To achieve versatility in our dancers, we build a strong classical ballet foundation and then focus on classical and contemporary studies within each class. In Contemporary classes, for example, we accomplish this by teaching modern styles such as Graham, Dunham, Limon, Cunningham, Horton, and Humphrey, while also exploring movement in more contemporary forms that have developed from the deconstruction of these classical modern techniques. This same approach will be taken in other courses.
In Ballet classes, priority is placed on classical form and technique. To develop the students’ contemporary ballet capabilities, there are moments during class when contemporary combinations are inserted. This helps students master the art of transitioning from one style to another as a performer. These contemporary combinations are approached through the use of imagery in place of specific shapes, finding more ways to utilize breath with movements, and incorporating movements that articulate through the spine.
Through this approach we endeavor to prepare dancers for company and college programs focused on concert style dance, as well as provide versatile training for the recreational dancer.