The Cornish Preparatory Dance Creative movement program is designed to nurture young children from the ages of 4 – 6. Classes are structured to develop skill sets needed to work within group dynamics and how to listen actively and follow directions. The use of live accompaniment, imagery and imagination enable children to enjoy fulfilling movement experiences while developing gross motor and cognitive skills.
As children progress from Creative movement to Pre Primary to Primary, further development of age appropriate skills in relationship to group dynamics, coordination and rhythm are emphasized. These movement experiences provide students with opportunities to continue developing an understanding of dance classroom etiquette, body and spatial awareness. Creative games and dances integrate the gross motor skills required for galloping, skipping and leaping. Curriculum is expanded to incorporate enjoyable class exercises that also improve students’ rhythmic abilities and physiological balance. Exercises that promote body alignment, posture and age appropriate stretches are introduced. Age appropriate pre-ballet exercises and positions are introduced to help develop the increased focus expected in preparation for Ballet I.
Ballet I to Ballet IV
The syllabus for Ballet I through Ballet IV emphasizes progressive development of proper technique, body alignment, and classical line. Increased focus on strengthening the core of the body is emphasized as essential to enable students to maintain healthy physical progression through the levels. All classes include barre, center floor, allegro and rhythm exercises. As students progress, increased ballet vocabulary is introduced and a greater emphasis on stretching and flexibility are included in classroom exercises. To ensure students’ successes, a greater degree of commitment is required for attending the level-specific number of classes per week. Precise class syllabus work combined with effective teaching practices, encourages young people to achieve their personal best by understanding and appreciating the life-learning opportunities available in the performance of classical ballet.
Intermediate to Advanced
The Intermediate/Advanced level of Cornish Preparatory Dance offers the serious dance student the tools to grow as an artist and an individual. At this level, each student has many opportunities to expand his/her interest in dance by investing in a multi-disciplined program. Classes offered include ballet, pointe, modern, special techniques and master classes with outside artists. Expanded ballet vocabulary and added emphasis on artistry, create a rigorous environment for all Intermediate and Advanced students. In addition, increased performing opportunities are available through the Cornish Preparatory Junior Dance Company, which affords students the chance to become a more realized dancer. The Company performs twice a year and all dancers are required to commit to the entire rehearsal process and schedule.
Pointe work is the cumulative result of gradual training of the whole body, and readiness is contingent upon many factors. Students entering Intermediate Ballet I may be considered candidates for Pointe work, dependent on faculty assessment. Each student is assessed independently to determine the appropriate timing for the start of Pointe training. Factors that determine Pointe readiness include; physiologic development, anatomical facility, strength of technique, hyper mobility of the feet and ankles, length and frequency of study, attendance habits, maturity and past injury. Students often begin the study of Pointe work at around 12 years of age. The study of Pointe is not a requirement for advancement through the levels or participation in the performing company.
All Preparatory Dance students participate in year-end class demonstrations presented in the PONCHO Concert Hall. The demonstrations offer students the opportunity to present classroom achievements in a performance setting. Admission to the demonstrations is free of charge.
Cornish Junior Dance Company
The Cornish Junior Dance Company offers Intermediate and Advanced ballet and modern students the opportunity to work with choreographers and perform a variety of dance styles. Intermediate II and Advanced students are invited to audition, provided they are registered for ballet and modern technique. Intermediate I and Ballet IV students registered for ballet and modern are invited to register for the Junior Company Apprentice class.
Apprentice company dancers will have the potential of increased performance opportunities if registered for Modern as well. In the fall semester, students in the Primary through Advanced levels have the opportunity to participate in performances of The Nutcracker. Students participating in all performance opportunities are required to commit to the entire rehearsal process and schedule. Parents of performers are required to support the rehearsal schedule by ensuring performers attend all rehearsals, and the performance process through volunteer activities.