Student Division is for dancers 1st Grade - High School. We offer a wide variety of classes in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop and more.
See details below for Student Division policies, class descriptions and class schedule. You can also register by clicking the button below!
Student Division Class Descriptions
Ballet dance classes at North Shore School of Dance are based on traditional techniques of Cecchetti, Vaganova, Royal Academy, French, and more. This eclectic blend of techniques creates a unique style to our training, thus ensuring a well rounded ballet dancer. Every level from Fancy Feet through Sr. 8 follows our school syllabus, and uses French terminology. As students advance, they are encouraged to attend multiple levels of ballet technique classes per week to enhance and secure their training. Throughout our dancers training, NSSD offers ballet students the opportunity of learning variations from classical ballets, and at the highest level, partnering. Our multiple adult level ballet classes offers similar training to our students at an appropriate level for adult dancers. Training levels are offered from ballet through advanced, with multiple classes per week encouraged and recommended.
Modern & Contemporary
At NSSD modern classes are based on the teaching methods of the instructor. Some teach traditional techniques of Graham, Horton, Cunningham, Limon, and more. Other instructors teach the more contemporary style, like the “Release” technique. Either way, Modern is a fundamental form of training that allows more freedom than ballet. The strict foundation trains the body and benefits the well-rounded dancer. Modern dancers are encouraged to take ballet. As the dancer progresses, she/he may explore Contemporary Classes in addition to modern.
Pointe classes are for the serious dancer who has been training in ballet a minimum of 2 classes per week for 2 consecutive years beyond the age of eight. Dancers need to be both physically and technically ready. Each student is evaluated individually to either begin in Pre-Pointe or Pointe Prep.
The Cecchetti Method of ballet training is a progressive system of training dancers from a pre-ballet beginning level to a professional level. The Cecchetti Method was designed with careful regard to the laws of anatomy to prepare a dancer’s body to bear the physical demands of public performance. The Method embodies qualities that are essential to the dancer; balance, poise, strength, elevation, elasticity, musicality and artistry. Cecchetti USA has established a syllabus of carefully orchestrated exercises that build in complexity ensuring that each new movement is introduced from a fundamental approach. As each movement is mastered and refined, new movements are introduced. This progressive approach with attention to detail has produced a long list of very famous and accomplished ballet dancers. The Cecchetti Method is classic in its purity and clean style and enables dancers to respond to the demands of a variety of choreographers. The Method emphasizes the importance of using the entire body to establish a feeling for line. Focus is on instruction by studying and absorbing the basic principles which govern the art, rather than by mere imitation of an individual’s teaching style.
Our tap classes are based on two major styles of tap: rhythm tap and Broadway tap. Both styles are considered to be a form of music, as the sound of a tap shoe beats out various percussive rhythms similar to that of a drum. Broadway tap focuses more on the dance and traditional show girl, shim sham, and lead dancing steps, whereas, rhythm tap focuses more on musicality and explores outside of the traditional tap elements. Tap dancing at NSSD begins in kindergarten, and as the student progresses, more complicated rhythms, styles and patterns are covered. An extensive tap syllabus is followed in all of our tap classes.
Jazz has changed over the years and has come to incorporate other forms of dance. Ballet and modern were the foundation of jazz, and was influenced by African dance, and now has taken on movement trends from hip-hop. Jazz is known for its diversity of styles. Jazz dancers are encouraged to take ballet and modern techniques.
Lyrical is a combination of Ballet, Jazz & Contemporary. It is guided and inspired by the lyrics of the music. It's a great way to practice and incorporate expression and emotion with the technique of the Jazz and Ballet styles. Because lyrical dancing focuses on the expression of strong emotion, the style concentrates more on individual approach and expressiveness than the precision of the dancer's movements.
Hip Hop’s origins take us back to the west bronx in New York City in the 1970s. It has deep historical roots in African American culture, and it emerged as a whole culture. Hip Hop is frequently referred to as a singular dance discipline, but Hip Hop culture includes 5 elements that includes Deejaying, Graffiti, Emceeing (the master of ceremonies) and breaking (commonly referred to as break-dancing). DJ Kool Herc used to throw block parties, and he played music on his turntables. As we watched the community party, he noticed that they got the most excited during the breakbeat of a song. (The instrumental, percussive section in R&B and funk music.) He found a way to extend the breakbeat by looping it between two turntables, and this is what the breakers (break dancers) would dance to, giving them their respective name. The etymology of hip hop is: Hip = Present, Hop = Action. Therefore, Hip Hop is a movement that represents the freedom to learn, grow, and evolve.
There are two styles of hip hop dance - Breaking and Party Dances. Breaking is an athletic dance with techniques that include fast footwork, freezes, powermoves, downrocks and top rocks. Party dances are social dance moves done in a light-hearted and fun way. Dances like cabbage patch, the running man, and more recent dances like the Dougie, the Whip Nae-Nae, Get Sturdy and more. All Hip Hop dances are characterized by bounces and rocks and they’re executed exclusively to Hip Hop music.
At North Shore School of Dance, we encourage boys to take dance classes in all genres of dance. Many of our boys have grown up with a sister at NSSD, and have always been interested in being a part of the North Shore Dance family. Several boys do community or school theatre, and have found dancing improves their self-esteem, confidence and movement ability for the stage. Our male dancers have gone on to be part of our Nutcracker, North Shore Repertory Dance Ensemble, and have continued their studies in college. Currently, we have male alumni at the Julliard, The University of Arizona-Tucson, and the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana.
Yoga For Dancers
This yoga class is designed specifically for dancers. It focuses on improving flexibility, balance, and body awareness, which are essential for dancers. The class includes a mix of traditional yoga poses and sequences that help dancers to develop strength and stamina while also improving their range of motion. The instructor will pay special attention to alignment and proper technique to prevent injuries and enhance performance. This class is a great complement to dance training and will help dancers to improve their overall well-being and performance on stage.
Student Division Commitment / Levels & Evaluations
Student Division Full Year Commitment Agreement
All students at NSSD who are enrolled in the Student Division, commit to a full school year of classes. The school year at NSSD begins in August and ends in May.
NSSD works on a full syllabus within each of its classes, making it imperative for student (and parents) to commit to enrollment for an entire year.
As a student progresses, he or she is required to enroll in multiple classes in the same genre of dance per week. This is imperative for the dancer's training and well bing. Participating in multiple classes a week helps to reiterate the movement and techniques within the body so that it becomes part of their muscle memory. Dancers not enrolled and participating in the required number of classes tend to progress at a different pace than dancers enrolled in the correct number of classes.
Class Placement and Evaluations
Pointe and Pre-Pointe Work
Students are not considered ready for pointe work until they are at least 12 years old and have been studying classical ballet for three or more years, with a frequency of two or more classes per week. All of this requires careful evaluation on the part of the teacher and Director. Once a dancer is ready, a recommendation letter will be given to each student and a copy will be kept in their student file. No one will be allowed to register for a pointe or pre-pointe class without this letter.
Students who have been recommended for pointe or pre-pointe work should not purchase pointe shoes until notified by their teacher. Students should expect to begin the first year of pointe training in ballet shoes.
It is our policy to offer appropriate opportunities and class placement to every student. Each student's class placement is highly individualized each year. We reserve the right to refuse any registration that is deemed not in the best interests of the students, faculty, or school. Our decisions regarding each dancer is carefully examined and made with expertise from having years of training and experience. Proper placement ensures the dancer's safety and will enrich the dancer's training experience. Final decisions in regards to your child's dance training and placement will be made by your child's teachers and the Director. Any questions in regards to your child's training and placement should be directed to the Director.
Student Division Class Schedule