Dance Styles

Classical Ballet

Classical ballet is a disciplined art form that places great emphasis on the method and execution of movement. Classical ballet gives students an awareness of posture and musicality and requires the development of self discipline. Focus, commitment and concentration skills are an important part of students’ learning. We teach the Angelina Ballerina Curriculum pre school program and the Laurel Martyn Dance System. See below for further information about these programs.

Dance with Me: 18 months – 3 years

Our Dance with Me classes are specially designed for younger children aged between 18 months to 3 years old.   The children are encouraged to participate, working closely with their accompanying adult, giving them a sense of security, allowing them to explore in a safe space.  These classes are ideal for students and family members to have a shared dance class experience and lay the foundation for further study in dance.

The environment is friendly and relaxed with no set uniform.  (We recommend that you wear clothing suitable for moving in and socks, bare feet or ballet shoes).    These classes introduce the structure and concepts of dance class in an age appropriate manner and combine song, dance and movement based exercises. Together they help to develop physical, social and dance skills; including spatial awareness, motor skills and listening abilities.  

Dance class is the perfect place to begin learning how to; follow directions, interact effectively with other people, whilst also supporting cognitive and physical development.

Kinder: 3 – 4 year old class

In these 30-minute classes students are introduced to age appropriate movements that lay the foundation for further study in dance. These classes encourage creativity, self-expression and individuality. The curriculum is flexible, allowing us to pace the work to the needs of each individual class. Generally the work in the Kinder 2 class moves at a faster pace with more challenging dance steps than the Kinder 1 classes due to the students stage of development. To help students learn most effectively students enter class without their parents. We have special open days when friends and family are invited to observe classes.

Jazz*

A fun, fast-moving style of dance that incorporates body isolations, works with current music and encourages individual expression. Classes comprise jazz dance technique including many of the styles of jazz with an emphasis on correct technical execution, rhythm, musicality and self expression. The school offers ATOD Syllabus examinations to students wishing to participate.

Tap*

Tap-dancing is a percussive style of dance. Metal plates are attached to the heel and toe of the shoe, and the feet are tapped against the floor to the sound and feel of the music. It is a great style for both girls and boys of any age and is a great way to develop musicality through rhythm and beats. Classes can be fast paced or slower depending on students’ level of ability but all tap classes are taught with the emphasis on correct technique.

The school offers ATDO Tap Syllabus for students wanting to participate.

*We strongly recommend that students continue taking ballet classes in addition to other dance styles. Classical Ballet provides an important foundation of technique, encourages self discipline and has a strong focus on body alignment that will assist students to develop strength, flexibility and focus which assist in the acquisition of dance skills in other dance styles, and are not necessarily inherent in the training of these dance styles which have traditionally relied on students taking ballet.

Junior School – Stage 1-5

From Primary level classes students move into the junior school and begin ballet classes in the Laurel Martyn Dance System and the Australian Teachers of Dancing syllabus for jazz, tap. Students progress through the following levels, Stage 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. As students progress up the levels their class work becomes more complex, new steps are learnt and the stamina, strength and flexibility required to perform the expanding vocabulary of steps increases. Therefore it becomes necessary to increase the intensity and frequency of classes to continue to maintain and progress dance technique.

The philosophies and aims of the pre school programme continue into the junior and senior school. The dance training programs used at Elwood School of Dance are holistic and progressive. A lot of time and effort goes into curriculum development and class planning and we ask that you respect the recommendations of the teaching staff; the advice we give is in the student’s long-term best interests. We are happy to discuss students’ progress with parents and encourage students to share their dancing goals with us so that we can support them in achieving their goals.

Pointe Work

Ballet students will generally be ready to commence pointe work during Degree 2, having begun pre pointe classes in Degree 1. Degree 2 students wanting to dance en pointe must attend two ballet technique classes per week PLUS a pointe/conditioning class. This is for safety reasons.

Students will not progress to pointe work with out passing a pre pointe physiotherapy assessment. Refer pointe work policy for further details.