Sspa | (c) Kate Haley Photography Llc 2019
SSPA | (c) Kate Haley Photography LLC 2019

Spindrift School of Performing Arts offers a wide variety of leveled classes in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Tap to students ages 3 through adult. In addition, we offer specialty dance classes in Hip Hop, Swing & Salsa, and Musical Theatre Dance, exposing students to other engaging forms. In Spindrift’s leveled classes, students work toward discipline specific benchmarks (see below) and receive a Progress Certificate at the end of each session with instructor feedback and personalized recommendations for next steps in training. To view our complete schedule of Dance classes organized by age and to register for Spring term, please click the icon below.

Dance Class Schedule

 

Dance Department Benchmarks 

BALLET

Intro:

  • Basic ability to differentiate between dancing at the barre vs. dancing in the center
  • Ability to differentiate between right and left
  • Introduction of basic steps & terminology: plie, tendu, degage, battement, etc.

Level I:

  • Turn out, proper body placement/alignment
  • Basic understanding of ballet terminology: barre and center
  • Pirouette prep or single turn
  • Maintaining relevé on two feet

Level II:

  • Turn out, proper body placement/alignment
  • Familiarity with ballet terminology: barre and center
  • Familiarity with basic ballet barre structure and sequence: plies, tendus, degages, fondu, frappe, etc. 
  • Ability to execute basic center combinations while incorporating more complex steps(adagio, pirouettes, petit allegro, grand allegro, etc.)
  • Single pirouette
  • Relevé on one foot
  • 45degree extensions in all positions maintaining proper placement

Level III: 

  • Full understanding/proper execution of Intro- Level II benchmarks
  • Overall understanding of terminology: barre and center
  • Ability to execute barre combinations without instructor demonstration (verbal dictation only)
  • Ability to execute more complex center combinations, incorporating musicality and fluid use of port de bras
  • Double pirouette

 

JAZZ

Intro:

  • Introduction to rhythm, energized movement
  • Introduction to basic jazz terminology (plie, isolations, turn, jump, leap, ball change, etc.)

Level I:

  • Understanding of basic jazz terminology & can differentiate between various steps (center warm ups & across the floor)
  • Introduction of various jazz stylings (i.e. musical theater, Fosse, etc.)
  • Ability to perform combinations incorporating basic jazz steps
  • Ability to find rhythm of music and introduction to counting
  • Introduction to more complex steps//variations on basic terminology (i.e. learning various turns, leaps, etc.)

Level II:

  • Understanding of all Intro-Level I benchmarks
  • Understanding of and ability to execute various turns, leaps: jazz pirouettes, chainee turns, compass turns, pas de bourees, six step, jete, saute, etc.
  • Understanding of various Jazz stylings & their defining characteristics
  • Ability to incorporate style and use of musicality when executing choreography
  • Ability to learn and retain more complex combinations and choreographic progressions with minimal instructor prompting

 

MODERN 

Intro:

  • Basic understanding of body awareness (“this is where I am in space”, “this is where my neighbor is in space”)
  • Positive vs. negative space (positive space=my body; negative space=space around my body/”the air”)
  • Basic rolls across the floor (moving from Point A to Point B)
  • Ability to safely execute simple creative movement/improvisation prompts (i.e. move across the floor like your favorite animal)

Level I:

  • Ability to understand/execute all Intro Level benchmarks
  • Understanding of basic modern dance terminology: plie, curve, arch, contraction, roll, swing, etc.
  • Basic knowledge of stretching & strengthening exercises/terminology: downward dog, plank, lunge, etc. 
  • Understanding of basic across the floor prompts: basic rolls, prances, chugs, etc.
  • Introduction to “reversing” combinations across the floor
  • Introduction to more complicated floorwork & inversions
  • Introduction to various movement dynamics (fast, slow, fluid, aggressive, etc.)

Level II:

  • Ability to execute all Intro & Level I Benchmarks
  • Ability to execute basic warm combinations (plie, tendu, etc.) with minimal instructor demonstration (combination observation & retention)
  • Basic use of musicality
  • Ability to learn center and across the floor combinations, incorporating basic and more complex steps
  • Ability to execute basic floorwork and inversions
  • Use/incorporation of gestural movement
  • Understanding of movement dynamics
  • Ability to interpret basic improvisational prompts/score

Level III:

  • Ability to execute all Intro-Level II Benchmarks
  • Understanding/execution of complex musicality
  • Ability to interpret improvisational prompts
  • Ability to reverse combinations without instructor demonstration
  • Mastery of basic floorwork & inversions; working toward learning more complex floorwork
  • Understanding/mastery of nuance & movement dynamics
  • Ability to generate movement & manipulate given choreography

 

TAP

Intro:

  • Basic understanding of single sound steps (toes, heels, brushes, spanks, stamps, stomps, etc.)
  • Basic understanding/introduction of rhythm; “finding the beat”–clapping & tapping to rhythm
  • Introduction of two-sound steps (toe heel, flap, shuffle, ball change)

Level I:

  • Basic understanding of single sound steps (toes, heels, brushes, spanks, stamps, stomps, etc.)
  • Basic understanding of two-sound steps (toe heel, flap, shuffle, etc.)
  • Ability to execute combinations incorporating both single and double sound steps
  • Ability to count music in basic “8”
  • Basic understanding of the call/response structure for learning rhythm
  • Basic understanding of moving across the floor with simple steps (toe heel, flap, flap heel, etc.)
  • Introduction of more complex steps (steps with more than two sounds each)
  • Introduction of “rounds” and “canons”–layering rhythm

Level II:

  • Ability to execute all Intro and Level I benchmarks
  • Ability to identify single and two-sound steps through observation of demonstration (i.e. students should be able to verbally distinguish a flap from a shuffle)
  • Basic understanding of steps with more than two sounds each (cramp roll, paradiddle, rhythm roll, etc.)
  • Ability to learn rhythm through the call/response method
  • Ability to execute basic rounds/canons with other students

Level III:

  • Ability to execute all Intro-Level II Benchmarks
  • Ability to identify more complex steps through observation of demonstration
  • Ability to execute combinations with complex rhythms, and those that incorporate more complicated steps
  • Ability to execute more challenging rounds/canons in groups and as individuals
  • Ability to learn more complex rhythms/steps through call/response method