Jersey City Dance Academy | Class Descriptions
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Class Descriptions

Early Childhood 

Tiny Tots (3 year olds)

Three year olds are 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 child loves and needs repetition, the same class is repeated several times before being changed.
Tiny Tots stresses creativity and the development of perceptual motor skills. Children are introduced to the basic skills of ballet, jazz and gymnastics. The class is varied in order to hold the attention of young students and develop their imagination. Cognitive development is reinforced through the exploration of patterns in movement and music. Children are encouraged in role playing and peer interaction in a structured format. Children delight in testing their physical boundaries through music and movement.

Creative Movement (4 year olds)

The program for four year old builds on the work done the previous year. Students at this age now learn to further control their movements. 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 forwards and backwards. Students also start learning the concepts of counting music and opposites.
Imaginative exercises and various musical styles are used to aid in the development of rhythm, spatial awareness and self-awareness. The basic framework for Ballet and Jazz is incorporated into fun musical concepts that encourage children to learn in a positive environment. Students explore of the use of emotions and pantomime in dance.
This is a non-competitive class where students encourage each other in new dance concepts. The only limit is their Imagination!

Rising Stars (5 year olds)

This is a transition class between the Early Childhood Program and Level 1 classes. Five year olds continue to work on the same concepts begun in the 3 and 4 year old classes, but in greater degrees of complexity. Their ability to count the 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 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).
By the time students have completed Rising Stars they are ready both physically and mentally to begin the more formalized classes offered in Level 1.

Pre Gymnastics (4 & 5 year olds)

This is a non-recital class for 4 to 5 year olds. Pre-Gym incorporates basic tumbling skills and exercise in a creative atmosphere. Simple drills are used to safely improve motor skills and coordination. Exercises are designed to promote strength, balance and flexibility in the young gymnast. Children are instructed in the use of elementary gymnastics equipment and proper gymnastics etiquette. Simple stunts and proper safety are stressed.

Child & Teen

Ballet

An essential course for all dancers and gymnasts. (*Required for anyone in Gym 3 and above.) Terminology, proper body alignment and turnout are stressed. Classes begin with barre exercises designed to strengthen the muscles of the feet, legs and back. The exercises increase flexibility of ligaments (especially at the hip), to attain balance and control, to stabilize the turnout; and gain speed in the feet and lightness in the legs. The mechanics of technique taught at the barre are brought into center floor and used in dance combinations. The fundamentals of Ballet are the basis for all other dance types. *Recommended for all students.*

Contemporary Lyrical

Lyrical dancing combines classical ballet technique with modern and jazz dance. Lyrical dance uses contemporary music and places emphasis on expressing yourself through the choreography and music. A warm-up of stretch and strengthening, cardio and work across the floor are all components of a lyrical class. Improvisation, self-expression and technique combine to build a technically and artistically strong lyrical dancer.

Gymnastics

The techniques of basic ballet are built upon stressing gymnastics floor work and the low balance beam. (Ballet is required for anyone taking Gym 3 and above.) A vigorous warm-up begins each class emphasizing strength, balance, flexibility, and agility followed by drills. As you progress from basic tumbling, you will learn the art of walkovers, handsprings, aerial moves and much more, in the safe hands of our competent and well-trained gymnastics teacher.

Hip-Hop

This is the form of “street” dance that incorporates jazz principles to create a funky twist. Students work on rhythm patterns, body isolations, breaking, and b-boy tricks. Overall, hip-hop is a high-energy and emotion driven style of dance, and it is growing popular in the urban culture.

Jazz

This class explodes with energy with styles ranging from street jazz to Broadway.  The class is based on the principles of ballet to improve technique.  After a warm-up section done center floor that works on flexibility, strength and alignment the class works on combinations that use contemporary movements incorporating turns and leaps.

Jumps & Turns

This class is for students in levels 3,4 and 5.  It is a non-recital class that focuses only on jump and turn technique.  The goal of the class is to work on height and extension in jumps and balance in our turns.  Jumps include:  grande jete, switch leaps, scissor leaps, second position jumps, c-jumps, and stag leaps.  Our turns include:  inside and outside pirouettes, fouettes, pique turns, chaines and many others.  Students also bring to class jumps/turns they are working on for other class choreography.

Modern

The Modern Dance class will introduce students to elements of Horton, Graham, & Limon techniques and focus on movement from the inside out, encouraging use of breath, energy, and connection. A warm up of breath and energy work, followed by exercises that emphasize extension, release, weight, momentum, and force, culminate in long movement phrases and improvisation exercises that playfully explore movement possibilities. The goal is to develop strong, versatile dancers that can intelligently handle any dance style.

Tap

Technique, rhythm and terminology are stressed. Tap is essentially helpful in teaching younger students to count music. Feet become a percussive instrument. The students are reinforced by the sounds they make and how their movements fit into music. At advanced levels intricate rhythmic patterns are created with footwork. (Recommended for children over age 5)