Ballet originated in the 1500s in France and continues to be one of the world's most popular dance styles. Characterized by formal and elegant movements, ballet is considered to be the most graceful and strict dance form known to the world. The solid technique of ballet considers makes it the basis of all other forms of dance, similar to the trunk of a tree. Students trained in ballet are seen as physically and emotionally stronger than those who are not. Early ballet dancers were not as highly skilled as they are now, as ballet dance has become a highly technical form of dance with its very own French vocabulary. It is typically performed in classical music. Ballet classes at the Academy are based on the Russian syllabus with Balanchine influence.
At the American Academy of Ballet, ballet classes are offered from Fairytale Dance (age 3) to Adult.
Ballerinas who dance en pointe further expand their classical ballet training. It requires years of training and practice to develop the strength and technique needed to perform pointe work. It is performed while wearing pointe shoes, a type of dance shoe designed for the dancer to perform on their toes. Pointe work is rigorous but highly rewarding when accomplished.
Acro is a style of dance that combines classical dance techniques with acrobatic elements. This style of dance takes tumbling to a new level as it blends choreography, acrobatics, and dance elements together in a popular dance style.
Originating in the 1920s, modern has become one of the world's leading dance styles in the past few decades. Created by the likes of Martha Graham and Loie Fuller, it was created to be a freer dance form with the idea of keeping the structure of classical ballet but allowing a greater range of movements and styles. Contemporary dance has become more modern in recent years, as seen throughout many dance companies and performances, rather than the rigid technique. At the Academy, we blend the old and new styles of contemporary dance to create a unique and rewarding experience for all dancers alike.
Lyrical began as the combination of ballet and jazz technique but has evolved to become more contemporary over the past couple of decades. It is considered the most emotional and expressive form of dance, allowing dancers to interpret dances through a wide range of movements. These movements are characterized by fluidity and grace with the dancer flowing seamlessly from one move to the next. Music and styles consist of many genres of music and dance.
Hip hop is a newer style of dancing that has recently been popular in dance movies and media, such as Step Up. It contains a totally free athletic style of movement and doesn't require as much technique as the other forms of dance. However, it does have its roots in jazz and modern, showing structure and coordination. While it is closely associated with street dancing, a wide range of styles throughout the form of hip hop are performed during classes.
Jazz dance is the smoothest style of dance, mostly used on Broadway and other theater groups. It is upbeat, energetic and extremely popular due to the media promoting this style of dance. Jazz dance is a form of dance that showcases a dancer's individual style and originality. Jazz requires solid technique and structure, similar to modern or ballet, which allows the dancer to express themselves through their movements. Music and styles consist of many genres of music and dance.
Born in the 19th century, tap dance was born in the United States but is now popular all around the world. The name originates from the noise that tap shoes make when connected with the hard floor. This tapping makes the performer not just a dancer but also a musician. While containing the structure and technique of the other forms of dance, tap is characterized by syncopation and improvisation. Music and styles consist of many genres of music and dance.
The Musical Theatre Class focuses on the choreography, music, and songs from favorite Broadway shows. Classes include guest instructors each month to work with students on their voice and acting.
Variations class is by invitation only and consists of the most advanced of ballet dancers at the Academy. Performances and choreography performed by professional ballet companies and dancers are taught to these students to learn. This is performed en pointe.