Class Descriptions

Ballet:   Ballet classes (for students age 5 and up) are the foundation for training. They focus on developing a solid ballet technique with emphasis on understanding correct body placement, proper use of turn out, coordination of the upper body (epaulement), and use of arms (port de bras). The syllabus exposes students to aspects of traditional Vaganova (Russian), Cecchetti (Italian), and R.A.D techniques. Class begins with work at the barre to build strength and coordination, followed by center exercises, culminating in a grand allegro combination or variation. Clear explanations of exercises and theory help students use the ballet vocabulary in a simple, practical way that leads to increased technical understanding, healthy physical development, and lifelong enjoyment of dance.


Jazz:   Jazz is a dance form that appeals to everyone because of its energy, variety, and vitality. Jazz Dance classes (which students can begin at age 5) explore contemporary and classic jazz dance, rooted in the vernacular (social dance) forms, that draws inspiration from a wide range of music including jazz, swing, blues, pop, soul and funk. Jazz classes begin with a warm-up to develop strength, flexibility, correct alignment and coordination. This is followed by progressions across the floor, and culminates in the choreography for their performance.


Jazz Tech: A class designed to increase flexibility, core strength, total body strength, and work through the progressive skills required for jazz choreography.  The class will begin with an intensive stretching session, move into strength exercises, and culminate in across the floor/ and centre practice of leaps and turns.


Leap n Learn (Preschool ballet):   Leap ‘N Learn is an effective, safe, progressive, and developmentally appropriate dance program for creative movement to beginning ballet. Designed by master teacher Beverly Spell and expert child psychologist Dr. Annie Spell, the curriculums combine the healthiest practices for teaching children ballet technique, while simultaneously encouraging pretend play amongst the youngest students to maintain a positive and nuturing environment.



Lyrical:      A fusion of ballet and jazz dance techniques. Dancers use motion and emotion to show the meaning of the music. Lyrical Dance classes are offered to students ages 8 and up, who are enrolled in our Intensive or Comp B programs.


Contemporary/Modern:  Contemporary dance is a style of expressive dance that combines elements of several dance genres, including modern, jazz, lyrical and classical ballet. Contemporary dancers strive to connect the mind and the body through fluid dance movements. Contemporary dance stresses versatility and improvisation, unlike the strict, structured nature of ballet.
These classes are offered to students 10 and up, who are enrolled in our Intensive or Comp B program and take a minimum of 2 ballet classes per week.”


Tap:    Tap Dance is a timeless art that combines dance and percussion. Tap dancers in musicals, movies, television, commercials, and concerts inspire us with their infectious rhythms. Tap Dance classes are offered to students as young as 5, and is strongly encouraged for all of our competitive dancers. Class begins with warm up exercises in the center that increase control, coordination, and rhythm. This is followed by across the floor exercises that teach dynamics, shading, phrasing, and musicality. The class concludes with extended rhythmic phrases and improvisation exercises, and choreography for their performance pieces.   The goal at DanceWest is to  develop tap dancers that are equally strong musicians, dancers, and performers.


Hip Hop:       A high-energy class that uses the latest sounds in rap, R&B and pop music together with movements influenced by some of today’s hottest video choreographers.  Hip hop encompasses movement that has elements of poppin’, locking, and breaking as well as freestyle movement to give students the opportunity to develop their own sense of style.  Hip hop is urban, it’s street, it’s diverse and forever changing.


Stage:     Designed to introduce the dancer to different musical theatre styles, the class combines dancing and acting in a piece of choreography. A strong jazz emphasis provides the basis of the program where dancers learn original works and are challenged to bring the performance content (love, anger, humor) to life. Stage classes are divided by both age and ability as to allow for appropriate Broadway styles & song selection. Ballet is required for the intermediate and senior level.

Stretch and Strength:  A class designed to increase a dancer’s flexibility, core strength and fitness level.


Acro Dance: 

Acro Development (Ages 6-15) Students at this level will learn basic balance, increase flexibility, and develop their core and upper body strength. Classes will start with a floor warm-up, proceed to strength development, then it’s to the mats for beginner tricks such as straddle rolls, bridges and cartwheels. Beginner hand-to- hand body balancing will also be taught.

Competitive Acro (Ages 8-17) Students will continue to increase their flexibility, balance, and build their core and body strength. Classes will begin with an intensive stretching session, progress to strengthening exercises, then move to the mats for tumbling. Hand-t0-hand body balance will be a major focus of this class.  Classes culminate in the creation of the performance piece.  Students in this class are expected to behave in a disciplined manner, as safety is our number one concern.