Dance Course Descriptions

Statement of Philosophy

The Academy Dance Division is a pre-professional training program based on the foundations of classical ballet technique. Academy dance students are taught to be proficient, confident and open-minded individuals who graduate the program prepared for the inevitable challenges of professional careers and higher education in dance.

The ballet-based program encourages versatility through additional training in various other dance forms such as modern, jazz and character dance. In tandem with a rigorous academic curriculum; frequent collaborations with other arts disciplines; and live musical accompaniment for select performances, the Dance Division provides students with a robust learning environment and cross-disciplinary education.

Class Uniform

Girls - black leotard, pink tights, pink ballet slippers, and pink pointe shoes.  Appropriate dance warm-ups may be acceptable in cold weather at discretion of faculty. Plastic or rayon pants, shorts, baggy T-shirts, and sweats are not allowed in class or rehearsal in the studio or theatre.

Boys - white T-shirt or leotard, black tights, white socks and white ballet slippers.  Appropriate dance warm-ups may be acceptable in cold weather at discretion of faculty.  Plastic or rayon pants, shorts, baggy T-shirts and sweats are not allowed in class or rehearsal in the studio or theatre.  Hair no longer than collar length, short around the face.  No facial hair.

Solid color leotards and tights at the discretion of faculty.  Bare feet or appropriate shoes as required by each discipline.


Course Descriptions

The Ballet curriculum is designed to help dancers create a strong pedagogical foundation through repetitive movement, of ballet vocabulary, discussion, and exploration. With focus on creativity, discipline and technical development, dancers work in a nurturing, pre-professional atmosphere to build confidence and life/dance skills.  Dance Majors acquire the ability to adapt and grow in any environment.


The Pointe curriculum is designed to build the strength and technique necessary to properly execute both ballet and neo-classical vocabulary of dance on pointe. Focusing on how to stand on pointe correctly, use of the legs and feet and an appropriate and challenging vocabulary, students gain strength, technique and the cohesive fluidity required for every dance style.


The curriculum for Men's Class is designed as a supplement to ballet technique and focuses on specific information for the male dancer: virtuoso technique, jumps, turns, and building the strength necessary to properly execute vocabulary of today. Strengthening exercises are given and repetition is required. Emphasis is placed on implementation and a disciplined work ethic.


The Pas de Deux curriculum is designed to help dancers learn the art and skill of partnering. Usage of the hands for men, finding core support, balance and use of weight for coordinated movement quality are addressed.  Students acquire partnering technique with the ability to work cohesively for maximum artistic and technical results while also learning repertoire that is pertinent to ongoing performances during the Interlochen Arts Academy season of dance.


The Contemporary curriculum is designed to incorporate movement and vocabulary from both established and relevant resources into a dancer's training and development. Use of weight, space, music and dynamics are addressed in an explorative and disciplined environment. Creativity and discussion are encouraged in a focused and challenging atmosphere.


The Dance Ensemble is the performing company of the Dance Division, which develops professional approaches to rehearsals and performances. Whether working in the corps de ballet or as a soloist, dancers are exposed to a variety of styles, choreographers, repertoire and music. The exploration of the process and essence of the art form helps students develop technical skills, artistry and a broader scope of life as citizens-artists-athletes in a global community. Performances offer a great opportunity and exposure for students to experience what it is like to be part of major productions, working alongside technical and production crew, musicians and costumers.


GENERAL DANCE for non-dance majors:
General Dance provides a dance overview for students from other arts areas.  Students become acquainted with basic technique in ballet, modern, and jazz, as well as anatomical awareness that is pervasive throughout their lives.  Gaining movement skills and finding confidence and enjoyment through movement are a focus of this class.  No previous dance experience is necessary. Classes are taught by the dance faculty, as well as by the various guests in the dance department.  This course may be used for Physical Education credit.