Pre-School Program (Ages 3-4)
This is a nurturing, fun introduction to dance for three and four year olds. Students who have just turned five and had no previous dance experience may also be placed in this program. Our goal is to promote a genuine love for movement and music in students at this age. Emphasis is placed on fun and the development of positive self-esteem. The students' natural joy of movement and creativity is encouraged while they are introduced to the fundamentals of basic ballet, tap and tumbling. As they learn how to move to music and express themselves through dance, students also learn the basics of classroom behavior. These concepts include learning how to take turns, following another dancer or leading the way, waiting patiently, working with others, and having a positive attitude.
Primary Dance (Ages 5-6)
This class consists of a half hour of ballet and a half hour of tap. Basic jazz terminology may also be introduced. The ballet portion of class introduces basic ballet vocabulary and movement skills while building a foundation for future progression in the study of ballet. The tap portion of class introduces the basic elements of tap dance technique and terminology highlighting the importance of rhythm and sound. Primary dance class is a bit more structured than our Preschool class, but at the same time continues to allow and encourage creativity and free expression.
Hip Hop Kids (ages 5-8)
This class is a fun introduction to Jazz/Hip Hop for children who love to move! Class begins with a warm-up/ stretch and basic Jazz and Hip Hop skills are introduced. Students enjoy performing short routines set to upbeat, age appropriate music.
Acro Kids (ages 5-8)
This class is a fun introduction to acrobatics/tumbling for the younger child. The focus is on flexibility, strength, balance and tumbling. Class begins with a warm-up and exercises to build strength and flexibility and continues with progression in fundamental acrobatic dance moves.
Elementary Combo (Ages 7-9)
This is our most popular class for this age group, as it introduces the young student to the three main forms of dance (Ballet, Tap & Jazz). Class consists of a half hour of each subject. At this level, students begin to develop technique and style, with more individual correction offered by the instructor. Elementary classes follow a stricter format than our Pre-School and Primary level and students begin to develop more speed when performing each individual skill. The Ballet and Tap portion of class begins with barre exercises, continues in center floor and ends with students traveling, individually or in small groups. Jazz begins with a basic warm-up & stretch, continues in center floor and ends
with students traveling, individually or in small groups.
The following classes are recommended for students (ages 8 and over) wishing to focus on one or more styles of dance. Classes range from 45 minutes to 90 minutes (per subject.) Students may take class more than once per week, if so desired. It is proven to be more beneficial for students to participate at least twice per week, in order to advance and become well-rounded dancers:
Ballet (Beginning at age 9)
Ballet is the foundation of all dance forms and helps build through it's discipline a graceful, healthy body with good posture and poise. Class consists of barre work, port de bras, center technique and variations. After sufficient study of ballet a student may be advanced to Pointe work.
*All pointe students must be evaluated by their instructor prior to
enrolling. A second ballet class is required in order to be placed on pointe.
Tap (Beginning at age 9)
Tap is a popular American dance form in which dancers create rhythmical sounds with the feet. Tap students will learn tap terminology and combinations that highlight the importance of rhythm and sound. As students progress they will be challenged with more complex rhythms and combinations.
*Tap students are encouraged to study ballet and jazz.
Jazz (Beginning at age 9)
Jazz is America's gift to the world of dance. Jazz has borrowed from all other forms of dance to form a technique and style all it's own.
Rock, Musical Theater, Lyrical, Funk and Blues are some of the most popular styles that are studied today. In Jazz class students will learn Jazz technique, isolations, floor stretches, leaps, turns and combinations set to popular music.
*Jazz students are encouraged to study ballet and tap.
Modern (Beginning at age 13)
Modern is a contemporary dance form that has its roots in ballet. However, as opposed to ballet, modern utilizes natural movement, allowing dancers to move in a more free, self-defining way. The movement vocabulary and range of motion used is endless and creative and draws on each student's personal expression. Classes consist of floor and standing work in the styles of Martha Graham,
Doris Humphrey & Lester Horton. Movement improvisation is introduced as the student advances.
*Modern students are encouraged to study ballet.
NEW Class! Lyrical (Beginning at age 8)
Lyrical dance fuses Ballet, Jazz and Modern dance techniques to create a contemporary dance style, known for its expressiveness and musicality. A continually evolving art form, lyrical choreographers and dancers historically adapted existing dance steps and poses to suit new, modern music. Its entertaining, emotive qualities, along with its prominence in popular media, propelled lyrical dance to popularity in the 21st century.
*Lyrical students are encouraged to study ballet and jazz.
Hip Hop (Beginning at age 8)
Hip Hop is a high-energy form of dance that uses the latest sounds in rap, R&B and pop music. Students are introduced to movements and combinations influenced by some of today's hottest video choreographers. Hip Hop encompasses movement that has elements of popping, locking and break dancing as well as freestyle movement to give the students the opportunity to develop their own sense of style.
*Hip Hop students are encouraged to study jazz.
Acrobatics (Beginning at age 10)
Acrobatic Dance focuses on flexibility, strength, balance, limbering, tumbling and partner/group stunting. Acrobatic dance is not the same as gymnastics, as dancers perform without mats or sprung floors that gymnasts rely on for their tricks. Although tricks look similar, they are learned and performed differently to compensate for an un-sprung floor. Mats will often be used during class as the students learn different skills. Class is structured with a warm-up and conditioning at the beginning of
class followed by progression in fundamental acrobatic dance moves.
NEW Class! Adult Beginner Tap (ages 18+)
In this class you will be introduced to the fundamentals of Tap with a variety of styles from Broadway to Rhythm Tap. Tap dance is not only fun, but the benefits include increased cardiovascular conditioning, strength, flexibility and coordination. No previous experience required!
Musical Theater (Beginning at age 8)
Musical Theatre is a theatrical dance style that includes dance technique and acting to music from broadways and musicals. Students learn routines that consist of a story being told or a character being formed, with emphasis placed on learning performance skills, such as connecting with an audience through dance and facial expressions.
RPDC Competition Team (Beginning at age 8)
This program is for recommended for students who decide to make dance their primary extra-curricular activity. Older students may consider attending college dance programs and/or making dance a career. Students interested in becoming teaching assistants at the Rachel Park Dance Center should enroll in the competition program. Regular attendance is strictly enforced and students are expected to be fully committed to their team and to improving their technique and performance skills. The competition team typically attends 2-3 regional competitions per year and 1 national competition every other summer. In addition to competing, the dancers enjoy performing at nursing homes, charity events and rehabilitation centers during the Spring.
Petite Team(Ages 8-10)*students typically study 2-3 nights per week
Junior Team(Ages 11-14)*students typically study 2-4 nights per week
Senior Team (Ages 13-18) *students typically study 3-4 nights per week
Ages are approximate.
*Any student interested in becoming a member of the RPDC competition team must attend at least one session of summer classes at the dance center and are required to attend placement auditions (typically held at the end of August or beginning of September.)
Please speak with director Rachel Park if you are interested in the competition program for your child.
*Please contact us, should you have any questions regarding placement in any of the above classes.