Ballet: Founded in the French Court System in the 17th century, ballet is considered the basis of all other forms of dance. It is ordered and consistent in both movement and vocabulary. Dancers start class working at the barre moving through a structured series of warm-ups. Then advance to center floor for additional training. Ballet is poised and elegant, dancers learn muscle memory, grace and musicality. Maria’s School of Dance ballet classes are taught using the Cecchetti method of Ballet. Students who express an interest, the necessary commitment and progression in their ballet classes, will be invited to take the Cecchetti Council of America’s student exams.

MSD has published a handbook with more information, what you can expect as a MSD ballet student, and tips on how to get the most out of your ballet student’s training.

Click on this link for more details:

MSD Ballet Handbook

Pointe: Developed during the early 18th century, pointe work has brought choreographers’ and audiences’ imaginations to reality, giving spectators the impression that dancers are ethereal creatures floating across the stage. Pointe work is an extension of ballet technique. Ballet steps are transferred from demipointe to en pointe as the dancer develops technically. Once students have developed a sound base of technical skill, proper body placement, sufficient strength in the feet and legs, and is at least 12 years of age, she may be invited to start pointe work.

Tap: Tap dance is a dance form using specific shoes to create rhythm, sound, patterns on the floor and tempo. Students learn correct technique and terminology. Tap dancers work on a balance, and strong care and musicality. Dancers enjoy this fast paced style.

Jazz: Jazz dance was developed over 55 years ago by many different dancers and choreographers including Gus Giordano, Bob Fosse and more recently Cathy Roe. Maria’s School of Dance incorporates many styles of jazz in their program. Our jazz style encourages the dancer to be dynamic, expressive and in the moment. Jazz technique is based on flexibility, strength, use of isolations, floor work, specific positioning and movement combinations.

Contemporary: Contemporary dance is a fusion of ballet and jazz technique, with the majority of emphasis on jazz. It is recommended for dancers who have had some experience in either ballet, jazz or other technical discipline. Strength, technical training, and creativity will be stressed through a vigorous warm-up, center combinations and improvisational work

Modern: Originating in the late 19th century, modern dance evolved out of the need to break the artistic boundaries and structural form of ballet. This class explores the wide range of space surrounding the individual dancer, opposing dynamics, and encourages artistic individualism. Combinations are taught to advance the individuals understanding of various rhythms, isolated movement, and improvisational skills. Through the use of world music, students gain a cultural appreciation for different musical styles while building a solid movement vocabulary. Modern is an exhilarating, energized dance form.

Lyrical: Lyrical dance fuses stylized, seamless jazz movements, strength, flexibility with the grace of ballet. Students are taught with progressions and center floor combinations. Dances communicate expressions and stories through lyrical dance.

Hip Hop: Hip Hop is an urban street form of dance. Hip Hop dance is strong, sharp and fun. Hip hop dancers learn flexibility, tempo, style, isolation work and rhythm. Students are encouraged to be creative and expressive.

Dramatic Arts:  Class topics will include exciting opportunities such as improvisation, theatre games, preparing monologue and audition pieces, scene and musical performance, character development, acting basics and the possibility of a competitive one act competition team.

Vocal Arts:   Students will learn the basic fundamentals of singing in a fun and inviting group setting. These fundamentals include proper posture, breathing, tone, pitch, and diction. Students will develop their individual singing voices, while learning to blend their voices within a vocal ensemble. Each ensemble will experience singing both in unison and in harmony, as they explore music from a variety of genres and arrangements.