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YOUTH Classes, Schedule & Registration

Fall 2017 Performing Arts Class Schedule

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CLASS DESCRIPTIONS & LEVEL REQUIREMENTS


INTRO & FOUNDATION LEVELS – BEGINNERS


DANCING TOGETHER

For caregivers and children ages 15 months+
Dancing Together is a creative movement class for caregiver and child. Movement language expands through rhythmic exercises, use of props and joyful movement patterns, offering both child and caregiver the inspiring and fulfilling experience of dancing in a spacious and artistic environment. This class is a wonderful introduction to dance for caregivers and their toddlers and provides a comfortable transition from playful dance at home to studio for student’s who later enroll in Creative Movement and Foundation level Modern/Ballet classes in the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program. Classes are offered on a class pass/drop in basis.

CREATIVE DANCE

(Ages 4-5)
Students explore musical rhythms and creative movement through the practice of dance games, improvisational exercises and introductory dance technique.

INTRO TO DANCE

(Ages 6-8)
A playful approach to traditional technique, improvisation, shape and rhythm, music and story, balance and flow, this class is an ideal introduction to dance. The pleasure of movement is inspired while preparing students for continuation in the dance form of their choice. Students must be at the first grade level, to participate in this class. Requirements: Consistent attendance, appropriate classroom etiquette, and lots of enthusiasm!

MODERN/BALLET FOUNDATIONS

(Ages 8-10)
Students build a basic understanding of traditional dance technique while learning to loosen, strengthen and explore their body’s movement vocabulary. Basic principles of rhythm, movement quality, musicality, and healthy alignment are acquired laying a clear foundation for further interdisciplinary dance studies. For level progression this class leads to Beginner Ballet, Beginner Modern or Level I Modern and Ballet classes Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette, and lots of enthusiasm!

BEGINNERS BALLET

(Ages 8+)
The formative elements of a ballet class are introduced including classical use of the barre and mirror as training tools. The center work orientation for balletic progression draws on character (theatrical folk dance) rhythms and traditional traveling ballet basics. Students participating in this class are strongly encouraged to enroll in any of the following classes in addition to Beginners Ballet: Modern/Ballet Foundations or Dances of Africa. Dancing more than once per week allows for greater ease of progress and sense of fulfillment. Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette and dance attire, and lots of enthusiasm!

DANCES OF AFRICA

(Ages 8-12)
This high-energy class introduces students to the foundation principles of Modern/Jazz technique through the study of African rooted rhythms and dances. Students will study isolations, range in movement quality, elementary jazz form, rhythmic footwork and traveling exercises and learn to identify beat and pulse in music and in their own bodies. Traditional dances provide a rich forum for both technical and creative expression in individual and group process. Students will learn the basics of percussion, with opportunities to play shakers, claves and bells. Live drumming every other week! Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette and dance attire, and lots of enthusiasm!


LEVEL 1


Participation in two classes per week is required at this level. Three may be required depending on individual placement recommendations. Level requirements include: lots of enthusiasm, ability to maintain focus, appropriate classroom etiquette, good sense of space, basic knowledge of center work and across-the-floor vocabulary and the ability to welcome challenges and accept corrections.

BALLET 1

(Ages 10+)
Students lay a firm classical foundation and basic vocabulary. Ballet fundamentals are introduced and skills developed into short phrases of movement inspired by character (theatrical folk) dance and classical ballet technique

MODERN 1

(Ages 10+)
Students further develop the fundamentals of dance technique through the study of advanced beginner level Modern Dance principles. Through center practice, exercises across the floor, improvisation and the study of movement phrases, students will establish a strong sense of alignment, rhythmic and musical versatility and freedom of expression through movement.

DANCES OF AFRICA

(Ages 8-12)
This high-energy class introduces students to the foundation principles of Modern/Jazz technique through the study of African rooted rhythms and dances. Students will study isolations, range in movement quality, elementary jazz form, rhythmic footwork and traveling exercises and learn to identify beat and pulse in music and in their own bodies. Traditional dances provide a rich forum for both technical and creative expression in individual and group process. Students will learn the basics of percussion, with opportunities to play shakers, claves and bells. Live drumming every other week! Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette and dance attire, and lots of enthusiasm!

DANCE for BOYS 1

(Ages 9+ )
Here’s a chance to jump, turn and soar! This class introduces boys to the athletic and artistic skills required in dance training. Class includes elementary classical dance technique, improvisation and dance making. Rhythm, movement quality, musicality, and healthy alignment are developed while offering boys the opportunity to explore their own strengths and abilities through a diverse dance practice. An excellent foundation for further study in all dance forms, sports and life! Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette and dance attire, and lots of enthusiasm!


LEVEL 2


The classes in this level will challenge, inspire and foster the love for dance as an art form and a tool for developing the dedication necessary in fulfilling personal goals. Requirements for LEVEL 2 students include: participation in three or four classes per week in accordance with individual placement recommendations, enthusiasm for further challenges and progress, ability to accept corrections, appropriate classroom etiquette, and a solid understanding of foundation through advanced beginner level ballet and modern technique.

BALLET 2

(Age 11+)
This class is for students with previous ballet training including an understanding of basic ballet vocabulary. We will build on that vocabulary and refine alignment through dynamic barre work that directly relates through to traveling center work. Emphasis is placed on whole body movement, breathing and musicality. Participation in Ballet 1 is required for this class.

MODERN 2

(Age 11+)
This class will continue the development of modern dance technique, including alignment, strengthening, release, clarity of movement, fall and recovery and awareness of individual expression. Emphasis is placed on moving with clarity and musicality while building an understanding of the body as a tool for versatility of expression and strength. A conscientious group experience is emphasized.

DANCE for BOYS 2

(Age 11+)
Participation in 3 or more classes per week is required at this level. This class further develops dance technique for boys. Class work will emphasize healthy alignment, strength and additional upper body conditioning, release, fall and recovery, clarity of movement and individual expression. Partnering will be explored and exercises to enhance precise coordination for speed of legwork and improving quality of jumps will be practiced; all skills necessary for a wider vocabulary of movement intrinsic to the power of the male dancer. Teachers for this class will include Shawn Ahern (September 12-October 3), Tom Truss (October 10-November 7), and Tom Masters (November 14-January 16). Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette and dance attire, and lots of enthusiasm!


LEVEL 3


INTERMEDIATE

Students who are invited to participate at the intermediate level have exhibited the desire, self-discipline, and dedication necessary for further progress and accomplishment in the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program. Level 3 students are expected to uphold class preparedness with equipment necessary for all classes and to maintain conditioning during breaks with level appropriate Pulse community classes, workshops and intensives. Enrollment at the Intermediate level requires participation in a minimum of four classes per week. Individual class schedules are determined by program Directors.

Pointe work is a natural extension of Ballet technique, but not a requirement of the Intermediate level Ballet student.

BALLET 3 – Intermediate & Advanced

(Age 13+)
Students continue to lay a strong foundation for further development of technical and artistic skills including more challenging rhythmic variations and longer phrases and additional classical ballet vocabulary. Requirements: appropriate classroom etiquette, good sense of space, ability to accept corrections, general sense of musicality, knowledge of basic ballet barre and center work vocabulary. These students have completed at least one year of Ballet 2.

MODERN 3– Intermediate

(Age 13+)

In this class students will broaden their dance vocabulary with new and increasingly difficult technical and artistic work. Students will continue their development of strength, flexibility, alignment and musicality. Topics frequently emphasized will be conscious use of breath, alignment, clarity of movement, rhythmic versatility, employment of musicality, creative expression and strength. A conscientious group experience is an essential component to the individual and group goals of this class. Requirements: appropriate classroom etiquette, good sense of space, ability to accept corrections, general sense of musicality, knowledge of basic modern floor and center work principles.

MODERN 3 – Choreographer’s Workshop

(Ages 14+)
This class offers dancers an opportunity to expand their own movement vocabulary while deepening their skills in spatial design, dynamics, rhythm and motif development. We will hone improvisational and collaborative skills by crafting dance into solo and group forms while at the same time uncovering how movement and space are both personal and political.  Viewing examples of juicy choreography will further inspire our practice. This class culminates in a mid-year presentation of works in progress open to the public.

ADVANCED

Advanced level students are required to participate in a minimum of six classes per week. Class schedule is determined by program Directors. Requirements: Self-motivated and rigorous work ethics, exemplary classroom etiquette, ability to welcome ongoing challenges and retain corrections, ability to retain complicated and diverse phrase work and lengthy variations, patience to go deeper into developing the technical skill, individual quality of movement and musical artistry. Level 3 students are expected to uphold class preparedness with equipment necessary for all classes and to maintain conditioning during breaks with level appropriate Pulse community classes, workshops and intensives.

BALLET 3 – Advanced with Pointe

(Age 14+)
With the addition of increased nuance and artistry, students build on the skills and vocabulary required for more advanced level material. A student’s individual capacity is solidified and refined. Artistry and technical stamina are equally challenged. Variations and partnering material is introduced. Pointe work is a natural extension of Ballet technique, but not a requirement of the Advanced level Ballet student.

MODERN 3 – Advanced

(Intergenerational, Age 15+)
Modern dance training at this level emphasizes technical and artistic work which encourages students to challenge themselves as emerging artists, self-assured athletes and responsible individuals fully committed to the process of creative and technical growth. Students will broaden their dance vocabulary with new and increasingly difficult technique while continuing to develop strength, flexibility, alignment and musicality. In addition, students will be challenged to push the limits of their stamina, strength and focus, and inspired to deepen their understanding of the art of performance and the rewards of physical practice at this level. Group awareness and a conscientious mind-set are expected at all times. Participants of this class have the opportunity to study with visiting teaching artists regularly throughout the year and are invited to participate in workshops at other studios in the region. Fall classes with guest teachers: Ian Spencer Bell (September 16-October 21) and Tom Truss (October 28-November 18 and December 2-9).

SENIOR CHOREOGRAPHIC PROJECT

Age 17+ (A full-year commitment)
Level 3 dancers who are in their final year at Berkshire Pulse will explore the process of creating original dance and will ultimately choreograph a solo piece to be performed in the end-of-year Performance. Participation in the Choreographer’s Workshop class is required for this senior student, and will serve as an opportunity for developing skills and material. To be eligible for this project, the student must be enrolled in a minimum of 5 additional classes per week throughout the year. In the Spring session, this student will be required to work independently of class time on a weekly bases, with additional rehearsals arranged for working with their chosen faculty mentor.

POINTE

GENERAL POINTE REQUIREMENTS:
Pointe work is extremely challenging and demands a high level of commitment to fine tune alignment, build strength, coordination, and flow. Appropriate physical and emotional maturity are required in order to begin Ballet Pointe work, which generally does not occur before the age of 12. At least 2 years of prior Ballet training are a necessary preparation. Pointe work is available to Intermediate and Advanced level Ballet students when invited by the instructor. Students must exhibit the following:

  • Self motivated work ethic
  • Consistently correct alignment
  • The ability to maintain turnout on demi pointe
  • Strong lower back
  • No sickling
  • Good use of plié
  • Stretches feet in movement
  • Easy balance in piqué passé
  • Ability to execute 16-relevé passé (without stopping) on demi pointe
  • Ability to hold passé balance on demi pointe
  • Equipment preparedness- for all classes, at all times
  • Maintains conditioning during holidays and schedule breaks

PLEASE NOTE: In order to go on Pointe each week, students must consistently attend all technique classes. If the required amount of technique classes have not been attended in a given week, the student will be asked to take Pointe class in slippers.

POINTE CURRICULUM

Two or more Ballet classes per week IN ADDITION TO Pre-Pointe/Pointe, Modern 3, and other interdisciplinary classes are required at this level.

PRE-POINTE

(Age 13+)

This class is for Level 3 Intermediate students interested in pursuing Pointework. Pre Pointe and Beginners Pointe curriculum includes barre and center work which targets building and maintaining strength and stability in the ankles and feet. More accurate alignment is also emphasized as well as expressive legwork and foot articulation. Additionally, focus will be placed on control of turnout and core strength. Incorporating Thera-band and exercises specific to the metatarsal strength will support Pointe preparation. This class is for Level 3 Intermediate students interested in pursuing Pointework. This is a preparatory class for Pointe. Class is taken in Ballet slippers.

POINTE – Beginner

(Age 13+)
Students beginning pointe will discover the critical sense of balance and alignment that it takes to stabilize over the platform of pointe shoes. They will further energize their dance training, engaging more strength while employing a new coordination. This slow process builds the pointe foundation for graduating from two hands on the ballet barre to one hand, to the freedom of center work. Schedule of required classes for beginning Pointe students is determined based on the individual needs of each student and group with whom they are participating.

POINTE – Intermediate (incorporated into class work)

(Age 14+)
Weekly class schedule will be determined by program Directors. Pointe foundation is further challenged with increased repetitions, speed and sustained movement. Additional pointe vocabulary is acquired.

POINTE – Advanced (incorporated into class work)

(Age 14+)
Weekly class schedule will be determined by program Directors. Complex pointework combinations will challenge the advanced pointe student. These students will work towards the goal of translating their ballet technique in full capacity to pointe. Variations from classical ballets will be taught which demands stretching beyond technical execution. Artistry and musicality develop the subtle art of pointework.


DANCE FOR BOYS PROGRAM


Dance, specifically for boys in the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts curriculum, begins with the level 1 boys classes. Prior to level 1, boys participate in the Creative dance, Intro to dance and Foundation level classes. Students may also continue with level progression in all other Performing Arts Program classes if they choose to.

Classes in the Pulse Dance for Boys Program are designed to instill the strength, flexibility, coordination and inner discipline specific to the skills a male dancer must acquire as he progresses in his dance training. Artistry and presentation is introduced in a wide variety of movement styles and techniques and equal emphasis is placed on inspiring the expression of both sensitive and powerful movement in individual as well as group experience.

DANCE for BOYS 1

(Ages 9+ )
Here’s a chance to jump, turn and soar! This class introduces boys to the athletic and artistic skills required in dance training. Class includes elementary classical dance technique, improvisation and dance making. Rhythm, movement quality, musicality, and healthy alignment are developed while offering boys the opportunity to explore their own strengths and abilities through a diverse dance practice. An excellent foundation for further study in all dance forms, sports and life! Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette, and lots of enthusiasm!

BALLET for BOYS 2

(Age 11+)
This class is upbeat and exciting! It is gender specific ballet training with a more dynamic focus on strength and stamina. Ballet barre specifically tones legs and ankles creating powerful jumping tools. Center-work will emphasize large traveling movement. Precision and attention to detail will be taught with a focus on the male dancer and in preparation for interdisciplinary dance training. Increasingly varied and challenging vocabulary will be given to Boys participating in Ballet Level 2 and up. Level 1 boys interested in starting ballet training will participate in the Ballet 1 class on Tuesdays from 3:45-5:15 pm.

Requirements: Participation in 2 or more classes per week is required for the Ballet for Boys 2 class, according to level placement and individual recommendation. Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette and dance attire, and lots of enthusiasm!

DANCE for BOYS 2

(Age 11+)
Participation in 3 or more classes per week is required at this level.
This class further develops dance technique for boys. Class work will emphasize healthy alignment, strength and additional upper body conditioning, release, fall and recovery, clarity of movement and individual expression. Partnering will be explored and exercises to enhance precise coordination for speed of legwork and improving quality of jumps will be practiced; all skills necessary for a wider vocabulary of movement intrinsic to the power of the male dancer. Teachers for this class will include Tom Masters, Shawn Ahern, Tom Truss, and Bettina Montano. Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette and dance attire, and lots of enthusiasm!


WORLD MUSIC AND DANCE PROGRAM


WORLD MUSIC – Beginner

(For children and adults Ages 9+)
This rhythm and world music introductory class offers students a chance to feel and play with the rhythms of their own lives and of the world. Drummers will listen and learn the pulse and patterns of rhythms to repeat and master, the “call and response” of songs and to hear and respond to “the break” (to start, change, and stop movement and playing.) As the class progresses the group will learn to play different parts against and with one another creating an ensemble of inspirational rhythm and music.  Instruments provided.

WORLD MUSIC DRUM AND SONG– Intermediate

(Ages 11+)
In this class students explore West African, Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian drum/ percussion rhythms and songs while developing their articulation on hand drums/ percussion instruments and songs in many languages. Instruments will be provided, for students with previous rhythmic/instrumental experience.

Fall 2017 Intermediate and Advanced Level classes are combined on Tuesday evenings from 5:00-5:45 pm.

WORLD MUSIC DRUM AND SONG – Advanced

(Ages 12+)
Placement in this class is at the sole discretion of the instructor. A trial class may be required. This class is for the more experienced hand-drummer and percussionist, and requires articulation of tone/ slap/bass and sound stick technique. Students will have the opportunity to arrange music and take part in drumming and singing multi-part rhythms. Students will learn advanced breaks, solo phrasing, intricate percussion parts, advanced compositions, and singing while playing. Progression at this level will include joining the lead drummer in accompanying the Berkshire Pulse Afro-Caribbean community dance class or the Dances of Africa class once per month.

Students who are asked to play for the community Afro-Caribbean dance class will:

  • Play advanced parts by themselves on Djembe, Djun Djun, Bell, and other percussion instruments and have a strong capacity on each type of instrumentation
  • Drum for dancers for up to 1/2 hour at a time thus requiring stamina
  • Be confident in calling breaks for dancers (if on djembe)
  • Have an ability to act maturely in an adult setting and be flexible with the needs of the instructor guiding them
  • Be invited to take part as drummers in the final Afro-Caribbean drum and dance class presentation at the annual Performance Celebration and at other performance venues throughout the year

 ACCOMPANIMENT FOR ADVANCED DRUMMERS (date and time TBD)

(Ages 13+)
The Accompaniment Class for Advanced Drummers is offered for drumming students who are ready to take the next step in their study of drumming technique and begin to use their skills to accompany dance classes. Students will gain experience playing for the dance, including; watching the dancers to gauge appropriate tempos, learning how to play breaks to support the dance, increasing understanding of how the drumming+dancing+singing=music, and deepening their awareness of how this is a community experience – many individuals must communicate and work with each other to create this experience for all. In addition to drumming and singing, students will occasionally be asked to join the dancers and try some of the steps to foster their understanding of how the dance and rhythms fit each other.

Admittance to the class will be based on recommendation from Aimee Gelinas for students under age 18, and at the instructor’s discretion for adult students. In order to foster the community aspect of the experience, Berkshire Pulse Adult Drummers will be invited and encouraged to participate in the pre-dance class sessions as well.
Students will spend the first 20 minutes of each class becoming familiar with the various parts and songs of the rhythms they will be playing for that evening’s warm up and class. When the dancers arrive, the instructor will assign specific parts to each student.

DANCES OF AFRICA

(Ages 8-12)
This high-energy class introduces students to the foundation principles of Modern/Jazz technique through the study of African rooted rhythms and dances. Students will study isolations, range in movement quality, elementary jazz form, rhythmic footwork and traveling exercises and learn to identify beat and pulse in music and in their own bodies. Traditional dances provide a rich forum for both technical and creative expression in individual and group process. Students will learn the basics of percussion, with opportunities to play shakers, claves and bells. Live drumming every other week! Requirements: Consistent attendance, ability to follow instruction, appropriate classroom etiquette and dance attire, and lots of enthusiasm!

AFRO-CARIBBEAN DANCE (Community Class Pass membership applies)

(Intergenerational, Ages 13+)
Explore traditional African dance in the many African-rooted dances of Haiti, Cuba and Brazil in this high energy class. Students move through a warm up filled with yoga, isolations and rhythmic movement into a dance combination that travels across the floor. No prior experience is required for participation in this class. WITH LIVE DRUMMING AND SONG!

HIP HOP

(ages 9+) Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00 pm

(Intergenerational, ages 13+) Fridays, 5:45-7:00 pm
These Hip Hop classes are about individual self expression. Through the introduction of Hip Hop fundamentals, students will explore the outer kinesphere of movement technique, body shapes, and rhythm, while investigating new language of expression within themselves.  In a safe, judgment free atmosphere, these classes will guide students to connect two things: personal movement and self confidence. Come ready to move, to feel connected to the music, to experience the positive energy of Hip Hop in new ways, with yourself and others, and to learn! What to wear to Hip Hop Class

FLAMENCO – For Men and Women

Flamenco is proud and unique. The one who feels it cannot describe it, it hits the heart, not the intellect. Flamenco is a global art form, originating with the gypsies in Andalucia, and growing beyond the boundaries of Spain and now, well known all over the world. Flamenco dance and music embodies universal and genuine human emotion, which transcends culture to touch the souls of all people. Flamenco is an expression of love, passion and joy, but also of anger and great grief. Flamenco offers a rich transformative experience and a life long journey of discovery, challenge and development.

FLAMENCO 1

Beginners Ages 11+
In this class beginner students will be introduced to all the basic aspects of Flamenco. Weekly classes will focus on footwork (as a percussion instrument), upper body coordination, understanding flamenco music and compás and proper posture and breathing. With consistent attendance, students will begin to develop the muscular strength, movement skills, artistry and musicality necessary for flamenco dance.

FLAMENCO 2

Advanced Beginner/ Intermediate Ages 14+ (Community Class Pass membership applies)
In this class, students will learn to express themselves with dramatic movements while further developing skillful footwork and an enhanced understanding of the exciting rhythms and soulful songs of gypsy music. With consistent attendance, students develop the muscular strength, movement ability, artistic nuance and musicality necessary for flamenco dance.


MUSICAL THEATER PROGRAM


BROADWAY JAZZ  (Community Class Pass membership applies)

(Intergenerational, Ages 13+)
Learn the basics of being a part of a musical theatre company. Through the warm-up and across the floor exercises, students will develop their technique as a foundation. Choreography taught familiarizes students with basic musical theatre vocabulary, promotes self-confidence, and allows each student to develop their performance skills in an encouraging environment. Pieces are chosen from classic musicals, and often incorporate blocking, partnering, scene, song and dance.

 BROADWAY JAZZ 2/3

(Ages 12+)
Using classical and jazz dance technique as a foundation, this class will focus on performance, musicality, and bringing individual expression into artistic practice. Choreography taught will familiarize students with diverse styles of Broadway jazz (Fosse, Cole, DeMille, Robbins), and will promote self-discipline, confidence, and the development of performance skill. Pieces are chosen from a variety of musicals, and often incorporate blocking, partnering, scene, song and dance. Participation in level 2 or 3 Ballet with Berkshire Pulse are required for students enrolled in this class.

TAP 1 – Beginner/Advanced Beginner

(Intergenerational, ages 9+)
Tap is all about rhythm, footwork. Use your feet as a percussion “instrument” to create sounds as you dance. Key elements in tap class are timing, rhythm, and musicality. A variety of tap styles including Broadway tap and Rhythm tap will be taught. This class is for all levels of tap dancers, so shuffle on in and makes a joyful noise!

TAP 2/3 – Intermediate

(Ages 11+)
Dancers will be introduced to a more complex warm up, center and traveling exercises including turns. Emphasis is on fluidity of movement from one step to another; clean tap sounds, proper arm and head placement, musicality and proper terminology. At least one year of recent tap experience is required and placement is at the discretion of the instructor.

 VOICE TECHNIQUE FOR MUSICAL THEATER

Ages 12+
This class will focus on exploring musical theatre/vocal repertoire through training the voice using healthy vocal technique. Each student will be coached to sing in their individual voice and to further develop their own artistic, musical and dramatic style of expression. Vocal training and exercises will emphasize using the art of singing as a tool for communication between the individual and the listener. Class is limited to 6 students per session.