm and foot articulation. Level A
is slightly different, omitting the tap portion and focusing on ballet, creative
movement and basic loco-motor skills.
The ballet portion of class has students taking turns
moving around the room using age-appropriate traveling steps. The
exercises in this section also teach balance, port de bras (arm movements) and
include various types of jumps that are the building blocks for the jumps of
classical ballet. Following the center warm-up comes stretching.
These gentle exercises progress in difficulty as students gain flexibility over
The next section of class is based on different monthly
objectives geared to the age of the students. Concepts such as musical
awareness, dance relationships to others, relationship to the working space and
the stage, expressing emotions through movement and pantomime are explored
during the year. Creative expression is also a focus in this section.
This type of activity aids in developing a sense of self-confidence.
Besides, it's fun!
Levels B & C work on
some elementary jazz throughout the year. Level A will get occasional
samplings of jazz as well.
Format for Level D or Ballet/Tap classes differs somewhat
from the younger classes. Students work only on ballet and tap. This is a
transitional year before moving on to Open Division dance classes in ballet,
tap, jazz or hip-hop. Minimum age for Open Division is 1st grade.