Since its beginning roots in 1661 in the Paris Academy of Dance, Historical Dance has had much influence on the development of ballet technique. The class focuses on the study of dances originating from different nationalities and time periods, which are learned either in their original version or in their classical ballet form. This class is also the introduction to partnering, teaching the methods of stage etiquette between boys and girls. The primary goal of Historical Dance is to develop and instill coordination, artistry, and musicality.
Character class exposes students to character technique and folk dances from various countries through the introduction of special barre and center exercises. Character dances are often danced in period costumes and shoes with hard heels. The evolution of folk dances is explored through the history of select countries, including both folk dances and character dances from classical ballet. Character class focuses on helping students better understand the subtleties and differences between different dances, characters, styles, and music in order to portray the correct feelings and emotion for each piece.
The many ranges and styles of contemporary dance make it difficult to define in words, yet easy to identify due to its broad language of movement. Contemporary classes utilize the classical ballet foundation, while helping students explore moving outside of the basic frame of the body. Contemporary dancing keeps the beautiful lines of classical ballet, and uses more flexibility of the entire body to stretch those lines in order achieve a fuller range of motion. This, in turn, helps the students build an understanding of the different ways of expression through dance. Contemporary class is essential to a dancer’s complete education in that it allows students to experience alternative ways of movement, creating a dancer that is well versed and able to adapt to many different choreographic challenges.
Modern class involves an introduction to the different techniques of modern dance such as Horton and Limon techniques. Students’ dance vocabulary will be expanded using off-balance movements and transition steps through floor connection. Stage presence will also be enhanced with the use of musicality and improvisation. Modern is also essential to a dancer’s education in that it provides a broad concept of rhythm, interpretation, expression, and full-body movement, and is an excellent means of self-discipline and self-discovery of a heightened natural concept of movement.
Jazz dance is regarded as a very stylized and energetic form of dance that comprises a series of fast and intricate movements designed to reflect multiple rhythms and themes in jazz and contemporary music. The combination of technique, style, and spontaneous movement that jazz offers serves as a tool of strengthening the body, increasing speed and improving coordination, while also providing a personal and highly creative means of expression. Basic jazz techniques are taught in the beginning level, while added technique, style, rhythm, and faster paces are introduced as students progress through the intermediate and advanced levels of jazz classes at IBC.