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Preparatory Dance

Creative Dance

(Beginning at age 4 by September 1, 2014)
The Cornish Preparatory Dance Creative Movement Program is structured to develop the skill sets needed to work within group dynamics, as well as the skills for active listening and following directions. The use of live accompaniment, imagery and imagination enable children to enjoy fulfilling movement experiences while developing gross motor and cognitive skills.

Pre-Primary / Primary

As children progress from Creative movement to Pre-Primary/Primary, further development of age-appropriate skills in relationship to group dynamics, coordination and rhythm are emphasized. The focus at this level is to provide students with opportunities to increase their understanding of dance classroom etiquette and body and spatial awareness. Creative games and dances integrate the gross motor skills required for galloping, skipping and leaping. Exercises that promote body alignment, posture and age appropriate stretches are introduced, and age appropriate pre-ballet exercises and positions are introduced to help develop the increased focus needed in Ballet 1.

Ballet 1—Ballet 4

Ballet 1 through Ballet 4 emphasize progressive development of proper technique, body alignment, and classical line. Increased focus on strengthening the core of the body is taught so that students maintain healthy physical progression through the levels. All classes include barre, center floor, allegro and rhythm exercises. More ballet vocabulary is introduced and greater emphasis on stretching and flexibility is part of classroom exercises. Students at this level are required to attend more classes per week; this greater level of commitment contributes to their success as they move through the program. 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.

Ballet 5—7

The Ballet 5-7 level classes offer 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, Jazz and master classes with outside artists. Expanded ballet vocabulary and added emphasis on artistry, create a rigorous environment for all Ballet 5-7 students. The Cornish Preparatory Dance Company performs twice a year, which affords students the chance to become more fully realized dancers.  At this level, all dancers are required to commit to the entire rehearsal process and schedule for the year.

Pointe Work—Age 12+

Pointe work is the cumulative result of gradual training of the whole body, and readiness is contingent upon many factors. Students entering Ballet 5 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. The study of Pointe is not a requirement for advancement through the levels or participation in the performing company.


Class Demonstrations

All Preparatory Dance students participate in year-end class demonstrations presented in the PONCHO Concert Hall at Cornish’s Kerry Hall. The Demonstrations (Demos) offer students the opportunity to present classroom achievements in a performance setting. Admission to the demonstrations is free of charge.

Cornish Preparatory Dance Company (CPDC)

Cornish Preparatory Dance Company 1 (CPDC 1)—Offers intermediate and advanced ballet and modern students the opportunity to work with choreographers and perform a variety of dance styles.  Ballet 5-7 students are invited to audition for the company.

Cornish Preparatory Dance Company 2 (CPDC 2)—Ballet 3-4 students are invited to register for CPDC 2. There is no audition for this company.

These are full-year classes. All company dancers will have the potential of increased performance opportunities if registered for Modern as well as Ballet technique. Registration in Ballet technique is required in order to be cast in the Nutcracker. In the fall semester, students in the Primary through Advanced levels have the opportunity to participate in performances of The Nutcracker. Students enrolled in the Primary through Ballet 2 classes will be invited to participate in Cornish Preparatory Dance Company 3 (CPDC 3).  Students participating in all performance opportunities are required to commit to the entire rehearsal process and schedule for the school year. Parents of performers must ensure that performers attend all rehearsals. Parents also volunteer for jobs related to performance and preparation.

Preparatory Dance