Continuing our “Classes Up Close” series where we put a spotlight on individual classes, this blog post is focused on our older ballet offerings. A Work in Progress is pleased to present our “Just Dance” Division – where students can learn ballet, tap, and creative dance in a relaxed, encouraging, and motivating environment, at their own pace. Our instructors are professionally trained and highly acclaimed, with experience in all areas of dance. Your beginner student will feel welcomed, and your intermediate or advanced student will be challenged. I especially encourage students to take ballet as they get older, even if it’s not something they are going to pursue later in life. The benefits are tremendous- from posture and poise to confidence and self-discipline.
This year, our ballet instructor, Heather Brown, is offering not only two ballet technique classes, but a Dance Appreciation/History course. We love homeschoolers’ thirst for knowledge, and wanted to offer a class that taught about the history of ballet – from the classical literature behind famous pieces and influential people over the course of ballet’s history. We highly recommend the Combo Package, to take both classes (a technique class and the history class) together.
Heather began her training with Boston Ballet and continued with Ballet Theatre of Boston performing as a member of Youth Works. Through college, she was able to continue her study of ballet with Rockford Dance Company of Illinois and became a part of the Celonia Modern Dance Company of Beloit. At that time, she also started teaching beginner ballet to the mostly modern dance population of Beloit College. She has performed in a broad range of classical and contemporary works including The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and Wreath of Memories. She has been performing with Spindle City Ballet since 2008 and started teaching for The Dance Academy in 2011. In 2013 she decided to rededicate her life to teaching and creating dance. She is currently teaching ballet and modern in several schools in the New England area, including The Dance Factory in Attleboro. One of her most recent choreography was prepared for The Dance Academy students to be performed in the Youth America Grand Prix, and she served as the Tornado Dance/Glinda’s Girls Choreographer for “The Wiz” with A Work in Progress.
Students love her encouraging and easy-going demeanor and thrive in her classes! Here are the course descriptions:
Ballet Technique (“beginner” or “brushing up” level, ages 12-19) – This is a movement based class for students who have never practiced ballet before, or those who would like a refresher course in the basics. We will learn the basic positions of the arms and legs, starting terminology, and how to execute simple ballet movements and eventually simple combinations. Comfortable, snug, but stretchy clothing is recommended. Socks or ballet slippers may be worn on the feet. Any long hair should be pulled back securely away from the face.
Ballet Technique (Intermediate, ages 12-19) – This is a movement based class for students who have had any previous ballet experience and would feel comfortable doing simple combinations at the barre. General knowledge of what is required to execute a plié and tendu is recommended. We will focus on continuing to advance the execution of basic steps as well as add to our vocabulary some slightly more complicated ballet movements. Comfortable, snug, but stretchy clothing is recommended. Socks or ballet slippers may be worn on the feet. Any long hair should be pulled back securely away from the face.
Dance Appreciation/History (all levels, ages 12-19) – In this lecture/discussion based course, we will learn about the contributions of a few specific people to the development of Ballet and Modern dance. Talking about their lives, watching videos or looking at pictures of their movement and even trying some of the movement out ourselves. This will include a general overview of how dance has developed and changed throughout history. Culminating with a discussion about the many different ways a person can contribute to the dance community today.
All of these classes will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church on Thursdays, from January through the end of March. The recital information is still being discussed.
Let us know if you have any questions! Discounts and cost-offsetting options are available, so don’t hesitate to ask if price is an issue.
~Jen Roca for the rest of the #progress gang