Baby Steps is an introduction to dance using creative, imaginative role-playing and fun props. This class may involve pretending to be animals, playing instruments to learn rhythm, learning balancing, jumping, running and techniques using scarves and ribbons, or picking up “diamonds” (shhh...they’re actually just bean bags) from the ground to develop their hand-eye coordination. This class is suitable for both boys and girls who are having so much fun that they don't even realize that they are learning the fundamentals of dance technique. This is a parent child class for children under the age of 18 months.
Toddler Movement is a great parent child class for our 1.5-3 year olds. We use music they know and love while learning beginner dance moves with a ballet or tap basis. We learn all about warming up, stretching, nursery rhymes, role playing and obstacle courses to foster a love for dance and enhance gross motor skills.
Creative Movement is a class for our preschoolers who are 3 years old turning 4 and it it the first class they take without a parent! Most of the children are in preschool by now, so their attention span and direction following capabilities are much deeper than before. We use fun, familiar music, while doing interactive activities with props, colorful tools and engaging equipment. This is a combination class, where a 1/2 hour of each class is spent with a ballet focus and we alternate tap and tumbling for the remaining 15 minutes. They will learn a simple routine that will be performed in the May recital.
Preprimary is a class for our older preschoolers who are 4-5 years and about to get ready to start Kindergarten. The music for this class is fun and familiar to them and expands on the techniques learned by our younger classes. We do some warming up, stretching, progressions across the room (including skips, kicks and basic turning skills) as well as putting together a dance for the recital/concert. We spend a half hour of each class learning ballet and they will learn over 40 French ballet terms this year, being able to demonstrate and give the English translation for each term! The remaining half hour will be spent learning super fun basic tap skills in an imaginative way while also playing with instruments to help promote rhythm. They will learn steps including toe-heel, heel-toe, stamps and shuffles as well as making as many sounds as they can in our fun, safe and educational environment. Once a month instead of tap, they will do basic tumbling skills, using simple equipment in order to get rolling.
Primary 1 is a class for our kindergarten dancers, to build on their ballet & tap technique while increasing motor skill development. This class uses props and tools to engage the students who will thrive from positive reinforcement. During the hour lesson, 30 minutes is spent in a ballet setting, building their French terminology base to over 50 terms while increasing their confidence and performance skills. In the second portion of the class students will be learning the basics of tap technique as well as increasing their sense of rhythm. There are opportunities for students in this class to participate in ballet exams which will encourage them to progress through the program/syllabus and work hard to move up into the next graded level.
Primary 2 is exclusively for our first graders. We use this class to solidify the technique taught in previous levels and take the ballet dancers to the barre. We still use fun, engaging music and colorful tools. This class is a bridge between the “little kid classes” and our “big kid classes” and we work to instill confidence before moving into the larger dance spaces. By the end of this year, the students will have broadened their French terms to 70 and have a clear understanding of the basics. After the 30 minute ballet lessons, the students will put on their tap shoes, dancing to popular, age-appropriate music and getting LOUD! This age group typically has a lot of energy, so we give them a positive outlet while teaching them solid tap skills.
Elementary School Classes
Level 1 is a class formulated for 2nd and 3rd graders. This level dives deep into ballet technique, developing skills at the barre, in center and across the floor. Over 90 terms are covered in this level along with a more indepth sequencing of skills learned in the Primary levels. Level 1 introduces Jazz with an emphasis in learning style and coordination to upbeat, age appropriate music! Tap is still an integral part of the Level 1 curriculum, and skills progress from the basic to trickier rhythms. Because the students have much better control and rhythm, this is the first level in which tap is performed in the recital!
Prepointe gives ballet a makeover! Developed for children 9 and up, students wear a special “prepointe” shoe that looks and feels like a pointe shoe, but the shank (the hard insole of the shoe) is much softer and easier to manage. Prepointe allows the student to get the feel of pointe, learn the technical aspects of pointe shoes and strengthens the feet and ankles by conducting two footed exercises en pointe. The prepointe shoes are only worn at the barre for safety and stability. This two hour class is made up of an hour of ballet/prepointe, a half hour of jazz and a half hour of tap. Students perform both ballet and tap in the recital.
Beginning Pointe is the first true pointe class offered to students. Children 11 and up, who have a strong technical background and show readiness will be invited to join the beginning pointe class. Pointe shoes are worn at the barre for the first part of class, then the students switch to ballet shoes for the remainder of the class. Each ballet class is an hour and a half and at least two ballet classes per week are encouraged in order to develop proper ankle strength to move away from the barre. A student moves up to the intermediate level upon readiness.
Intermediate Pointe is the second level of pointe and is typically for children 12 and up who have moved away from the barre in their pointe shoes. A majority of the class is spent in pointe shoes and the students start learning advanced level steps. By the intermediate level, students should be able to identify all the basic terminology and execute steps with very little demonstration. They are encouraged to problem solve steps and fine tune every position. Intermediate level really dives into the mechanics of each step and this is the level where students really start to excel in ballet!
Advanced Pointe level is reserved for students dancing in the ballet company or are dancing at that technical level. Students are expected to maintain a full schedule of ballet, dancing at least 2 ballet classes per week to maintain advanced level status. Most combinations are given verbally and strong technique is required for this class. Students learn variations and very complex combinations. A student is moved into this level expressly by the recommendation of the Springfield Dance team of ballet instructors.
Jazz is offered in two levels: intermediate and advanced and each class is a full hour. Typically, students 11 and up participate in the intermediate level and 13 and up attend the advanced level. Style is emphasized in our jazz curriculum, which has a strong basis of classical jazz. Different genres of music are explored in order to give students backgrounds in multiple styles of jazz. Students progression from intermediate to advanced is based on staff recommendation. Jazz classes of these levels participate in the recital
Modern is offered for the first time at age 11. Much like jazz, Modern is split between intermediate and advanced levels. Once a student is assessed as ready to move up, they will move from intermediate to advanced. Many different styles are explored in our modern classes and they are based on abstract and contemporary techniques. Modern builds a very solid core foundation and teaches the student to explore falling off of center and pulling back onto center. Modern classes participate in the recital.
Tap at the pointe level is broken into beginning, intermediate and advanced. Typically, student participation in a pointe level dictates the level of tap. Skill is used as the basis for progression, so some may move up faster in one style or another. Tap in these three levels moves swiftly, and students are encouraged to maintain regular attendance in order to be successful. Combinations are built upon each week, helping to build a stronger foundation in routines.
Hip Hop: Our parent friendly hip hop is performed to age appropriate music with fun, upbeat styles. Experience is not as much of a factor with hip hop as the other styles of dance taught at Springfield Dance. We believe that the more styles children are exposed to, the more well rounded they will be. Hip hop allows them to let loose and utilize their own sense of style and creativity. We offer hip hop in 5 levels: Mini for ages 5-6, Junior for ages 7-10, Intermediate for ages 10 (with experience) and up, Advanced for ages 13 and up and Adult/teen.
Musical Theatre: Children love to sing, dance and explore their DRAMATIC flare! Musical theatre is just the class for this! We learn acting, singing and putting it all together with movement. Children interested in auditioning for community theatre should really consider this class to nail down the basics and be ready for that next audition. This class not only helps with audition skills but the actors get the chance to participate in an annual mini-production at the end of the season!
Tumbling: We’ve known for a long time that kids love nothing more than attempting and perfecting new “tricks.” Remember learning a cartwheel? We sure do, and it’s that sense of pride and exhilaration that we love to pass on to all students. Our tumbling classes are taught by our fully qualified tumbling teachers and the class levels for this discipline are skill-based. The levels are beginner, intermediate and advanced and once our students have mastered the skills in their level they move up to the next allowing them to develop their skills at their own pace.