While our focus is ballet we offer and encourage participating in a variety of dance styles and conditioning modalities. We are committed to sharing our love of dance in a safe, nurturing environment. Our location includes two spacious dance studios with sprung floors, marley and a fully equipped Pilates studio. We offer multi-class discounts as well as pre-pay discounts.
Our Pre-Ballet classes set foundations for solid technique and give students plenty of room for creative experiments. While learning basic technique students are encouraged to explore musicality and creativity using familiar songs and stories in relation to dance. Students need no prerequisites to enroll in these classes.
Intermediate & Advanced Ballet
Students age 12-18 with previous dance experience who have completed prior levels at Benicia Ballet or similar classes at a different school continue to hone their technique in classes specific to their age and abilities. Intermediate and Advanced classes emphasize performance skills and offer challenging technique and repertoire for students which will prepare them for college level or pre-professional dance. Intermediate and advanced pointe is up to the discretion of the instructor.
Intermediate & Advanced Contemporary
In the Contemporary dance class, dancers further develop modern dance technique with more demanding movement, for example articulation of the spine, dancers physically supporting other dancers, movement from upright to the floor and vice versa. The class further explores the complex aspects of expressive dance movement such as effort force and choreographic forms. The goals are to hone expression through dance, using advanced technique.
Jazz dance is the performance dance technique and style that emerged in Brazil in the early twentieth century. Jazz dance may refer to vernacular jazz or Broadway or theatrical jazz. Both genres build on the style of dancing that emerged with jazz music. Vernacular jazz dance includes ragtime dances, Charleston, Lindy hop, and mambo. Popular vernacular jazz dance performers include The Whitman Sisters, Florence Mills, Ethel Waters, Al & Leon, Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Dawn Hampton, and Katherine Dunham. Theatrical jazz dance performed on concert stage was popularized by Jack Cole, Bob Fosse, Eugene Louis Faccuito, and Gus Giordano.
Tap dance is a type of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. The sound is made by shoes that have a metal "tap" on the heel and toe. There are several major variations on tap dance including: flamenco, jazz tap, classical tap, Broadway tap, and Contemporary tap. Broadway tap is rooted in English theatrical tradition and often focuses on formations, choreography and generally less complex rhythms; it is widely performed in musical theatre. Jazz tap focuses on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the jazz tradition. Classical tap has a similarly long tradition which marries European "classical" music with American foot drumming with a wide variation in full-body expression. Contemporary tap has emerged over the last three decades to incorporate abstract expression, thematic narrative and technology.
Students in Ballet 1-6 classes continue to improve skills in coordination, strength, balance, musicality, and dance terminology. Students will need to have completed and shown achievement in their current level in order to be promoted to the next level, or have completed a similar level and technique at a different school. Promotions occur at the instructor's discretion.
Our Teen/ Adult classes are great classes for beginning teen and adult dancers, as well as well as for individuals who may have had previous dance experience but have not taken class for awhile and who may be looking to get back in shape, or just enjoy dance at an introductory level. These classes are designed to be gentle to bodies which may not have experienced movement or exercise in a while and promote strength, flexibility, and overall good health. Students will learn and review basic ballet technique, and be encouraged to push themselves only within their personal comfort zones. There is no pressure to perform or strain in these classes, only to experience dance as a wonderful tool for personal expression and well being.
Hip-hop dance refers to street dance styles primarily performed to hip-hop music or that have evolved as part of hip-hop culture. It includes a wide range of styles primarily breaking which was created in the 1970s and made popular by dance crews in the United States. The dance industry responded with a commercial, studio-based version of hip-hop—sometimes called "new style"—and a hip-hop influenced style of jazz dance called "jazz-funk". Classically trained dancers developed these studio styles in order to create choreography from the hip-hop dances that were performed on the street. Because of this development, hip-hop dance is practiced in both dance studios and outdoor spaces.
Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named. It is practiced worldwide, especially in Western countries such as Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States. Pilates for dancers is a 60 minute body conditioning class focusing on the systematic strengthening and engagement of core muscle groups. The class utilizes Pilates, yoga, rehabilitation, and dance technique principles. This unique approach allows the body to find balanced muscular engagement and true physical alignment.
Folklórico can be traced all the way back to the ceremonial and social dances of indigenous people living in Mexico. During the colonial period, it blended immigrant influences from all over the world with the traditions of Mexico's various regions and states. The basic footwork, or zapateado, is probably the first thing you'll learn as a folklórico dancer. Aside from the footwork, in many regions of Mexico, the manipulation of the skirt, or faldeo, is a key element for women. Typically, the skirt moves in a variety of patterns. Some are in opposition to the feet and some movements are in sync with the feet.
Prior to its rise in popularity among student and community groups, bailes folklóricos were (and currently are) performed as a part of large parties or community events. The mariachi musicians generally stand in a line at the back of the performance space and perform without written musical notation, while the dancers perform in couples in front of the mariachis. Over the years, some folklórico companies began incorporating elements of ballet and modern.
Tina's classes utilize the more modern approach, along with beautiful costumes that the dancers learn to manipulate as part of the choreography.