Ballet is the root of all styles of dance. Proper technique, positioning & framing begins in ballet. Students will learn positioning of the feet, arms & body, as well as across-the-floor and on-the-barre routines and combinations. Basic leaps, jumps and turns begin in level 1 and become more advanced as the dancer progresses. Students will also work on musicality and rhythm, posture, and flexibility. A background in ballet is also essential for any lyrical or jazz dancer.
Tap never gets boring because of the constant challenges it presents & the fact that you can always build on it. A lot of kids take their first couple of tap classes and get discouraged that it is "too hard". Tap is a bit like learning how to read or to do math. You can't read a word or solve an equation the first day you're introduced to these subjects. You first need to learn the individual letters & numbers. After getting familiar with them, you start putting them together to make words & equations and it all starts to make sense. It is the same with tap- you need to learn all the basic steps first. Once you do, you can start combining them to make new steps and combinations, and the possibilities are endless. It's a bit like having your own personal drums attached to your legs.
The classification of "Hip Hop" dance is all over the place these days. It tends to carry a bad reputation because the over-sexualized dancing on social media and music videos is portrayed as hip hop. In actuality, most of that is not technically hip hop, but rather a commercialized form of dance (that should only be reserved for consenting adults), and is not what we teach at BAHS.
Hip Hop does in fact have a base of technique and structure (breakdancing, popping, locking, house, footwork, isolations, tutting, etc.) It is a fun, fast-paced, high-energy class. We focus a lot on loosening up the body (i.e.: don't have a stiff posture; slouch your shoulders; stay in your plie'- A.K.A. always dance with a bend in your knees; stay on the balls of your feet, etc.) which is a skill that is surprisingly challenging, especially for those with a background in classes like ballet or jazz. This class is a great way to express one's own individual style and unique personality.
Lyrical is often defined as a loose combination of ballet, jazz & modern dance. Focus on expression and interpretation is key. Much of the technique used in this style of dance is ballet & jazz based, which is why we begin our younger dancers in ballet & jazz training before lyrical classes are available to them. Building on technique and adding expression and emotion to a dance is the basis of the lyrical style.
Jazz is a fast-paced style of dance with a lot of technique, which stems from ballet. Students will work on advanced leaps, turns and jumps as well as focus on flexibility & strength. This style of dance pairs the grace and technique of ballet with the intensity & energy of faster, more upbeat music.
INTRO TO DANCE
This class prepares the little ones for the structure & technicality of our level 1 classes by teaching necessary basics. Mainly, they learn how to follow direction and to mimic choreography and are introduced to warm-ups, stretches and basic technique. In a typical class, we will get everyone settled into to circle to take attendance and do our "Hello Song", do some of their favorite warm-up songs, stretch and work on "across-the-floor" basics. Then we introduce some choreography for the day. Half-way through the hour, we switch to tap shoes and learn simple tap basics & choreography. Of course, some fun stuff is thrown in there as well to keep them interested for a full hour: tumbling on the mat, games or crafty things once in awhile. (Your littles must be able to use the bathroom on their own and have the ability to follow some structure & direction before they are ready to enroll in this class.)
Intro- Ages 3 to 6
Beginner- Ages 6 & up
Intermediate- Ages 9 & up (dependent upon experience)
Advanced- Ages 13 & up (dependent upon experience)
What level to enroll in can be confusing. Generally, we recommend at least 2 to 3 years in each level. Here are a few reasons why:
1) Staying in your current level of class for some time builds a camaraderie with your classmates. You learn to work together and dance in sync. It is an awesome thing to see a class grow together.
2) Once a student has been in a level for at least a year, they are much more confident in how things work in that class and can really start working to build their skills & improve their technique.
3) Students that have already taken at least a year of their current level really help with the new students coming into the class.
4) Intermediate/Advanced levels are much faster-paced & challenging. We don't spend a lot of time explaining choreography in detail, as we expect that students in the more advanced levels have already fully grasped the basics and can catch on quickly.
Please contact us if you are unsure what level to place your student in.