K-12 Program

At 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 diverse contemporary 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.

Class Descriptions 


Counterpoint Ballet 1 (1 hour, grades 1-2) Counterpoint Ballet 2 (75 minutes, grades 4-6) and Counterpoint Ballet 3 (90 minutes, grades 7-12) are rigorous but joyful technique classes for the ballet enthusiast, the ballet-curious, even the ballet skepticIn Counterpoint Ballet, we embrace the powerful beauty of this iconic dance form, investigate the conventions that puzzle us, and respectfully release that which no longer serves us. We know that ANY body is a “ballet body,” that the language of movement need not be gendered, and that pointe shoes are optional. We care for our bodies and nurture our minds. We challenge ourselves and we encourage one another. In our weekly classes, students will be supported at their level, gaining strength, flexibility, artistic agility and musicality. 

Hip Hop 1 (45 minutes, grades K-2) and Hip Hop 2 (1 hour, grades 3-6) 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. In Hip Hop 3 (75 minutes, grades 7-12) dancers progress through increasingly complex choreography, developing strength, flexibility and stamina. 

Afra Dance 1 (45 minutes, grades K-2) and Afra Dance 2 (1 hour, grades 3-6) offer a diverse, spirited and life affirming celebration of movement and rhythm. Afra Dance provides a deeply energizing experience of dance and drum from the roots of traditional African dance forms. The call of drums, and the movements they inspire, support dancers of all ages to flow in the breath and the art of living! Returning Spring ’23! 

Rhythm and Rhyme (45 minutes, grades K-2) and Rhythm and Rhyme 2 (1 hour, grades 3-6) are The Center Dance Studio’s popular tap technique classes for elementary schoolers! Get your tapping toes ready to learn steps such as the Buffalo, the Shirley Temple, and the Cramp Roll; pull on your thinking caps to invent some steps of your own! Together, we will find our rhythm, and tap the time away!

On Point (1 hour, grades 3-6) “For Black and Brown dancers, by Black and Brown dancers,” On Point is The Center Dance Studio’s flagship, beginner-friendly ballet class, designed especially for BIPOC kids. On Point’s hour-long technique class provides students with physically strengthening, mentally stimulating ballet fundamentals; once a month, students meet for an afternoon of community-building, friendship and fun. On Point is a space of acceptance, inspiration, motivation, support and healing, where Black and Brown kids can be their full selves, unapologetically and confidently. On Point is co-taught by Tiffany Joseph and Janaya Collins, two phenomenal Black women.

And introducing.Demi-Point! (45 min, grades K-2), On Point’s “younger sibling” class. Same philosophy, same vibe, same great teachers — tailored to a younger dancer.

Choreography Labs

Turning Pages (1 hour, grades 1-2) and Spinning Yarns (1 hour and 15 minutes, grades 3-4) introduce students to the language of dance, inviting them to explore movement in a creative, nurturing environment. Picture books, poetry, photographs and paintings serve as entry-points for authentic, movement-based storytelling. Students 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. 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 semester. 

Story Arc (75 minutes, grades 4-6) and Theme and Variation (90 minutes, grades 7-12) encourage students to stretch themselves — both creatively and physically — in a supportive, community-oriented atmosphere. Combining modern technique instruction and dance building, these classes invite students to 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 making; 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. 

All class titles and materials © 2017 The Center Dance