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


Pre-Ballet I & II (45 minutes, preschool/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. Pre-Ballet II is designed for Pre-K students ages 4 and up, who have taken at least one session of Story Ballet, and have shown an interest in more ballet technique. Pre-Ballet II is designed for Kindergarteners.

Beginning, Intermediate, 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), Advanced Ballet (1.5 hours, grades 7-12)

On Point (1.5 hours, grades 4-7) “For Black and Brown Girls, by Black and Brown Girls,” On Point is The Center Dance Studio’s flagship, beginner-friendly ballet class, designed especially for Girls of Color. On Point’s hour-long technique class provides students with physically strengthening, mentally stimulating ballet fundamentals; the following half-hour is for community-building, friendship and fun. On Point is a space of acceptance, inspiration, motivation, support and healing, where Girls of Color can be their full selves, unapologetically and confidently. On Point is co-taught by Tiffany Joseph and Janaya Collins, two phenomenal Women of Color. 

And introducing.Demi-Point! (1 hour, grades K-3), On Point’s “little sister” class. Same philosophy, same vibe, same great teachers — tailored to a younger dancer.

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 3-8) 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 movements they inspire, support dancers of all ages to flow in the breath, rhythm and art of living!

Beginner/Intermediate Modern (1.5 hours, grades 4-7) This Modern dance class will emphasize freedom of movement and expression alongside technique. Drawing from traditional and contemporary forms, dancers will expand their kinesthetic awareness through practice of across the floor and center combinations, improvisation, floor work, and performance skills. We suspend, release, and find the floor.

Advanced Composition (1.5 hours, grades 7+) Advanced Composition is a laboratory for curious movers to apply skills of critical thinking and composition to technical practice. Dancers will be encouraged to take on collaborative and independent projects while engaging with written texts, music, props, and more as source material. Students will experiment with various choreographic methodologies, both uncovering themes through movement research and allowing predetermined concepts to drive choreographic inquiry. In a community-oriented atmosphere, we will give and receive feedback, edit, refine, and question, and expand our knowledge of dance history and our place in it.

Beastmode: A Dance Class Designed Specifically for Athletes (1 hour, grades 3-6) Maybe you took a hip-hop class a few years ago, maybe you’ve never taken a dance class in your life. But you know you want to make the team, and you’re all in for more flexibility, agility, cardio training and faster footwork. You’ll find this and more Beastmode, where instructor Yoshi Sanders combines hip hop, modern dance and a dose of ballet for a high energy movement experience that will help you find your game face. Stretch – Strengthen – Train. GO HARD. Beastmode.

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! This class will be offered during the Spring session only; students interested in this class are strongly encouraged to take Modern dance class during the Fall session. 

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. This class will be offered during the Spring session only; students interested in this class are strongly encouraged to take Composition class during the Fall session. 

All class titles and materials © 2017 The Center Dance