Our Programs

We offer four distinct levels of programs- full descriptions follow:

  • Pre-Elementary (Ages 2.5 – 7)
  • Elementary (Ages 7 – 10)
  • Junior & Senior (ages 11 – adult)
  • Adults (ages 18 and up)

Pre-Elementary (Ages 2.5 – 7)

The Pre-Elementary Program (Pre-E) introduces dance to our youngest dancers in a caring and age appropriate atmosphere.  Classes include basic technique and creative movement to develop motor skills, and allow students to explore elements of dance in a fun encouraging way.

  • Mommy and Me (2 1/2 TO 3 1/2 YEARS): This class welcomes younger children; we call the “mini movers”, giving them the opportunity to explore movement.  Classes are geared to our smallest dancers who love music and dance and are ready to get moving with a parent..    This class will help little ones learn dance class structure and will ensure an easier transition into additional dance experiences.  Parents will get a  work out while exploring with their child.
  • Predance (3 1/2 TO 5 YEARS): We use our imaginations, creative games and songs to explore movement, develop motor skills and enjoy music. The class includes an introduction to Ballet, tumbling and creative movement.
  • Ballet/Jazz Combo (5 TO 7 YEARS): Includes creative movement and an introduction to Ballet and Jazz techniques. The class has a relaxed atmosphere, which allows children to respond naturally to dance and explore different kinds of movement and music.
  • Tap/Jazz Combo (5 TO 7 YEARS): This class is an introduction to Tap and Jazz in fun atmosphere. In Tap we work with timing and rhythms; in Jazz we do fun movements and basic technique geared to this age level. One half-hour is given to each dance style.
  • Hippity Hop (5 TO 7 YEARS): Beginning rhythm and movement class based on Hip Hop Dance.  Music is upbeat and Hip Hop styled appropriate for young dancers.

 

Elementary (Ages 7 – 10)

The Elementary Program is specifically designed to provide a strong foundation that will help prepare student’s minds and bodies for greater challenges in the future. Students will progress from introductory classes to more advanced training.  This level focuses on developing technique, body awareness, discipline, and building self-confidence using a curriculum for the elementary age dancer.

  • Ballet: Classical ballet based on the Vagonova (Russian) technique. Correct form, placement, alignment and proper execution are all emphasized.
  • Jazz:  This is an energetic class that encompasses many styles.  Students will focus on isolations, jumps, flexibility, strength training & coordination.  This fun class will give focus to proper  technique to form a good foundation.  It is a great compliment to ballet training.
  • Tap: Tap is an expression of feet and mind.  Timing and rhythm will be developed through classic and rhythmic tap style.  Our program starts with strong foot and ankle development and builds to complex phrasing and syncopation.
  • Modern : dance that explores movement, space, and rhythm.   Through improvisation dancers learn to express their own creativity while learning the techniques of Graham, Limon, Horton and May O’Donnel.  It is an important style for adding depth to the dance experience.
  • Hip Hop: This current styled dance is a high energy, fast paced, athletic free form dance style.  Street   dancing and jazz technique are combined to the latest rap, pop, and R & B songs.
  • Youth Praise Dance: See West Chester Dance Works Annointed Too
  • Strength and Flexibility (NEW): This new class uses floor-based exercises, deep stretches and repetition to build strong muscles and increase dancers’ flexibility. The weekly session requires dancers to warm up before entering the studio and to attend regularly for maximum results. It is recommended that this class be taken with a technique class where results can be utilized.

 

Junior & Senior (ages 11 – adult)

The Junior & Senior program is designed for the student who is just beginning to explore dance or for the student who has been dancing for years.  At this level there is a continual focus on technical development, exploring new dance styles, and individual expression.

  • Ballet & Pointe: Classical ballet based on the Vagonova (Russian) technique. Correct form, placement, alignment and proper execution are all emphasized. Students advancing to pointe  readiness must attend at least two ballet classes per week. Pointe candidates must be at least at the Junior intermediate level. Please see your ballet teacher in reference to your pointe readiness.
  • Jazz : Jazz is an American art form where various styles may be  taught including classic through contemporary styles of today.  Emphasis will be placed on technique and proper placement. As students advance, more complex concepts are studied including leaps, turns, musicality, and endurance.  As always,  proper technique and form  are  taught for a good foundation.
  • Tap: Tap is an expression of feet and mind.  Timing and rhythm will be developed through classic and rhythmic tap style.  Our program starts with strong foot and ankle development and builds to complex phrasing and syncopation.
  • Modern: Dance that explores movement, space, and rhythm.   Through improvisation dancers learn to express their own creativity while learning the techniques of Graham, Limon, Horton and May O’Donnell.  It is an important style for adding depth to the dance experience.
  • Hip Hop: Hip Hop dance is a high energy, fast paced, athletic free form dance style.  Street dancing and jazz technique are combined to the latest rap, pop, and R & B songs.
  • Breakdance (NEW): Referred to as “B-Boying”, this class brings street dance to the classroom through body isolations as in “popping” and “locking” as well as energetic hip hop-inspired movement such as “House” and “Boogaloo”. Danced to current and classic hip hop music, learn to dance “battle” in the air and on the ground with the best of them!
  • Liturgical Dance: This is a spiritually inspired, uplifting class where students learn dance techniques to Praise God in excellence, being encouraged to grow in expressions of praise to God through dance. We will work with Christian inspired music interpretation using Christian & Gospel music.
  • Repertoire/Performance (NEW): Are you looking to add more command to your stage performance? The Performance/Repertoire class is an opportunity to use choreography (detailed dance sequences) to improve a dancer’s use of space, expressiveness, strength and stage presence. While a general warm up will be given, the class will feature movement influences from Modern, Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary styles of dance to push dancers to the next level of performing. Students taking this class must also be registered for an intermediate or higher Jazz, Ballet or Modern class at the Diane Matthews School of Dance Arts.
  • Strength and Flexibility (NEW): This new class uses floor-based exercises, deep stretches and repetition to build strong muscles and increase dancers’ flexibility. The weekly session requires dancers to warm up before entering the studio and to attend regularly for maximum results. It is recommended that this class be taken with a technique class where results can be utilized.

 

Adults (ages 18 and up)

The adult program includes classes for those who would like to start dancing and those who are continuing or returning to their love of dance.  Our classes includes fun, fitness, and friendship while learning and improving our dance technique.

  • Ballet & Pointe: Classical ballet based on the Vagonova (Russian) technique. Correct form, placement, alignment and proper execution are all emphasized. Students dancing on pointe must attend at least two ballet classes per week. Pointe candidates must be at least at the Junior intermediate level. Please see your ballet teacher in reference to your pointe readiness.
  • Jazz: Jazz is an American art form where classic styles through contemporary styles of today will be taught.  For the beginning student emphasis will be placed on technique and proper placement.  For the more advanced student leaps, turns, musicality, and endurance will be developed giving focus to proper technique and form for a good foundation.
  • Liturgical Dance: This is a spiritually inspired, uplifting class where students learn dance techniques to Praise God in excellence, being encouraged to grow in expressions of praise to God through dance. We will work with Christian inspired music interpretation using Christian & Gospel music.
  • Modern: dance that explores movement, space, and rhythm.   Through improvisation dancers learn to express their own creativity while learning the techniques of Graham, Limon, Horton and May O’Donnell.  It is an important style for adding depth to the dance experience.

 

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