Beginning Dance and Creative Movement

Creative Movement 1 and Pre-Ballet 1  3 to 4 years
This age group is quite new to learning how their bodies move, as well as how to behave in a classroom. Children in this program are gently introduced to the classroom environment. Because this age group loves and needs repetition, the same class is repeated several times before being changed.
Class duration: 45 minutes

Creative Movement 2 and Pre-Ballet 2  4 to 5 years
This program builds on the work done in the previous year.  Students at this age learn to improve their motor control.  Weight transfers are done not only forward and backward, but also from side to side.  Balances are more sustained.  Jumps are now done in basic patterns, traveling steps are often done with partners, and skipping is learned both forward and backwards.  Students also start learning concepts of counting and opposites.
Class duration: 1 hour

Creative Movement 3 and Pre-Ballet 3, Beginning Folk    5 to 6 years
Students continue to work on the same concepts, but in greater degrees of complexity. Their ability to count music is developed. They utilize opposite arms and legs while skipping, galloping, and balancing. Weight transfers are taught in more complex patterns, and traveling steps across the floor are sometimes done on half-pointe. They also begin to learn the technique of spotting (the snap of the head that allows dancers to turn without getting dizzy).
Class duration: 1 hour


Middle Division


Students entering the middle division will increase their class time into an hour and one half. This schedule develops a greater understanding of technique, strength, and placement. Girls will gain strength for eventual pointe work and boys will develop strength in legs and torso. Students will be promoted according to their progress and ability rather than grade alone. Recommendation for the appropriate class level is made following a placement class.

Level 1   7 to 8 years
At this level, children move into an hour and half class while beginning to incorporate classical ballet and contemporary technique elements. Essentially, this class takes the concepts learned in the Pre-ballet and creative movement programs and begins to put them into the format used in an actual ballet and contemporary class. Barre work is introduced.
Class duration: 1.5 hours

Level 2    8 to 10 years
A true entry level class for students in third grade through fifth grade who are beginning their classical ballet study. Class format is based on a full barre and center work that follows a precise syllabus. Contemporary/modern dance classes begin to incorporate more exploration of the individual’s dance style and how to manifest that into measured choreography.  Folk dance is incorporated at this level.
Classes meet twice per week: 3 total hours

Level 3    by experience and ability
This is the second year of classical ballet training with Level 2 as a prerequisite. Level 3 is a pre-pointe level for the female students. Much time is spent developing the foot, ankle and hip strength.  Contemporary/modern classes will now include student collaboration on finished choreography. At the end of the semester student choreography will be showcased during class for friends and family.
Classes meet three times per week: 4.5 total hours


Upper Division

Pilates classes are implemented in the Upper Division. Dance Conditioning and Education are important aspects to the dancer’s development. The implementation of both Pilates and the Horton Technique Method promote the ability to do the following:

  1. Improve technique and performance
  2. Build Core strength
  3. Improve balance, coordination, alignment and flexibility

Dancers should possess basic knowledge about their bodies. Through experiential anatomy, assisted by the application of imagery, the dancer will gain a clear understanding of proper alignment, good movement patterns and clear technique.

Level 4 Beginning pointe level, beginning intermediate technique level
This is the first level of Pointe work. Students learn the basics of pointe work through repetition of all rises, progressions and linking steps. Factors that are considered before a dancer progresses to pointe work are:

  1. Well-placed postural control with good to excellent abdominal and trunk support
  2. Sufficient muscular strength, proprioceptive ability and good leg alignment
  3. Closed growth plates, usually between 11 and 12 years of age

Folk dance at this level introduces more of the Slavic based dances. Modern dancers are expected to have an ease with improve at this level, and be able to choreograph using all three kinsepheric levels.
Classes meet four times per week: 6.5 total hours

Level 5    Intermediate level 
Students develop additional precision and stamina, as well as increase their vocabulary in this comprehensive Intermediate level.  Level 5 and 6 are eligible to join the “Company” of South Valley Dance Arts.  As Company members, they are provided additional performance and mentoring opportunities.  They are also eligible to participate in the Choreography Project.
Classes meet four times per week: 9.5 total hours

Level 6    Pre-Professional level
Further technical development for the serious student on a pre-professional track.
Classes meet five times per week: 10 hours minimum


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