Dance Styles Offered
- Classical Ballet: Ballet is the foundation of all dance; for this reason, we stress its importance. Our classes are taught in the true European tradition, but in a relaxed atmosphere. They include correct placement, French terminology, barre and center work with floor combinations and variations. Traditional and Lyrical styles are presented.
- Pointe: After sufficient ballet study and proper muscle development, students age 11 and over may be eligible to dance “en pointe” (dancing on the toes in blocked satin slippers). This class is offered to the serious student only, as a compliment to the regular Ballet class she is already attending
- Jazz: Conceived here in the U.S. but established by varied techniques borrowed from all over the world, influenced by the musical styles of each decade. It allows a wide freedom of expression. The class provides a progressive system of exercises for physical toning, strengthening, isolations and placement. Included are terminology, barre and/or center floor warm-up, floor and corner progressions, turns, jumps and routines. Various styles such as Modern, Funk, Blues, Lyrical, and Commercial styles may be explored.
- Contemporary & Lyrical: These are two of the today’s most popular styles covered in the same class. Both styles were inspired by Modern dancers such as Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham. Contemporary dance is known for its versatility and creativity. It allows the use of a range of techniques and styles which result in an expressive use of the body as an art formation through rhythm, in space. It results in movement which involves the display of lines of energy in a dance style that is grounded, in contrast to the lightness of ballet. It uses the gravity and the swing of the body to create fluid movements using more release, ease, and freedom of design than traditional dance. Lyrical is very expressive, and sometimes an “abstract” contemporary dance, however, lyrical also, often interprets the feelings inspired by the melodies and lyrics of today’s inspirational songs. This style often appears as the successful fusion of Jazz and Ballet.
- Tap: A fun form of dance wherein rhythmic sounds are created by the feet. Important to the all-round dancer it is an excellent means of increasing coordination of the mind and body. Tap also develops a sense of rhythm and timing which is essential to the development of every style of dance. This lively class includes terminology, exercises to warm and strengthen the ankles, floor combinations stressing precision and counting, and routines.
- Hip Hop: This high-energy fun, funky class is the style seen in many TV music videos. A dance style originating in the 80’s, when street dancers challenged one another to dance-offs. Combinations are rhythmic and lively, with choreographic challenge. Hip-Hop is set to a strong, contemporary beat, builds stamina,emphasizes body isolations, attitude, coordination, free-style movement, and rhythm.
- Acrobatics: A class to compliment Jazz study…basic exercises and acrobatic moves including jumps, flips, tucks, tumbles, strengthening and stretching, and are all incorporated into Jazz combinations. Students learn correct terminology. Techniques for proper execution, and safety are stressed. This art style is most commonly related to today’s artists in the famous Cirque du Soleil.
- Combination Classes: Ballet/Tap and Tap/Jazz are designed for younger students only, in an effort to perk and maintain their interest, while exposing them to several styles of the performing art, thus providing them with a well-rounded dance education.
- Hair should be tied back from face and secured neatly to head. Students should be covered when entering and exiting the dance studio. Street shoes should be worn on feet whenever outside the studio (including on the balcony). Dance shoes should never be worn outside. Make sure that your child’s name is written on all property: shirts, shoes, bags, etc.
- Ballet & Pointe: Leotard/Unitard, pink or tan tights (preferably pink) and ballet shoes are required for all ballet classes. If a student choses, they may also wear tight fitting shorts, or ballet skirt.
- Lyrical, Contemporary, Acrobatics, Technique Class, Rehearsals: Leotard/Unitard and tan tights are appropriate, as well as 2 piece outfits, yoga pants, and T shirts. Though bare feet are preferred for some of the class portions, students should also always have a pair of jazz shoes, half-sole lyrical shoes, or socks handy for turns and combinations. Be sure to take all shoes and socks home each night.
- Tap & Hip Hop: Any comfortable workout style attire is appropriate including: 2 piece outfits, yoga pants, and T shirts. Students should also always have their tap shoes and/or sneakers (hip hop).
- Please help to keep our studio clean by eating outside and disposing of waste in the trash cans. Water is the only beverage allowed on the dance floor.
- The chairs provided both inside and outside are intended for quiet observation of the classes. Please be mindful of your volume and bring quiet activities to keep your non-dancing children occupied. Talkative parents and children should opt wait in the car.
- When switching from studio room to studio room, parents and students should use the front doors that connect to the balcony and wear shoes on their feet. The door on the dance floor is for teacher use only.
- Please ensure that all of your child’s belongings are taken from the studio each night. This includes all dance shoes, socks and water bottles. The black box in the student area is our lost and found, please check it frequently. Unclaimed items will be donated to Goodwill at the end of each month.
Although age may assist in initial placement, students progress according to experience and ability, moving through levels only when specific techniques have been mastered, rather than yearly advancement. Our aim to give students a challenge, while ensuring they are comfortable and happy in their classes.
Final placement is always up to the instructor and not based on age. Age is often used for initial placement, but proper placement must also be dependent upon ability, physical development, experience, technical execution, and a host of other considerations. Students are to be considered individually, and they move to different classes and/or styles at much different paces.
Florida Dance Workshop provides a fun, nurturing environment where the experience is positive and the quality shows. All dancers that come through the doors of FDW are part of our family. For the last 27 years students have enjoyed bonding over the love of dance, and we are blessed to have many alumni who return to our studio as parents and teachers to continue the tradition. Below is a video of current and past FDW students, followed by our studio philosophy. Enjoy!
Florida Dance Workshop is a place where the efforts, abilities, and varied talents of all students are respected by their teacher, and all fellow dancers. It is our goal to make classes and rehearsals fun, but we are serious about helping each child become his or her own personal best. We teach that hard work produces results and we help our dancers to achieve the genuine self-esteem that comes with mastery of technique. These important lessons also apply to life’s future challenges. We believe in seeking, not perfection, but excellence from all students, with the understanding that it be appropriate to their age level, ability, and interest.
Dance Competition Philosophy
Nurturing development of the arts can also build character in dancers. Although competition may bring out the best in products and services, it CAN bring out the worst in people. This is why we limit our involvement to 3 competitive events per season. Too much involvement in competition can make children view others as “someone to be better than”.
Even though our competitive involvement is limited, our Student Accomplishments page shows that Florida Dance Workshop students do consistently leave with top overall, gold, platinum, titles, judges choice, and scholarship awards. However, our dancers are encouraged to compete to achieve their own “personal best”.
We do not condone programs that utilize “negative motivators” or deliberately instill a sense of superiority in any students. Individuals excel in different areas and possess different gifts. We do not wish to build self-esteem in one child, at the expense of another. It is our goal to motivate dancers to achieve their personal best, by assuring them of their self-worth with or without the award.
Dancers should be taught to come together, in cooperation, toward the task of mutual accomplishment. Our dancers are not urged to defeat others, but to support, assist, and encourage all fellow dancers, to improve and achieve alongside each other. We stress balance and compassion, while teaching all dancers to foster friendship and mutual success. Here, mastery of technique is a shared mission, for the good of all, to rejoice in everyone’s achievements. We hope you agree.