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FALL SESSION YOUTH CLASSES

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Placing students correctly is a core aspect to the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program curriculum. For placement and class recommendations, we carefully consider a wide variety of factors: specific interest, physical skill, peer group, emotional maturity, years of previous study and age. Each student is placed where we believe they will have the greatest potential for fulfillment and growth.

NEW dance students age 9+ who would like to participate in the Ballet and Modern classes are encouraged to attend one class for placement prior to enrollment. Returning students are not required to take placement classes. Placement classes are offered on September 1 and 2 and you can register here.
Students who would like to try a class, or are seeking class recommendations, can email berkshire.pulse@gmail.com for more information.

Youth classes for the fall session run September 13 – January 15, unless otherwise noted. 

CREATIVE DANCE for ages 4-6
The joy of movement and imagination are inspired through a playful and guided approach to improvisation, shape, rhythm, balance, flow, and locomotor skills. Lively music, stories, and imagery are key elements of this class. Connections to real-world experiences are made to meet children where they are and build self-esteem in an inclusive group environment. Traditional technique is introduced for continuation in the dance forms of their choice.
Monday with Tom Truss, 4-5 PM ($224 for the session)
Saturday with Erin Naylor, 9-10 AM (Sept. 25-Dec. 18 ~ $192 for the session)

TUMBLING for ages 5-7
With Erin Naylor
This class offers a fun and exciting introduction to tumbling and building basic skills for gymnastics for the young, active child. Students will practice balance, coordination, and strength that can support them in becoming more confident with their bodies. They will learn about major muscle groups and how to use them as well as some yoga stretching that will benefit them in dance, other sports, and play. Skills introduced and practiced will include forward/backward tumbles, headstands, handstands, shoulder stands, backbends, cartwheels, and smart stretching for safe practice and flexibility.
Saturday 10:15-11:15 AM
$256 for the session

INTRO TO DANCE for ages 6-8
With Fiona Scruggs
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.
Wednesday 3:50-4:50 PM
$240 for the session 

DANCE FOUNDATIONS for ages 8-10
With Bettina Montano
Students build a basic understanding of traditional modern and ballet dance technique while learning to loosen, strengthen and explore their body’s movement vocabulary. With joyful and dynamic exercises and improvisational techniques, basic principles of rhythm, movement quality, musicality, and alignment are acquired, laying a clear foundation for further interdisciplinary dance studies.
Tuesday 3:50-4:50 PM ($240 for the session)

BEGINNERS TAP for ages 7+
With Fiona Scruggs
This class is an introduction to the basic tap fundamentals terminology. We will focus on developing coordination, rhythmic skills and proper tap technique. Students will work as a group and have lots of fun creating rhythmic patterns and choreography.
Wednesday 5-6 PM
$240 for the session

INTRO TO FLAMENCO for ages 9-12
With Joanne B. Jackson
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, artistic nuance and musicality necessary for flamenco dance.
Thursday 4:15–5:15 PM
$208 for the session

WORLD MUSIC DRUMMING for ages 8-adult
With Rick Shrum
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.
Tuesday 3:45-4:30 PM
$240 for the session

FUNK BOX BREAKING
With Andres Ramirez
Level 1 – Introduction to breaking, learn basic foundational moves with some fun games that help develop both strength and musicality. 
Level 2 – Move progression, working and increasing foundational moves for a more complete dance. Kids will start learning how to freestyle in and out of moves. Kids will also learn a variety of footwork types. Students will learn cypher etiquette.
Ages 9-12
Friday 4-5 PM
$240 for the session

NON CONTACT BOXING for ages 13-17
With Geneve Berkshire Boxing
This program provides a welcoming and supportive class for all levels of experience and fitness. Mastering a physical skill does wonders for self-worth and confidence, not to mention health and fitness! Because we teach points-based boxing in this class, it is the perfect modality for the developing bodies of young athletes. This fun class focuses on improving fitness and learning all the elements of boxing training, from practicing punch combos, to throwing a great uppercut on the heavy bag, to learning jump-rope tricks.
Tuesday, 3:45-4:45 PM
$240 for the session
Please email berkshire.pulse@gmail.com for registration information

DANCE FOR BOYS for ages 10+
With Tom Masters
Here’s a chance to jump, turn and soar! This class introduces boys, and male identifying persons, to the athletic and artistic skills required in dance training. The class includes elementary classical dance technique, improvisation and dance making. Rhythm, movement quality, musicality, and healthy alignment are developed while offering students the opportunity to explore their own strengths and abilities through a diverse dance practice. An inspiring foundation for further study in all dance forms, sports and life!
Thursday 4-5:15 PM
$208 for the session

BEGINNERS BALLET for ages 8+
With Fiona Scruggs
The foundations of ballet class, technique, alignment, vocabulary, and rhythm are introduced. Students will learn introductory skills of using the ballet barre. Center and traveling classwork draw on character (theatrical folk dance) rhythms and traditional ballet technique progressions. Creativity and experiencing music through movement are emphasized.
Saturday 9–10 AM
$256 for the session

BALLET 1 for ages 9+
With Fiona Scruggs
Ballet fundamentals and skills are introduced through the use of the barre and mirror as training tools. Short ballet movement phrases are inspired by character (theatrical folk) dance and classical ballet technique to further develop musicality and vocabulary. Group awareness, positive body image, and the joy of artistic expression and storytelling are emphasized. Participation in two classes per week for ballet 1 dancers is required. Additional classes include Intro to Flamenco, Dances of Africa, Capoeira.
SATURDAY 10:15-11:30 AM
$256 for the session

MODERN 1 for ages 10-12
With Susan Quinn
Students build upon the fundamentals of dance technique through the study of traditional modern dance principles. Through center practice, basic phrase work, dynamic traveling sequences, improvisation and dance making, students will establish a strong sense of alignment, rhythmic and musical versatility and freedom of expression through movement. Participation in two classes per week is recommended, but not required.
Monday 4-5:15 PM
$224 for the session

MODERN 2 for ages 11-14
With Gillian Ebersole
Gillian’s Modern 2 class incorporates elements of her eclectic dance training, drawing on Modern techniques and vocabulary while also integrating improvisation, chance, and artistry.  We will continue to focus on alignment, balance, fall and recovery,  and strengthening and releasing. A conscientious and supportive group experience in a safe and caring environment is emphasized.  Participation in two technique classes per week is required for modern 2 dancers.
Wednesday 4-5:30 PM
$240 for the session

BALLET 2 for ages 10+
With Melissa Elstein
This class is for students with previous ballet training including a solid understanding of basic ballet vocabulary. We will build on that vocabulary and refine alignment through core strengthening warmups and dynamic barre work that directly relates to center ballet exercises. Level 2 ballet technique is learned with an emphasis on whole body movement, breathing, musicality, strengthening and stretching – all while cultivating a healthy body image and mental focus. Students may learn a ballet variation by the end of the semester.  Pre-pointe work foot strengthening exercises are taught that are beneficial for all students, whether interested in progressing to pointe or choosing to remain in soft ballet slippers.
Canvas ballet slippers are required. Hair shall be in a bun or high ponytail (if applicable) so the alignment of the student’s neck is visible. Please see Pulse’s dress code for more specifics.
Participation in two ballet classes a week and one modern, jazz, flamenco, Dances of Africa, Capoeira, or Funk Box breaking class is required for these students.
Tuesday and Thursday 3:45-5:15 PM
$448 for the session

 JAZZ 2-3 for ages 11+
With Ilana Ransom Toeplitz
Straight from Broadway, this class focuses on integrating technique into the performance of more advanced jazz dance steps. Isolations, technique, specificity and rhythm lay the groundwork for this jazz class. This class comes down to performance and execution. Students will be expected to dance various styles of jazz, from Broadway to Pop to make the dancer competitive in today’s contemporary market. Dancers should come to class with clean pirouettes, ideally at least a double. Requirements: one additional class a week in either modern or ballet, Flamenco or Dances of Africa are all options.
Monday 3:45-5 PM
$224 for the session

MODERN 3 for ages 13+
With Bettina Montano
This class is centered on the principles and techniques of modern dance. Particular emphasis is placed on alignment and freedom of the body, as well as grounding and continuous movement.
Participants will learn the fundamentals of Limón, Cunningham, and Graham technique, and how these dance languages are relevant in contemporary dance. The class will progress through a series of set exercises and build upon phrase material informed by modern modalities. A minimum of three technique classes are required for participants in this class. These can include Modern, Ballet, Flamenco or Jazz. Modern 3 students are encouraged to participate in the Young Choreographers Workshop which immediately follows this class on Wednesdays.
Wednesday 4-5:30 PM
$240 for the session

BALLET 3 for ages 12+
With Shana ParkeHarrison
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. Two Ballet classes and one Modern or Jazz technique class per week are required for Ballet at this level. Students participating in Beginner Pointe are required to take Saturday Intermediate Community Ballet class prior to Pointe class. Pointe work is a traditional extension of ballet technique, but not a requirement of the advanced level ballet student. Three ballet classes, in addition to a choice of modern, jazz or contemporary class are required for students training en pointe.
Monday 5:30-7PM and Friday 4-5:30 PM
$464 for the session

YOUNG CHOREOGRAPHERS WORKSHOP for ages 13+
With Susan Quinn
Open level
This class offers dancers an opportunity to expand their own movement vocabulary while deepening their skills in spatial design, dynamics, rhythm and form. 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. This class will culminate in a presentation open to the public in May or June. One additional technique class is required to participate in this class.
Wednesday 5:45-7 PM
$240 for the session

MOVEMENT: THE LANGUAGE OF TRANSFORMATION  for ages 16-adult
With Susan Quinn, Joe Poulson, and Ian Spencer Bell
A creative process/performance workshop series with Susan Quinn, Joe Poulson and Ian Spencer Bell for teens and young adults who want to transform themselves and their world through the craft of dance-making while also enriching their movement vocabulary in a safe, non-judgmental environment.  No previous choreographic experience is required. Those who have had more experience with choreography will deepen their relationship to the art form and themselves by connecting their humanity and what matters to them to their creative process and performance. Workshop topics include Choreo Bootcamp: The Tools for Change and Relating Text and Movement. Get ready to laugh, have fun, move fully and create a dance the world has never seen before!

Senior Young Choreographers Initiative artists are required to take classes from November 6-December 18th. Other students can opt to take one, two, or all three of these mini-workshops. Possible culminating works in progress showing/sharing/party at the discretion of the teacher and participating artists on December 18.
$40 for Sept 18 and 25: Choreo Bootcamp: Tools for Change with Susan Quinn
$100 for October 2,9,16,23,30: With Joe Poulson
$100 for November 6,13,20, Dec 4, 11: With Ian Spencer Bell
$220 for full workshop series or as priced by individual workshop
Saturday, 1-2:30 PM

SENIOR CHOREOGRAPHIC PROJECT for ages 17+
A full-year commitment for students in their final year at Berkshire Pulse
Dancers are invited to explore the process of creating original dance and to ultimately choreograph a solo or group piece for Pulse’s Spring performance. This senior student is required to participate in the Young Choreographer’s Workshop or the Young Choreographers Initiative, as an opportunity to develop skills and material. To be eligible for this project, the student must communicate their intention to participate in this project to Bettina Montano by October 15, as well as consistently attend their enrolled classes.  In the Spring session, this student will be required to work on a weekly basis, independently and outside of class time. Additional rehearsals will be arranged for working with a faculty mentor of their choice.

BALLET 3-4 VARIATIONS/REPERTORY WORKSHOP for ages 14+
With Ian Spencer Bell
This 5 week Workshop will offer the opportunity for students at Levels 3 and 4 to apply their ballet technique to classic and contemporary works from the ballet canon. This experience will provide dancers the opportunity to experience the challenges of variations. Pointe shoes are optional.
Participation in a minimum of three classes a week is required for ballet 3-4 students. Participants are required to attend the Intermediate Community Ballet class prior to this class on Saturdays.
Saturday 11:30 AM-12:45 PM
November 6 – December 11
$80 for the session

MODERN 4 / Fall 2021 HUMPHREY-WEIDMAN REPERTORY WORKSHOP
With Guest Teachers (Fall 2021: Tom Masters)
The Modern 4 class is an exploration between history, freedom, and structure within modern dance movements and practices.  Modern dance training at this level emphasizes technical and artistic work which encourages students to challenge themselves as emerging artists, self-assured athletes and individuals fully committed to creative process and technical growth. Fall 2021 session will focus on Humphrey Weidman technique and repertory. For level 4 teen participants, a minimum of five weekly technique classes are required for participation in this class.

Humphrey-Weidman is a classical modern dance technique based on Doris Humphrey’s and Charles Weidman’s exploration of fall and recovery.  In this workshop, through movement phrases and repertory from the Humphrey-Weidman Repertoire, students will explore the principles of how the body responds to gravity, as well as the moments before and after the fall (suspension and rebound).  We will also explore artistic expression in dance through various repertory pieces, and discover what personal elements dancers bring to a piece of movement.
Thursday 5:45-7:15 PM
September 13 – December 19
$176 for the session

BALLET 4 for ages 14+
With Isadora Wolfe
Building on the foundations of technique developed in Levels 1 -3, these classes introduce more advanced ballet vocabulary, develop artistic and musical phrasing, and hone the functional alignment principles necessary for a healthy and full movement experience. Classes build stamina and endurance, deepen each dancer’s knowledge of their individual habits and strengths, and further refine qualitative expression, to give the dancer more options within their body and challenge them towards growth. Three upper level Ballet classes per week plus a choice of one modern, jazz, choreography, contemporary or Flamenco class are required for participation in ballet 4. Pointe work is a traditional extension of ballet technique, but not a requirement of the advanced level ballet student. Level 4 dancers are required to participate in a minimum of six classes per week.
Tuesday 5:45-7:30 PM and Friday 4-5:30 PM
$480 for the session

BEGINNERS POINTE for ages 12+, by invitation
With Micheline Weiler
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 develop their dance training, engaging more strength while employing a new coordination. Students will continue to employ resistance band exercises they learned in their pre-pointe work, as well as exercises at the barre, both in their slippers, and in pointe shoes, as they endeavor to develop the articulation and strength required in their feet and ankles. 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. A minimum of 5 classes a week is required. Beginning pointe students do not perform en pointe in the first year.
Saturday 11:15 AM-12 PM
$256 for the session
GENERAL POINTE REQUIREMENTS:
Pointe work is extremely challenging and demands a high level of commitment in order to fine tune alignment, build strength, and develop coordination. Appropriate physical and emotional maturity are required in order to begin and engage in Pointe work, which generally does not occur before the age of 12. At least two years of prior Ballet training are a necessary preparation. Pointe work is available to Intermediate and Advanced level Ballet students by invitation.
Participation in Pointe class en pointe requires consistent attendance in all technique classes throughout the week. For injury prevention, students who are absent from technique classes may be asked to participate in make up classes if available, or to take Pointe class in ballet slippers until all classes have again been attended.

BROADWAY JAZZ 3-4 for ages 14+
With Tom Masters
This high-energy class will prepare any dancer for the bright lights of Broadway! Relying heavily on a knowledge of ballet and jazz, this class will place a high focus on musical interpretation as you learn actual Broadway choreography. Participation in an additional ballet and/or modern technique class is required for students in this class.
Friday 5:30-7 PM
$240 for the session

TAP -INTERMEDIATE for ages 11+
With Tom Masters
This class will be focusing on clean technique and developing a wider vocabulary of steps.
Tuesday 5-6 PM
$240 for the session

TAP -ADVANCED for ages 13+
With Ilana Ransom Toeplitz
Get out your tap shoes, Francis! This class will focus on clean technique, rhythm, precision and performance. With a Broadway lens, our repertoire this session will focus on Susan Stroman, Casey Nicholaw, Gower Champion, and Kathleen Marshall. In addition to the precise execution of steps, we will focus on performance and execution.
Monday 5:15-6:15 PM
$224 for the session