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 


Pre-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. 

Ballet 1 (1 hour, grade 1; grade 2 without prior experience) In Ballet 1, students are supported and challenged as they develop strength, coordination, musicality, and a foundational “ballet vocabulary.”

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.

Hip Hop I (45 minutes, grades K-2) and Hip Hop II (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. 

Afra Dance I (45 minutes, grades K-2) and Afra Dance II (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!

Rhythm and Rhyme (1 hour, grades 1-3) is The Center Dance Studio’s inaugural tap technique class 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!

Center Stage: All That Jazz, (1 hour, grades 4-6) is a spin-off of The Center’s popular musical theater dance class. Like the original, this class will introduce kids to choreography straight off Broadway; a new highlight: foundational jazz technique! Students will master a jazz square, rock a flick kick, and cover some serious ground performing an across-the-floor slide! (All with magnificent jazz hands, of course). Whether your child is an aspiring performer, a Broadway enthusiast, or simply looking for a fabulous way to kick off the weekend, Center Stage: All That Jazz is the place to be!

Counterpoint Contemporary 1 (1 hour, grades 4-6) and Counterpoint Contemporary 2 (1.5 hours, grades 7+) are designed to provide dancers and aspiring choreographers with a robust foundation in movement. Incorporating principles from a variety of technical forms, including ballet and a wealth of modern styles, Counterpoint will nurture powerful, versatile dancers. Students will cultivate strength, flexibility, agility, and an understanding of healthy alignment, and will employ these qualities with a sense of suspension and release, grounding and freedom. This practice will clear the way for safely bending traditional dance forms and create an expanded palette for artistic expression. 

Counterpoint Ballet 1 (75 minutes, grades 4-6) and Counterpoint Ballet 2 (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. 

Choreography Labs

Spinning Yarns (1 hour and 15 minutes, grades 3-4) introduces students to the language of dance, inviting them to explore movement in a creative, nurturing environment. Picture books 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. 

Story Arc (1.5 hours, 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. 

Theme and Variation (1 hour and 45 minutes, grades 7+) 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. 

All class titles and materials © 2017 The Center Dance