Youth Division (Ages 9-14)
Students enter the Youth Division at the age of nine, taking classes four days in week in ballet, contemporary and improvisation styles of movements. The focus for students in the school division is building sound contemporary ballet technique while instilling strong character building qualities such as discipline, respect, integrity and creativity. This program is designed for students who desire to learn dance for enjoyment as well as those who may be interested in pursuing dance seriously. Students within this division participate in major performances twice a year.
Description of Dance Classes
Ballet I (ages 9-above)
The goal of this class is to impart the fundamentals of classical ballet. The student will learn classical ballet techniques and terminology. Each class includes barre exercises, center floor work, and across-the-floor combinations, along with an emphasis on proper body alignment. The ballet curriculum is based on a combination of the French and Vagonova methods of ballet. As a student progresses through each level, the curriculum will become increasingly more complex and intricate. This class is designed to improve a dancer’s range of motion, enhance muscle flexibility and increase their level of core muscle strength.
Ballet II (ages 10 and above)
This class is designed for students who have demonstrated a full understanding of Ballet I. The positions of the arms, directions of the body and increased ballet vocabulary are the focus for Ballet II. The students will develop a strong understanding of movement and alignment, proper use of turn out, coordination of the upper body (epaulement), body, head and arm movements coordination and synchronization (port de bras). The focus will be on intermediate ballet technique and will include combinations at the barre using reléve and balances on one leg. Simple jumps are embellished with beats(batterie). This class is also designed to improve a dancer’s range of motion, enhance muscle flexibility and increase their level of core muscle strength. More variations of pirouettes, turns across the floor and jumps are learned, and are mastered including fouette turns as well as jumps on both or one leg.
Riddick Technique (ages 9-until)
The class integrates various traditional disciplines of modern dance and ballet foundations with current contemporary styles that enhance all styles of dance. The class is for the dancer who likes physical, complicated floor work, patterns of movement and self-expression. Elements of improvisation are also introduced. Our student will gather a strong understanding of movement and alignment, and proper use of turn out and parallel feet. There is an infusion of the Laban principle of dance. With the focus on technique, contemporary dance tends to utilize both the strong and controlled legwork of ballet and modern dance’s stress on the torso, while also employing the contract-release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation characteristics of modern dance. The students will be exposed to unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction. We will explore non-western dance forms from Africa, Japan, China, and India.
Rhythm & Roots
The Beauty for Ashes Rhythm & Roots allows students to share their rhythmical spirit and create the power of unity through dance. In the Rhythm & Roots class, participants are encouraged to express their individual rhythmical spirit, and at the same time adhere to some basic principles found in movement. As a dance class, this is a natural way to provide students with an opportunity to creatively channel and release the pent-up emotions and frustrations that accompany the process of growing up. Beauty for Ashes uses the influences of West African, Latin, and Caribbean movement to create a fun, playful, energizing activity for students ages five years of age to adults, which gives immediate gratification and feedback while encouraging self-expression.
The students are introduced to the discovery and cultivation of spontaneous movement in solo, duet and group settings, and the development of improvised movement materials based on the Principles of Laban facilitated through a variety of creative explorations including body mapping through levels, shapes and dynamics. Dance improvisation is focused on finding a deeper way of comprehending otherwise concealed movements and improving the quality of performance of the students. He or she will explore the instinctual, happenstance, and unfettered movement. The student is able to explore authentic feelings, organic movement and transitions.