K-12 Program

tutucircle.jpgAt The Center, we aim to nurture students’ love of language and literature while cultivating their abilities as dancers and choreographers. To this end, our holistic approach advocates an integrated program comprised of weekly technique classes and literature inspired choreography labs. Our rigorous, foundations-based technique classes equip dancers with the strength, flexibility and broad movement vocabulary necessary to powerfully execute their original works of choreography. Each week, students will learn and apply integral ballet, modern and hip-hop dance techniques to build dances that match the scope of their literary imaginations. To benefit maximally from this synergy, we strongly encourage dancers in grades 3 and up to enroll in the two-track program.

For students seeking an intensive course of study in ballet or contemporary dance techniques, we offer a pre-professional Company Program. 

Class Descriptions 

All class titles and materials © 2017 The Center Dance


teachingPre-Ballet (45 minutes, kindergarten) introduces young dancers to the fundamentals of classical ballet, emphasizing strength, alignment, musicality and spatial awareness. The developmentally appropriate class structure keeps kids active and engaged while cultivating discipline and a growth mindset.

Beginning, Intermediate, Intermediate-Advanced and Advanced Ballet offer rigorous ballet training. Students are supported and challenged at each level as they develop strength, coordination, musicality, and a strong “movement vocabulary” in this dance style.

Ballet I (1 hour, grades 1-2), Ballet II (75 minutes, grades 3-4), IntermediateBallet (75 minutes, grades 5-6), Intermediate-AdvancedBallet (75 minutes, grades 7-8), Advanced Ballet (1.5 hours, grades 9-12)

Hip Hop Levels I, II and III introduce dancers to the language of Hip Hop dance, including such specific styles as Poppin’, Lockin’, House and Krumping, among others. Students will develop skills in the art of freestyle and explore the tremendous expressive potential of this vital dance form.

Afra Dance (1 hour, grades 3-6) Afra Dance is a diverse, spirited and life affirming celebration. Afra Dance provides a deeply energizing experience of dance and drum from the roots of traditional African dance forms. The call of live drums and the movement they inspire, supports dancers of all ages to flow in the breath, rhythm and art of living!

Choreography Labs

Spinning Yarns™(1 hour, grades 1-3) introduces students to the language of dance, inviting them to explore movement in a creative, nurturing environment. Engaging, textured works of literature will serve as entry-points for authentic, movement-based storytelling. Through “movement narratives,” students will enact stories and poems, embodying the characters that enchant and intrigue them. Students will consider such choreographic elements as space, body, time and relationship as they work together to build dances inspired by favorite texts and their own imaginations.  Spinning Yarns students will play an instrumental role in creating and producing the studio’s spring show!

Story Arc™(75 minutes, grades 4-6) offers a creative approach to building dances in this lab that grounds students in composition through technical and improvisational activities. Using literature and their own writing as a platform for exploration, students will explore concepts such as formation, relationship, effort and action as they are introduced to a wide variety of choreographic tools. Students will work collaboratively and independently to structure original dances that are rich, meaningful and inspired. Story Arc students will play an instrumental role in creating and producing the studio’s spring show!

Theme and Variation™ (1.5 hours, grades 7-12) encourages students to stretch themselves — both creatively and physically — in a supportive, community-oriented atmosphere. Students will apply their technical dance skills to a wide range of choreographic tasks, exploring movement dynamics, spatial design, time factors and relationship. Democratically selected themes and literary texts will inform collaborative dance building; students will also write across a variety of genres and use their work as choreographic material. By rooting students in the basics of Laban Movement Analysis, students will learn to constructively critique and refine their original ensemble works. Theme and Variation students will play a lead role in envisioning and orchestrating informal sharings and culminating performances.

All class titles and materials © 2017 The Center Dance