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.
“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
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.