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), Intermediate Ballet (75 minutes, grades 5-6), Intermediate-Advanced Ballet (75 minutes, grades 7-8), Advanced Ballet (1.5 hours, grades 9-12)

Foundations of Ballet (1 hour, grades 3-6) is an introduction to the fundamentals of ballet technique for students with minimal ballet training. Students will be supported and challenged at their own level as they gain the skills to transition into Ballet II or Intermediate Ballet. 

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.

Modern I (grades 3-6) introduces dancers to fundamental concepts of modern dance, fostering coordination, strength, mobility and musicality.

Choreography Lab

Turning Pages™ (1 hour, grades 1-2) introduces students to the language of dance, inviting them to explore movement in a creative, nurturing environment. Through “movement narratives,” students enact compelling stories and poems, embodying the characters that enchant and intrigue them. Guided improvisations, informed by our students’ own literary imaginations, are another staple of this course. An informal sharing of our work will take place at the end of the session.

Spinning Yarns™ (75 minutes, grades 3-4) offers foundational training in the dynamic art of dance building. Engaging, textured works of literature will serve as entry-points for authentic, movement-based storytelling. 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 original writing. An informal showcase will take place at the end of the session.

Story Arc™ (75 minutes, grades 5-6) 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 will showcase work at an informal end-of-session sharing.

Theme and Variation™ (2 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