Children and Teenage classes
We teach all age groups from pre-school to eighteen plus and whether students want to train professionally, recreationally or simply to obtain a new hobby we will have a class to suit. An exam curriculum is in place for the serious student but less structured classes are also on the timetable. We can cater for all ability levels through the age range with our extensive timetable and private lessons are available on request.
Ballet is the foundation for all other dance styles and is absolutely vital to the serious dancers training whether their aspirations are classical or musical theatre. Careful study of Ballet technique gives dancers the strength, elegance and flexibility associated with names like Nureyev, Nijinsky, Fonteyn and Bussell.
We start with Baby Ballet pre-school classes where girls and boys are introduced to the concepts of basic movements. Classes help build co-ordination, poise and balance in a fun and nurturing atmosphere where children gradually learn the discipline that is required in class.
Junior classes use barre and centre work to build controlled use of turn out, correct placement and posture. Within a curriculum students are encouraged to be aware of core stability, flexibility and co-ordination. Through the grades students improve technique whilst learning artistic breadth of movement. Classes also develop student's self-discipline, attention span and response to rhythm and musical patterns.
Within senior classes the work becomes more complex with pointe work from beginners to advanced concentrating on body alignment, balance and increased stamina. Boy's allegro work, strength and presentation skills are developed further. Free work for girls and boys becomes a necessary aspect of class in preparation for future auditions. Technique, strength, artistry and fluidity of movement are an important part of class with a focus on core stability.
Modern is the style of dance most students will be familiar with; it has its base in Ballet and is seen primarily in Musicals and is prevalent in the West End and Broadway. Anyone looking to undertake a career in the performing industry will need to be trained in Modern.
Modern classes for girls and boys aged four and upwards are an introduction to the joy of movement. With a fun atmosphere and age appropriate music children learn a structured curriculum using barre and centre work as they become older. At this stage basic technique is taught and classes are fun and energetic.
As juniors go through the grades students learn various styles from jazz to lyrical, musical theatre to street jazz. Classes incorporate floor strengthening exercises and use travelling across the floor work so students learn a greater sense of movement. Flexibility and correct stance are key aspects along with technique and presentation skills.
Senior classes use long, complex combinations incorporating all Modern and Jazz styles. Breadth of movement with body control, strength and dynamics are improved. Technique and presentation are further developed and remain key to producing students who are trained for both the Musical Theatre and Commercial / Pop industries
Tap teaches students an understanding of the connection between dance, rhythm and music. Footwork is often intricate and requires dexterity and concentration. Tap is essential for students looking to become dance professionals especially within the Musical Theatre world.
Tap classes for girls and boys aged five and upwards are fun, energetic and aimed at developing musical awareness with a natural sense of rhythm. Using barre, centre and travelling across the floor work students enjoy learning the basics of Tap.
Within the junior grades rhythms become more complex using different tempos and time signatures. Clarity of beats with lightness and shade and a quality of rhythm encourages students to develop an expressive style and sense of performance. Balance, control, neat footwork and well travelled floor work are important for technique. Free work is introduced at this stage within the curriculum combining steps and patterns taught requiring students to improve their memory skills.
Seniors are encouraged to develop their originality, increased performance style and personality using various styles of music. Timing and rhythm are demonstrated through challenging footwork and students now show a stylish energy and dynamic to their work.
Street Dance is a current style of dance that evoles constantly; often seen on pop videos, dance films and in the Commercial sector. Powerful, energetic and musically driven - usually through hip hop, pop, house and RnB music - Street Dance encompasses a variety of more specific genres such as Street Jazz, Hip Hop, Voguing and Breakdance. Street Dance is a must for students looking to work in the Commercial dance sector (alongside formal training and exams in Ballet, Modern and Tap) but it also offers a creative outlet and great source of fitness for everyone who enjoys current pop and hip hop music. With a wide spectrum of styles it therefore has no curriculum.
Junior classes start from age four upwards where students build confidence whilst learning Street Dance technique and Dance routines. At Danceworks, we work hard to cultivate students sense of style, personality and enjoyment of dance. Juniors have a Breakdance section in their classes, where they learn to perform basic break movements and build their strength for more challenging work.
Teenage senior classes are varied in style, with routines that promote a specific Street Dance genre, including Hip Hop, Street Jazz, House and Lyrical Hip Hop. Body rolls, isolations, turns, contraction and expansion lines are all part of these popular urban classes. Working within a specific dance genre for each routine, students are encouraged to build their own personal style whilst performing set choreography with precision. We also work carefully on audience connection, through facial expression and musical interpretation, ensuring that dancers can deliver dance routines with confidence and appropiate attitude.
Contemporary has its origins from Ballet but developed as choreographers opposed the constraints of classical dance. It has a greater sense of freedom and uses on/off balance movements, momentum and abstraction in its choreography. Contemporary uses themes and ideas as a starting point for choreography; it is a very pioneering dance style always pushing the boundaries of dance. Although there is no curriculum, student's who wish to pursue a vocational career in Contemporary, Ballet, Musical Theatre or at University will need to have experience of this dance style for auditions.
Teenage senior classes place an emphasis on balance, weight placement and control with co-ordination and fluidity of movement. Use of floor space, body strength and dynamics combined with Ballet technique make this a creative and expressive dance style. Within class students develop a sensitive artistry and response to varied musical interpretation.
Breaking at Danceworks is about developing skills in four fudamental skill areas. They are, Uprock; combination of studying movements that include popping and locking. Freeze; where dancers balance themselves on their upper body whilst maintaining a held position with legs and lower body. Downrock; floor orientated movements that require dancers to use hands and feet on the floor in unison. Powermoves; the most iconic part of Breaking that involves acrobatic actions such as spinning and flipping.
Our Breaking classes also help students to build a language and repertoire of movements to enable them to perform freestyle - creating and performing their own individual combinations.
Musical Theatre Drama
Drama is an excellent addition to studying dance; the two disciplines compliment each other incredibly well.
The classes are designed to introduce students to the world of Drama in a fun and exciting way and enable them to attain stagecraft skills. They are encouraged to work both independently and as part of a group with the focus on script work, improvising and the ability to connect the world of theatre with their dance skills. Every year students have the exciting opportunity to perform in front of an audience. A theatrical drama is produced utilising props, lighting and costumes. There is also the opportunity to enter the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts. Classes are suitable for all ages.
Musical Theatre Singing
Singing compliments the Drama classes very well.
Each term students learn songs from popular West End and Broadway shows, exploring the musicality of the songs and how to express them. When students understand the sense of the story they work on placing movement with the song. Both chorus and solo work is encouraged. Classes are suitable for all ages.