BDC Class Levels & Program Structure
AGES 4 & UNDER: Dance with me
Dance class can help tiny dancers grow their physical coordination, musicality, rhythm and social skills. Students in these classes must be accompanied by an adult (this is a great way for parents to connect with others in the community!) These are open classes (drop-in) so you are welcome to swing by for a single class or purchase a class card. Classes follow the public school calendar, observing school breaks and holidays, but continue through the summer session.
Ages 3-6: music & dance
When students are ready to take class by themselves (without a parent) we welcome them to join our Music & Dance classes. There are three levels: Music & Dance 1 (Ages 3-4), Music & Dance 2 (Ages 4-5 in Preschool) and Music & Dance 3 (Ages 5-6 entering Kindergarten). Placement is by developmental level not by previous dance experience. These classes use Creative Movement concepts to teach fundamental dance technique, body awareness, spatial awareness, patterning, coordination, social skills, musicality, and to encourage a child’s love of dance.
Registration for these classes is by Session: September-December (4 months) and January-June (6 months).
Ages 6-7: introduction to technique
Introduction to Technique classes include Introduction to Ballet, Introduction to Modern and Introduction to Tap. In these classes students learn fundamental dance steps central to each technique yet all classes are rooted in a developmentally appropriate Creative Movement curriculum that teaches body awareness, spatial awareness, patterning, coordination, social skills, and musicality. Placement is by developmental level not by previous dance experience.
Registration for these classes is for the entire school year: September to June.
AGES 8 & OLDER: Level 1
Levels 1 is for dancers in 2nd Grade and older. Placement is by developmental level not by previous dance experience. Beginning dancers are welcome. This is a wonderful level to try different disciplines in dance: Ballet, Modern and Tap. Students can take just one class per week or as many as they would like.
Registration for these classes is for the entire school year: September through June. Unlike most things in our technological era, dance training requires consistency and focus. True progress is slow but incredibly rewarding. We ask that each dancer commit to a full year of training.
LEVELS 2-8: Pre-professional training program
In Levels 2-8 our dancers develop the self-discipline, professionalism and artistry that are essential for a professional dance career and, as we see time and time again, applicable to success in any rigorous academic or professional discipline. We honor equally the physical, emotional, and social development of our dancers. For many of them, BDC is their “safe place” and “home away from home” where they build life-long friendships and mentorships.
Dancers in Levels 2-8 are required to take a certain number of classes a week and this increases in the upper levels. Dance requires significant strength and healthy alignment that is developed through the repetition of daily class.
Learning proper dance etiquette creates a professional atmosphere here at BDC and prepares our dancers to continue their training beyond our school. Dancers need to arrive early to class with proper hair and classroom attire. Essential to dance etiquette is showing respect for oneself, for other dancers, for teachers and for the shared space of our school.
Attendance is a priority. Missing class is detrimental to a dancer’s technical growth and disrupts the entire class when they are learning and rehearsing choreography. If students miss more than 3 classes in a semester, they may no longer be eligible to participate in the performance at the end of the year.
Registration for these classes is for the entire school year: September through June. Unlike most things in our technological era, dance training requires consistency and focus. True progress is slow but incredibly rewarding.
Students new to the school are required to have a trail class before registering so that we can determine proper placement.
Please email us at email@example.com to discuss placement and arrange a trial class.
tap & aerial/circus arts
Tap and Aerial/Circus Arts can be taken independently (you are not required to take ballet or modern). Students in Levels 3-8 can add these classes as electives to their program bundles during registration.
Jazz & composition
Jazz Classes and Composition Classes are elective classes for Levels 4 and above. Prerequisite classes are 2 Ballet Classes and 1 Modern Class per week.
advanced Repertory classes
In Advanced Repertory Classes dancers experience the a pre-professional rehearsal process learning challenging choreography, practicing rehearsal etiquette, and growing their performance qualities. We provide opportunities for our dancers to interact with professional choreographers to inspire them and prepare them for a professional career in dance.
Each year the Ballet Repertory Program focuses on a classical story ballet that is performed at the Student Performance in June. Previous ballets have included Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird, Giselle, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, Coppelia and Les Sylphides (an original version created for our dancers by NYC-based choreographer Christopher Williams).
The Modern, Jazz and Tap Repertory classes learn seminal works by master choreographers (previous works have included Rainbow Etude by Donald McKayle and Energizer by Molissa Fenley) as well as original works by BDC Faculty members many of whom are professional choreographers and performers in the Seattle dance community. Repertory classes perform these works throughout the year for community celebrations on Bainbridge, at the annual BoostMeUp Festival in Seattle, and at the end of the year performance in June.
Pre-pointe & pointe progression
In pre-pointe shoes students do not go “all the way up in their shoes” which would place weight on their toes. This technique is safe for young dancers and helps them build the strength, alignment and articulation they need to be ready for pointe.
Level 4 (Ages 10-11) - 30 minutes of Pre-Pointe a week with a focus on building leg and torso strength and alignment.
Level 5 (Ages 11-12) - 60 minutes of Pre-Pointe & Ballet Repertory a week. This level performs in the Story Ballet with the advanced dancers.
Level 6 (Ages 12-13) - Dancers are invited to start pointe when they have the strength, proper alignment and technique to train safely in the shoes. Dancers who are still growing will be asked to talk with a doctor to assess the growth plates in their feet before starting pointe. If a dancer is too weak or too young when they start pointe, they can permanently damage the bones in their feet.