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Children’s Programs

Children’s Programs and Philosophy

Dancing Tree’s Children and Youth Conservatory offers a comprehensive and diverse curriculum of classical ballet training (Royal Academy of Dance- French method, creative dance, modern dance, jazz, tap and pre-school creative movement.

The aim of these classes is to:

  • To enrich children’s self-esteem by facilitating self-discovery.
  • To use kinesthetic experiences as a means to enrich learning in other academic areas.
  • To facilitate students in the growth of body control as well as in the development of a wide  and expressive range of movement skills.
  • To provide students with successful, empowering dance experiences as a foundation for further involvement in the arts.

JoyDance

“One of the greatest mistakes of our day is to think of movement by itself, as something apart from the higher functions…Mental development must be connected with movement and be dependent upon it. It is  vital that educational theory and practice should become informed by this idea. If movement is curtailed, the child’s personality and sense of well-being is threatened. Movement is a part of the personality, and nothing can take its place.” -Montessori.

Since movement is so important to the overall development of preschoolers, Dancing Tree’sJoyDance program is designed to meet these special needs through a developmentally planned dance and motor development program which focuses on the perceptual-motor, affective and cognitive domains. Socio-physical interactions are also emphasized.

The activities of JoyDance are designed to promote learning in all areas of the child’s “being and becoming”, Including motor skills, awareness of body, self and others, listening, following directions, memory, self-expression and creativity. In addition, the child receives an introduction to music through experientially discovering rhythm tempo, meter, timing and intervals. By engaging in these activities, children improve their understanding of math, vocabulary and story-telling.

JoyDance uses hand-on props such as scarves and instruments, live and recorded music, mimetics and more to achieve the skills listed above. The overall effect is a creative, dynamic and fun learning experience.

“Magic—pure and simple….Watching Miss Susan with my 3 yr old’s class, I am struck by her skill, creativity, motivational techniques and her ability to inspire. All of this coupled with amazing patience and dedication makes Dancing Tree a “must” experience for my 3 and 8 yr  olds.!”—-P. Martin-Buhrdorh

Children’s Ballet, Creative Dance/Modern, Jazz and Tap

Children’s Ballet

Dancing Tree Conservatory offers a comprehensive program of classical ballet training designed for children. Training is tailored to each individual’s body, recognizing each child’s physical abilities and limitations. Free movement, character dancing and musicality are emphasized as well.

“The quality of instruction is unmatched. Susan’s mastery of the Royal Academy of Dance ballet syllabus is evident  in every class. Our daughter’s progress is nothing short of remarkable. Dancing Tree is the area’s premier dance conservatory and theatre. The fitness classes are also challenging and fun.”  -S and M Kitchen

Children’s Creative Dance & Modern

American born dance styles combine a variety of movement, allowing for a more individualized technique. Dancing Tree’s creative dance and modern lessons emphasize process-centered exploration. There us a special focus on improvisation and creating movement either alone, with a partner or in groups. Students have opportunities to express themselves, to work together, to take risks, to develop movement skills, and to bring abstract concepts into kinetically tangible reality. Rhythm and musicality are explored through movement and “hands-on” percussion instruments, allowing the students to experience the universal joy of dance.

Children’s Jazz and Hip Hop

Stylized theatrical dancing based on several dance forms such as ballet and ethnic dance are explored in depth at Dancing Tree’s Jazz for Children program. Influenced by American jazz music and musical theater, Luigi technique is predominant. Rhythm and musicality are emphasized, as well as working with hands-on percussion instruments.

Children’s Tap

The fundamentals of Rhythm and Broadway tap are introduced. Tap allows for the development of  brain and body skills including coordination, math skills, rhythmic accuracy  and more.

Children's Class Descriptions

Pre School JoyDance    2.5-4 yrs

Pre School JoyDance uses hands-on props, live and recorded music, mime tics and more! The overall effect is a creative, dynamic  and fun movement and music learning experience to provide your child with a fun and positive environment in which to explore and learn. Large and small motor skills are developed as well as listening, following directions, taking turns and sharing.

 

JoyDance I    4-5 yrs

JoyDance I introduces the 4-5 yr old student to ways of expressing themselves through movement and creative dramatics. It represents a first step toward the study of ballet and dance; allowing the young student to explore the possibilities of movement and rhythms at the level of their physical maturity.

 

JoyDance II    6-8 yrs

JoyDance II introduces the 6-8 yr old student to the fundamentals of ballet in structured classes with greater emphasis on technique while continuing to explore creative and improvisational movement.

 

Children’s Ballet I, II & III  8 yrs and up

Children’s Ballet I, II and III is for students 8 yrs old and up. Students are taught disciplined technique of classical ballet with its traditions, terminology and technical requirements. Employs individually tailored training recognizing each child’s physical abilities and limitations. This class is designed to develop coordination, proper body placement, strength and flexibility, musicality and creativity and most importantly to enjoy each class thoroughly.

 

Ballet I, II & III  Youth/Adult-Grade 6 & up

Ballet I, II and III is for students Grade 6 and up. Students are taught disciplined technique of classical ballet with its traditions, terminology and technical requirements. Employs individually tailored training recognizing each child’s physical abilities and limitations. This class is designed to develop coordination, proper body placement, strength and flexibility, musicality and creativity and most importantly to enjoy each class thoroughly. Ballet requires no previous ballet experience. Ballet II & III require 1 to 2 yrs ballet training.

 

Pointe

Teacher’s approval necessary as well as appropriate age and proper training.

 

Creative Dance & Modern I  9 yrs and up

Weaving itself throughout the Dancing Tree curriculum, Creative Dance is the focus of this class making it perfect for students who want to dance recreationally and/or pre professionally. Children, youth and adults learn techniques from Modern and Creative Dance while exploring concepts of Space, Time, Weight, Shape, and Flow. Self- discipline, focus, positive social interaction with peers and teachers are modeled and encouraged. Students learn the compositional skills and principles needed to create meaningful choreography, and are given opportunities to improvise and choreograph in small groups, large groups, and as an individual. By taking an active role in their own learning, students become skilled dancers and choreographers, achieving technical mastery and expressivity in an environment where they are challenged to use their critical thinking abilities and celebrated for their creative spirit.

Modern further explores the world of modern dance with heightened emphasis on focus, intent and awareness. Each class begins with warm-up exercises for the back and feet  followed by dance combinations, improv/contact exercises and dance activities designed to enhance creativity and encourage the development of individual expression. Creative/Modern Dance I requires no previous experience.