The Dance Conservatory at the St. Paul’s Schools develops the artistic potential of pre-collegiate and pre-professional dancers, and dance enthusiasts. Disciplines offered include Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Contemporary. Specialty classes offered include Musical Theatre Dance, Acrobatics, and Hip Hop. TDC is proud to include the American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum.
Pre-Primary: Ages 3-5
Pre-Primary supports locomotive skills, flexibility, musicality, and motor development while nurturing creativity and free movement. Students utilize energy, movement, and expression!
Primary: Ages 5-7
Students begin their formal introduction to ballet. Both boys and girls engage in the fundamental elements of classical ballet based on the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum.
Musical Theatre 1: Ages 5-8
Students are introduced to the Tap and Jazz styles found on the Broadway stage. From Annie to Legally Blonde, dance has played an integral role in telling the stories of Broadway shows.
TDC’s Ballet Program
TDC follows the American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, a program for the development and training of young students that embraces sound ballet principles and incorporates elements of the French, Italian, and Russian schools of instruction. Artistically, the ABT® National Training Curriculum strives to provide dance students with a rich knowledge of classical ballet technique and the ability to adapt to all styles and techniques of dance.
Note: Dancers from ages 10-18 are encouraged to participate in two ballet classes per week to increase kinesthetic memory development.
- Ballet 1A: Prior movement experience is suggested
- Ballet 1 B: One or more years of Ballet experience
- Ballet 1B/2: Two or more years of Ballet experience
- Ballet 2: Three years of Ballet experience
- Ballet 2/3: Three or more years of Ballet experience
- Ballet 3: Four or more years of Ballet experience
- Ballet 3/4: Four or more years of Ballet experience
- Ballet 4: Minimum of five years of Ballet experience
- Pre-Pointe: Two or more years of Ballet experience
- Pointe 1: Pre-Pointe and three or more years of Ballet experience
- Pointe 2: Pre-Pointe, Pointe 1, and four or more years of Ballet experience
- Pointe 3: Pre-Pointe, Pointe 1, Pointe 2, and five or more years of Ballet experience
Ballet & Pointe Placement
TDC’s ballet program offers classes on a multi-level system, with students progressing from one course to the next at their own individual pace. Students are placed in the level that best suits their needs, with age being a secondary consideration. To successfully achieve the placement necessary to support pointe work, muscle development and form must be practiced to become habitual for the dancer. Strength and muscular development is assessed before pointe is started. This placement method is most important to insure the safety and best possible instruction at the student’s level.
Tap 1: Ages 8-12
This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of rhythm tap. Students will explore using the body as an instrument and learn basic rhythms & vocabulary.
**No experience required, students must be at least eight years old or recommended by the Director.
Tap 2 & 3: Ages 10-18
This course will introduce dancers to the technical and musical elements of rhythm tap dance. This course will build on students’ knowledge of tap basics, increasing speed and fluency of tap vocabulary.
- One year of Tap/Musical Theatre 3 or permission from the instructor.
Jazz: Ages 8-18
Explore Jazz dance from its earliest cultural roots to the present day. Jazz dance is influenced by popular culture, music and events. Students will study all aspects of Jazz dance from its historical roots to its current influence. Our Jazz program emphasizes proper technique and progression into leaps, turns, and flexibility – minimizing injury and encouraging correct placement and technique.
- Jazz 1: Prior movement experience is suggested
- Jazz 2: Two or more years of Jazz experience
- Jazz 3: Three or more years of Jazz experience
- Jazz 4: Four or more years of Jazz experience
Hip-Hop: Ages 8-18
This course is designed to study both Hip-Hop dance technique and culture. Students will explore the complexities of Hip-Hop dance as well as the history behind the art form.
Musical Theatre 2, 3, & 4: Ages 8-18
- Dancers will explore the fundamentals of Broadway style choreography including tap and jazz techniques, partnering, character work, and social/historical dances as seen on Broadway.
- Dancers continue their tap and jazz techniques with a focus on the range of styles found in Broadway repertory. Dancers will work on basic kicklines, and advancing partnering, and social/historical dances.
- Dancers build on advancing knowledge of Broadway tap and jazz styles, focusing on combinations and repertory. Dancers work on advanced musicality and storytelling through song and dance.
Stretch & Conditioning: Ages 10-18
Students will focus on lengthening and strengthening their leg and back muscles to support proper extension during each class. Emphasis will be placed on improving and gaining flexibility, as well as core and upper body strength. This class will focus on the Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT).
Acrobatics: Ages 8-18
Students will develop the strength, agility, and flexibility to be able to perform various ground and aerial tricks. Students will learn everything from front rolls and cartwheels to handsprings, walkovers and aerials.
- Acro 1: No previous training required
- Acro 2: Two years of pervious acrobatic/tumbling
**In order to participate, students must be concurrently enrolled in one technique class to also learn musicality and rhythm.
Modern: Ages 10-14
This class was developed for the dancer who is interested in Contemporary dance, but is not yet familiar with the theories or concepts that Contemporary utilizes. Dancers will work extensively to build their strength, and become comfortable and confident with floor work, as well as fall and recovery. Styles explored may include Lyrical, Modern, and Jazz.
- Minimum one simultaneous Jazz class enrollment
Contemporary/Lyrical: Ages 10-18
Dancers will study the development of Contemporary from Postmodern and Jazz dance into what is now an international phenomenon. Styles explored may include Lyrical, Modern, and Jazz. Students will explore the complete movement potential of the body. Modern dance characteristics emphasized will include contact-release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation. Ballet and Jazz’s leg techniques are also used.
- Minimum one simultaneous ballet class enrollment
- Contemporary: Two or more years of serious Ballet and Jazz
The 2019-2020 season will mark TDC Company’s seventh year. The Company was formed to give TDC’s elite dancers performance and leadership opportunities. Past performances include regional competitions in Baltimore, Artscape, Open Marley Night at the Baltimore Theatre Project, and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. During our summer season, Company dancers continue their dance education in New York City during an immersive three-day trip, taking master classes at Broadway Dance Center and attending live performances. Company dancers are required to take at least two Ballet classes per week, one Jazz class, one elective class, one conditioning class, and attend all rehearsals.
Students who participate in TDC’s Company are required to take the following technique classes per week (level placement is determined during August placement classes):
- Two Ballet
- One Jazz
- One Contemporary
- One Elective
- Summer Intensive III (August 12-16, 2019)
- Strongly Encouraged: TDC Summer evening classes & Half-Day Workshop.
- Electives: Tap, Musical Theatre, Jumps Leaps & Turns, Lyrical, Acro.
- Rehearsals: Company members must attend all rehearsals that are scheduled; unless permission from a coach or Artistic Director is granted.
- Handbook: Member and Parents must sign TDC Company Member and Parent handbook.
- Small & Large group
- Solo & Duet – must be asked by coaches or Artistic Director
Class time per week,
based on a 38-week season