Dance Course Descriptions

Program Overview

The Academy Dance Division is a pre-professional performance based training program stemmed 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 along with offering students to perform in a variety of repertoire offerings at the dance faculty's discretion. In tandem with a rigorous academic curriculum; frequent cooperations with other arts disciplines; and live musical accompaniment for select performances, the Dance Division provides students with a robust learning environment that is run akin to a professional dance company.

Course Descriptions

All course offerings and schedules subject to change pending programmatic needs

Ballet Technique:
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 discipline and technical development, dancers work in a nurturing, pre-professional atmosphere to build confidence and rigor as they learn to coordinate classical movements in tandem with music. Ballet technique classes are intended to provide a foundational approach to movement for all majors with varying levels of intensity based on the students experience and skill-sets as determined by the dance faculty.

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.

Technique for the Male Dancer:
Technique for the Male Dance 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.

Pas de Deux:
The Pas de Deux curriculum is designed to help dancers learn the art and skill of partnering. Usage of the upper body strength, 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.

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 appreciation for all styles of dance as deemed appropriate for the dancer by the dance faculty. Performances offer great opportunities and exposure for students to experience what it is like to be part of major productions while having the possibility to work with guest choreographers and stagers 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.