Combination Dance Classes at Mary Lorraine's Dance Center
Why Combine Ballet and Tap classes?
For younger children the combination of ballet and tap in a dance class allows the children to experience both subjects while gaining skills that can be used in both.
Ballet offers discipline, strength holding positions of arms and one’s core, spotting technique (used to not get dizzy in turns) and coordination for the use of both upper and lower body at the same time.
Tap offers learning how to dance on the beat, musicality and being able to have expressive freedom while dancing. Because of its fast pace it also allows dancers to develop quick thinking.
Difference in Music: Ballet is usually done to instrumental or classical music which allows the dancers to focus on good poise and technique. It is a great opportunity for young dancers to be exposed to this beautiful music. Tap is often done to pop music with vocals which allows dancers to let loose a little!
Why do classes get longer as the students get older?
As a ballet dancer learns more advanced ballet technique, more time is need at the ballet barre and in the center to be able to practice, jumps, turns, adages and grand allegros. More advanced dance classes in ballet are 1.25 hour to 1.5 hours long. Many students stay to take a separate pre- pointe class or pointe class following their ballet technique class. Taking several ballet classes per week is recommended if a dancer wants to excel at ballet.
Jazz & Tap Combination Classes
When is Classic Jazz added at MLDC? And why does it become a Jazz and Tap Combo Class?
Classic jazz can be added at age 11 and is combined with Tap because these two styles are more similar in style and music. All of our students who study classic jazz are required to take a ballet class as classic jazz was founded using principles and steps from ballet. You can definitely see a difference in a jazz dancer who has had ballet training. They have a stronger kinesthetic sense of their bodies. They hold themselves stronger, have better carriage of the arms and have the control to turnout their legs when needed.
Why wait until age 11 to take classic jazz?
Classic jazz contains many hip isolations that can be considered mature movement. This style of jazz dance incorporates advanced stylized body coordination that is difficult for young dancers. Classic jazz music also has a more mature and sophisticated feeling that would not be considered appropriate for little children to dance to.
Can my child take jazz before age 11 at MLDC?
Yes!...we offer Musical Theater Jazz!
Before the age of 11, children in the MLDC program can take a Musical Theater Jazz class which teaches them basic jazz steps that would be done in a musical or a show choir routine. This is a separate class from their Ballet and Tap class. They dance to music from classic and current musicals that are age appropriate. This dance class has a strong focus on expressiveness and telling a story.
Combination classes are a great way to have young dancers enjoy dance with the least amount of time commitment as they explore different extracurricular activities. If they and their parents decide that dance in something they want to study more in- depth, longer, single subject classes are in their future.