Curriculum

Zumbini® – ages 0-4

Zumbini® is a music and movement class for children, 0 to 4 years, to attend with their fun-loving caregiver. We combine original Zumba®-style music with dancing, acoustic singing, rhythmic instruments, scarves, balls, and more to create this fun and engaging 45-minute class. Rock Creek Dance Academy has partnered with Bouncing Bambini to offer Zumbini® classes; please for more information or to register.

Little Dancers – age 3

Our Little Dancers class introduces children to the structure and discipline of a dance class, while engaging them with fun and imaginative tap and ballet-inspired exercises and games. Children learn valuable self-control skills: standing on their designated spaces, waiting to take turns across the floor, following general directions, and improving their listening abilities. Our aim is to provide a positive and joyous experience with their first year in a dance studio and to inspire a love for dance! Students have the option of participating in our Annual Dance Recital.

Pre-K Ballet and Tap – age 4

This enjoyable and energetic class for pre-schoolers emphasizes coordination and rhythm while building on the Little Dancers’ curriculum. Children continue to grow comfortable with the dance class structure while expanding their knowledge of simple ballet and tap exercises. Students will take part in our Annual Dance Recital, learning an age-appropriate ballet OR tap dance.

Pre-Ballet 1 with Tap – ages 5-6

Students continue to progress with their ballet and tap basics. Exercises will continue to stimulate the imagination while helping children to increase coordination and improve posture. Simple barre exercises are introduced in ballet while lively music inspires children in both tap and ballet. Proper behavior and listening skills are still a primary focus. Appropriate for kindergarten-aged children. Students will take part in our Annual Dance Recital, learning an age-appropriate ballet OR tap dance.

Pre-Ballet 2 with Tap – ages 6-7

Our progression from Pre-Ballet 1 appropriately expands students’ ballet and tap vocabulary. Proper ballet posture and technique are introduced and tap combinations are increasingly more intricate. Appropriate for 1st or 2nd graders. Students will perform in at least one piece in our Annual Dance Recital.

Intro to Cecchetti Ballet with Tap – ages 7-8

A more rigorous pre-ballet class which introduces students to the theory and exercises of Cecchetti Ballet I. Proper ballet posture and technique is emphasized. Tap technique advances from Pre-Ballet 2. Appropriate for 2nd or 3rd graders. Students will perform in at least one piece in our Annual Dance Recital.

Cecchetti Ballet – ages 8 and up

The Cecchetti Method provides a well-balanced system of theory and movement from Level I through Level VIII. Proper ballet technique is highlighted as students practice the set syllabus for each level in their Cecchetti work. Students enrolled in Cecchetti ballet classes are encouraged to attend ballet class at least twice a week, and generally study the same level for two years. If students wish to be considered for an exam, they must be enrolled in at least two ballet classes per week in the second year of each level. The additional classes provide the discipline and repetition needed to acquire the technical requirements for each grade level. The examining process encourages self-motivation as each student works toward the goal of passing the exam. Achieving this goal greatly increases the student’s self-esteem and confidence.

Students are also welcome to pursue a non-exam track for their ballet classes. These students will still enjoy the benefits of studying the Cecchetti Method as they develop good posture, poise, balance, and strength.

Depending on level, students perform in one or more ballet pieces in our Annual Dance Recital.

Pre-Pointe

Pre-pointe exercises are a component of Cecchetti Ballet II classes. In addition to studying the Cecchetti Ballet II syllabus in soft ballet slippers, students practice simple pre-pointe exercises in demi-pointe shoes to continue building the additional foot and body strength required for dancing en pointe. Demi-pointe shoes are soft-soled pointe shoes, designed to help the student build strength while preventing them from rising en pointe during this training period.

STUDENTS SHOULD NOT PURCHASE DEMI-POINTE SHOES UNTIL YOUR TEACHER INSTRUCTS YOU TO DO SO!

Pointe

Pointe classes are offered in conjunction with Cecchetti Ballet III, IV, V, and VI. Students are placed in pointe classes pending the director’s approval. For their safety, pointe students are required to attend ballet class at least twice a week to continue building the additional foot and body strength required by pointe work.

NEW STUDENTS BEGINNING POINTE SHOULD NOT PURCHASE POINTE SHOES UNTIL YOUR TEACHER INSTRUCTS YOU TO DO SO!

Tap

Tap classes are offered in conjunction with ballet, jazz, or lyrical classes. Much like learning a musical instrument, students learn how to count music and keep time using their feet and brain as their instruments. Students learn creativity while keeping to rules of music such as synchronization, sound, and strict adherence to keeping time. Students will take part in our Annual Dance Recital, learning an age-appropriate tap dance.

Rhythm Tap:
Rhythm tap dancers, or hoofers, dance using mostly footwork, not showing very much arm or body movement. Famous examples of rhythm tap dancers are Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines and Savion Glover (of Happy Feet).

Broadway Tap:
Broadway tap takes the basics of Rhythm tap and incorporates the arm and body motions of jazz dance, while using the whole stage to paint a big picture. Adhering to the basic concepts of counting music and dancing in sync with each other, Broadway-style tap dancers flaunt the showmanship of Broadway dance numbers. The showstopping number “Anything Goes” from the musical of the same name is an example of Broadway tap at its finest.

Jazz

Jazz dance traces its roots to African American vernacular dance and traditional Caribbean dance, and later to the New Orleans genre of jazz music. Today, jazz dance encompasses the styles of show jazz (Broadway/Musical Theatre Dance) as well as the more contemporary arena that reflects different decades of popular music (rock, hip-hop, etc). Students in Jazz classes will take part in our Annual Dance Recital, learning an age-appropriate dance. Jazz levels generally run parallel to Cecchetti Ballet levels.

Lyrical

Lyrical is a hybrid of ballet, traditional jazz, and contemporary dance. Lyrical choreography is expressive in nature, conveying emotion found in the accompanying music. Students in Lyrical classes will take part in our Annual Dance Recital, learning an age-appropriate dance. Lyrical levels generally parallel Cecchetti Ballet levels.

Choreography

Choreography class is offered to upper level dancers. Students learn to create dance choreography through improvisation, manipulation of movement, observation, musicality, and self-reflection. Students study dance history and learn to generate movement using their imagination. Students will create a piece to be performed in the Annual Dance Recital.

Adult Classes

Adult classes are offered on a class card or drop-in basis. Adult Ballet students work on grace, poise, balance, strength and confidence in a relaxed and encouraging environment. Class includes ballet barre, floor stretches, center practice, and breath work. Adults may also drop into any Teen ballet, jazz, lyrical or tap class.

Character/Folk Dance

Character dance is a specific subdivision of classical dance. It is the stylized representation of a traditional folk or national dance, mostly from European countries, and uses movements and music which have been adapted for the theater. Students will learn stylized dances which may be performed at local festivals as well as in the Annual Dance Recital.

Music and Movement for Toddlers – ages 24-42 months (2 to 3 1/2-years)

Children will sing favorite nursery rhymes, learn entertaining new songs, and use simple musical instruments and props. Teachers will lead the class in simple finger plays and other movement to accompany songs. We will also explore age-appropriate creative movement and enhance gross motor skills. Students will be introduced to very basic dance class etiquette including standing on assigned spots and waiting to take turns. Each student must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Homeschoolers Intro to Dance: Ballet/Tap Combo – ages 5-8

Age-appropriate ballet and tap exercises are introduced to lively and inspiring music. Exercises stimulate the imagination while helping children increase coordination and improve posture. Proper behavior and listening skills are a primary focus. Students have the option of participating on our Annual Dance Recital.