View our daily and weekly schedules here!
To download our registration form, click here!
Ballet is the basis for all dance. It has developed over hundreds of years. There are several styles, but all lead to the grace and poise evident in ballet. It is the most difficult form of dance to master and adheres to a strict discipline. Ballet dancers find all other styles easy compared to ballet. But a certain degree of accomplishment is built into the curriculum no matter which style is practiced. Ballet dancers quite often find that the commitment to the art carries into other areas of their lives. Good grades and leadership skills being a few. Even famous hip hop dancers have had to study ballet in order to understand the language of dance, strength training, endurance and how to avoid injury. Basic classical dance core work is essential to all forms of dance. All dancers on Broadway study ballet along with jazz, modern and tap.
Jazz dance is a unique form of dance that is very American. It began in the 1920s during the Jazz Age in music. There are various styles, but all enjoy a vigorous enthusiasm for movement. Jazz dance in the beginning was fast and based on the dance halls. As times changed and music changed the styles of jazz changed also. Jazz in the 1940s was beginning to be used in movie musicals. In the 1950s with the help of Fred Astair and Gene Kelly it also became graceful. Jazz is full of isolated movements which are very grounded. Use of head, shoulders, rib cage, hips, legs, feet are different depending on the choreographer. It is a way of moving that uses quick movements and changes of direction. It is a style that is continually evolving.
Modern dance is an ever-changing style that is rooted in using the body to express feelings or ideas. It first started out with Isadora Duncan who fought against the rigid rules of classical ballet. However, as other women came forth to develop it further they realized that have the strong body and language base of ballet were very important to understand strength, poise, arms and balance. The ideas in general are using space in a very different way. This is why in several schools ballet is to be studied along with modern. This style of dance is found in ballet also. Working on pointe is ballet. Working bare feet is modern. The marriage of pointe work and modern is how many describe contemporary dance.
Lyrical dance is another style that becomes a blend of ballet and jazz. Although we see the label of Lyrical on other styles.
Tap dance is another type of dance that has gone through many changes over the last century. Hip hop, Broadway, jazz and ballet can all be incorporated to make it a unique art form that is very American. The feet become an instrument as they pound out rhythms to the music played. Or sometimes used without music but just as a percussion.
Ages 2 1/2 – 5
Students will participate with music through singing and learning about rhythm through percussion instruments. They will learn basic dance steps that teach coordination, strength and balance. Tumbling helps with coordination and muscle development. Imagination and laughter are also required and practiced enthusiastically.
Ages 4 1/2 – 6
Basic Ballet skills such as balance, jumping and turning are begun. Rhythm and coordination are taught, practiced and developed through creative movement, music and mime in an imaginative and supportive environment. During pre-ballet classes, students are introduced to the language of ballet, which is French. Students enjoy their new awareness of how many things they can accomplish.
Ages 4 1/2 – 6
Basic Ballet skills, creative movement, coordination and imagination. Tap is music as well as dance. Basic tap terminology and steps will be learned while learning rhythms. This combination class is longer than a regular pre-ballet class and requires a little more focus.
Ages 6 1/2 – 9
A beginning ballet and jazz class. Students will learn basic barre exercises, center work, jumping, turning and therory. Learning French and English terms for each step, feet and arm positions. Students will learn proper ways to hold the body, feet and arms in order to understand what ballet is. They will learn several steps and be able to put them together in combinations across the floor. They will also learn the importance of conditioning and the discipline of this beautiful art form. Jazz is incorporated to work on conditioning and will also give the students a chance to do some fun steps that will be done to lively music.
Still considered beginning, but know the basics. Students will continue to learn more terms and steps in French and English. Combinations become more complex. More jumps and turns and larger work across the floor. Some Russian technique is introduced. Students learn more about musicality and how to interpret it. Jazz is used for conditioning but also for learning fun steps. It is at this time that the students start to take notes in order to learn more. Practice is encouraged. This class is offered two times a week but the student only takes one of those classes. However, if the student wishes to take the second class then they will see faster results.
These students will be expected to know the differences of many steps and know several terms in French and English. More complicated turns, jumps and center work will be taught. Center adagio is also introduced at this time. Knowing how to put combinations of steps together just by verbal request. Students will work toward more stretches and core strength. Students learn more as they prepare for moving on. Students study two times a week and may come to other classes when request is known or are asked. They are also expected to bring a notebook to take notes. Modern is introduced at this time. This is a style of dance that will make the dancer more aware of how the body moves to be more expressive. Acting and musicality are practiced to allow for further rounding out the dancer and building confidence.
Students will be expected to know and execute many steps. They will also know more French and English terms. Students should be able to start stretching on their own before class begins. They will be working on higher extensions, higher elevations and multiple turns. There will be longer combinations and will learn how to memorize. Be able to know their own strengths and weaknesses which will help them to self-correct. These students study two times a week and are expected to drop into other classes as time permits. Students are expected to take notes. Students are expected to come up with a short combination as they are asked. They are also encouraged to participate in improv pieces
Jazz and Modern are used as the semester moves on. Many of these students are preparing for going on pointe and therefore must show the discipline and strength in order to do so. They may not go on pointe until the parents, child and teacher are all in agreement. Students are usually 11 or 12 and must get permission of the doctor.
NORTHERN LIGHTS DANCE THEATRE
Junior, Intern, and Full
This is our student dance company. There is an audition process. These classes meet four times a week plus pointe class. All dance company members are expected to know all terms in French and English. Be able to identify the differences between Cecchetti and Russian methods.
Pointe work, multiple turns, at least 90-degree extensions, high elevation, control with adagé, abilty to learn combinations quickly. Willingness to work extra hours of rehearsal when a performance is pending. Also mentor younger students and be available for assisting in classes and tutoring. They must also attend dance company meetings and participate in fundraisers. For more information, see THE NORTHERN LIGHTS PAGE.
Ages 10 – adult
This class is a prerequisite for Advanced Modern. Students will learn basic modern technique and core work. Stretch, strength and control of the body will improve as the semester moves on. Ballet helps with understanding language, technique, balance, turns, jumps and moving across the floor. Jazz gives the student more insight on how all the forms are a help to each other. Core work and isolations are foundations for jazz. This class only meets once a week so students are expected to take notes, ask questions and practice.
Ages 12 – adult
Liturgical dance or worship dance uses dance and movement for the purpose of honoring and praising God. The Old Testament speaks of this through David and Samuel. Formal dance training is not required but is helpful. Half of the class is designed as conditioning and the other half for learning basic dance steps and choreography. It is up to the dancer to give it meaning through dancing with the heart. Music will be varied and dancers are encouraged to share music that has meaning for them. We can decide to just dance in class and nowhere else, or we may be led to share our dance with any and all congregations around the U.P.
Founded in 2001, Zumba Fitness is a global lifestyle brand that fuses fitness, entertainment and culture into an exhilarating dance-fitness sensation! Zumba® exercise classes are “fitness-parties” that blend upbeat world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography, for a total-body workout that feels like a celebration.
To download our registration form, click here!
For class prices, payment options, and scholarship information, call (906) 440-1312 or contact us by e-mail.