Competitive dance is a popular, widespread sport in which competitors perform dances in any of several permitted dance styles—such as acro, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, modern, and tap—before a common group of judges. This is in contrast with other activities that involve competition among dancers based on purpose, or specific dance style.
The competitive dance industry largely consists of competition production companies—also sometimes called dance competition companies and dance competition lines—that conduct regional competitions at stops along their annual, nationwide tours. Dancers who compete at these regional competitions are students ranging in age from approximately four to eighteen years old. Dance schools (often referred to as dance studios) arrange for their classes to compete as groups. Dancers may be chosen to compete solos, duets, trios, or in a small group dance in addition to or in place of large group routines. Competitions typically begin in January and end in May.
Competitive dancers must be physically fit because even short dances can be physically demanding. Dancers must continuously train to maintain and improve their technique, balance skills, strength and flexibility. Except for holidays and short breaks during the summer, competitive dancing is typically a year-round activity: dancers attend classes during competition season, to refine their competitive routines, and during off-season to prepare for the next upcoming competition season.
Tap classes are designed to develop rhythm, style and sound. Students will learn a variety of tap styles from Broadway to Rhythm tap. Exercises focus on building flexibility of the knee and ankles, coordination, and speed of movement. The class emphasis is on developing proper tap technique, producing clear tap sounds, and having fun. As students progress through each level curriculum will become increasingly more complex and intricate.
Jazz class will focus on learning proper dance technique such as isolations of the body, improving performance quality and developing complex rhythms and patterns. Students will be exposed to various styles of jazz such as Broadway, Street and Contemporary to help develop a well rounded dancer. Class curriculum is based on ballet technique layered with traditional jazz movement and includes a proper warm-up, stretches, isolations, across-the-floor progressions, and combinations. As students progress through each level curriculum will become increasingly more complex and intricate.
Ballet classes are offered from a beginner level to advanced. Students are taught proper body placement, body alignment, barre and center floor work, along with across the floor combinations. Beginner classes introduce vocabulary, proper alignment, and classical ballet technique. Advanced classes include adagio and allegro work, and combinations using balance, strength, and style.
Hip hop is a high-energy class that infuses the latest styles of street dancing, breaking, popping, and locking. Classes will encourage students to step outside of the box by bringing their own individual style and personality to the movements. Hip hop dance requires students to have the strength and stamina to successfully perform moves. Therefore class includes upper and lower body conditioning as well as a rigorous warm-up to help prepare students for more intense movements.
Instructor placement is required for this class.
Beginning pointe class can be taken on flat or in pointe shoes at the instructors discrection. All pointe classes are designed for students with previous ballet training. Students will utilize previously learned ballet technique while working in pointe shoes. Each class includes barre exercises, center floor work and across the floor combinations. These exercises focus on strengthening the feet and ankles.