Dance Department Scope & Sequence
Ballet – 6 to 9 hours/week
Ballet Technique (Novice, A, B, C, Pro Focus)
Pointe (Beginning, Variations)
Conditioning/Character – 0 to 3 hours/week
Body Conditioning (Novice)
Conditioning for Advanced Technique
Modern/Contemporary – 3 hours/week
Horton (Novice, A)
Pro Focus Contemporary
Repertoire – 3 hours/week
Dance Development Courses – 3 hours/week
Dance Literature and Language (Freshman)
Dance Injury and Prevention (Sophomores)
Music for Dancers (Juniors) Fall Semester
Professional Development (Juniors) Spring Semester
Professional Development (Seniors) Fall Semester
Cardio Conditioning for Dancers (Seniors) Spring Semester
Dance Department Course Descriptions
Classical Ballet Technique Novice
Ballet Technique Novice is an introductory course to the fundamentals of classical ballet. Students will develop basic vocabulary and understanding of proper alignment. Emphasis is placed on finding and utilizing the turn out muscles, articulating through the legs and feet and building strength and tone. Clarity of movement and music are stressed.
Classical Ballet Technique A
Ballet Technique A is a continuation and progression from the previous level, Novice Ballet. Students will further develop skills in classical ballet technique with emphasis on strengthening the body, increasing flexibility, and building upon movement vocabulary. Emphasis will focus on structural alignment, clarity of movement, musicality, and self-correction. Particular importance will be placed on developing classical line and connection of movement through the repetition of fundamental exercises and the introduction of enchainments. Students will be required to complete occasional journal assignments.
Classical Ballet Technique B
Classical Ballet Technique B is a continuation and progression of Ballet A. Students will begin to be introduced to more movement vocabulary and longer combinations. Emphasis will be on building endurance, building strength, and moving at quicker tempos.
Classical Ballet Technique C
Classical Ballet Technique C is a continuation and progression of Ballet B. Students will develop and increase vocabulary while striving to improve strength, flexibility, and understanding of movement. Proper alignment, musicality, and clarity of execution are emphasized. Students will begin to pick up movement quickly and increase stamina to complete longer exercises without stopping. Some ladies may be required to take class on pointe once a week.
Pro Focus Ballet
Pro Focus Ballet is the highest level of ballet technique at ChiArts and is a continuation and progression of Ballet C. It is assumed at this level that students have acquired and practiced work covered in previous levels. Students will refine vocabulary while striving to increase strength, flexibility, coordination, and artistry within their movement. Proper alignment, musicality and clarity of execution are emphasized. Students are expected to pick up movement quickly, dance with speed and definition while exhibiting control. At this level, corrections should be applied and retained rapidly. Ladies will be expected to take class on pointe at least two time per week. Pro Focus Ballet is designed to help develop the skills needed in order for a student to pursue dance post graduation.
Beginning Pointe I classes are given two times per week and focus on building strength, clarity, and pointe vocabulary. Students will be introduced to basic fundamental principles, including a variety of piques, relevés and pirouettes. Emphasis will be placed on proper alignment of feet and legs through strengthening the body, working correctly through the shoe, increasing flexibility for proper execution, and balance.
Pointe Variations is a continuation and progression of skills learned in Beginning Pointe. Students will continue to work on strength and articulation with increasingly difficult steps. Emphasis will be placed on quality, clarity, and ease of movement. A series of pointe variations in a variety of styles and by different choreographers.
This course is designed specifically for male dancers and emphasizes developing additional strength and agility for classical ballet. Focal points include multiple pirouettes, increased elevation, increased vocabulary for jumps including specialized grand allegro, and traveling through space.
Horton Technique Novice
At the Novice level, students are introduced to the basics of the Horton Technique. Focal points include spinal articulation, line, energy, shape and rhythm. Alignment and correct form are studied along with the movement vocabulary of the Horton Technique.
Horton Technique A
Students are introduced to intermediate level studies, fortifications and preludes from the Horton Technique. Focal points include contraction and release, movement dynamics, coordination and clarity of movement and more subtle musicality.
Graham Technique B
The main objective of this course is to introduce the students to the fundamental principles, practices, aesthetics and vocabulary of the Martha Graham modern dance technique. The technique is a system of movement based on the principles of contraction, release and spiral. Graham technique heightens awareness of the body and its relationship to space by stressing the use of weight in movement patterns. It builds physical strength, teaches dancers to move from the center and furthers their understanding of alignment. The study of Graham technique requires discipline, patience and commitment to a consistent personal practice in order to build the strong foundation needed for well rounded dance training.
Contemporary Modern provides an opportunity for students to further explore and challenge themselves artistically, technically, and creatively. Choreography and class components become increasingly complex and different movement qualities are used to give students experience in contemporary work. Focus is given to the quality and intention of the movement and the course will emphasize detailed work. This course is designed to complement previous training ot produce a well-rounded dancer.
Contemporary Jazz has a foundation in jazz technique and stylization of movement. We then move to see how jazz is used in contemporary dance. It involves a lot of detailed work, asking the dancers to investigate themselves in order to become artists. The quality and intention of movement become more the focus of the class. The dancers push past traditional boundaries and vocabulary. The material worked through is highly textured, dynamic and graphic. Dance composition and creativity is addressed with specific task driven assignments. One to two new works are created with the input of everyone in the room, and direction from the instructor.
Pro Focus Contemporary
Pro Focus Contemporary is designed for the serious student who wishes to pursue contemporary dance after high school. The class demands physical power, expressiveness, and being technically proficient. Students must be open and willing to participate in a highly collaborative environment. This class is a place for infinite research and investigation. It is a place where students will have the opportunity to deepen their approach to the material and find their own uniqueness. The goal of this class is to have all students find the lens in which they will perform and communicate with.
Body Conditioning is designed to help students build the strength, endurance and flexibility needed for dance. Emphasis is placed on alignment and correct usage of the body. Students will develop awareness of different muscle groups and work towards utilizing them effectively and efficiently.
Conditioning for Advanced Technique
Conditioning for Advanced Technique provides students with cross-training methods that prepare their bodies to meet the demands of pre-professional dance training. This course focuses on strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination, with an emphasis on increased core strength and pre-pointe exercises.
This one-semester course introduces students to a variety of balletic folk dances inspired by traditional dances from various countries. Students will be introduced to a range of musical and dance structures and sequences. Focus will be on style, rhythm, and changing spatial formations.
This senior level class is focused on preparing students for teh professional performing environment. Students will work with choreographers in solo, duet, and group work that both increase their technical execution of performance work and also enhance their artistic performance of the choreography. Students will prepare for auditions, rehearse choreography, and learn basic tools for dance composition.
Dance Literature and Language
This course is an opportunity for students to explore the world of dance through a different means of study. In Dance Literature and Language, students will delve further into vocabulary and terminology, examine historical correlations and contexts for dance, and research the development of the art form throughout time, both nationally and globally.
Dance Injury and Prevention
This course focuses on preparing dancers to care for and maintain healthy bodies during their dance training. Students will examine anatomy as it relates to dance and develop an awareness of proper alignment and usage of the body. Injury prevention and identification methods along with strategies to balance the physical demands of dance will be studied.
This course will focus on the development of a dancer’s professional career. Topics of study include preparation for auditions, resumes, headshots, and performance. Students may also research dance companies and employment opportunities, both nationally and internationally. This course is designed to expose students to additional components necessary to pursue a professional career as well as alternative careers in the field of dance. Professional Development meets for two semesters.
Senior Seminar is a course designed specifically for seniors in the Dance Department. Building upon Professional Development I, this year long class is intended to help prepare students for the requirements of senior year and beyond. Connecting to the work in Senior Repertory, units address aspects of the dance world outside of the technical training the students are receiving and allows them to explore additional ways to be involved in the arts. Senior Seminar also supplements the students’ dance training through regular strength and stamina training. The course addresses not only the physical abilities needed for dance, but also the health and fitness tools needed to sustain overall wellness in their art form. Students will engage in topics and assignments designed to help them better understand opportunities in the arts and to better understand and articulate their personal goals and intentions.
Music Theory for Dancers
Music Theory for Dancers introduces students to music fundamentals. Focus is placed on how these concepts relate to dance and performance. Students may explore structure, rhythm, notation, form and other elements of music. This course meets for one semester.
Cardio Conditioning for Dancers
This course is designed to help dancers learn how to strengthen and maintain their overall fitness. Students will learn the basics of exercise physiology, learn the benefits of aerobic exercise on the body and how that relates to dance. Students will participate in exercise classes that are designed to increase cardiovascular fitness. This class meets for one semester.