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Dance Instruction Terms to Know

If you or one of your children are considering enrolling in a ballet, tap, and jazz studio, there are some important terms to know before your first lesson at school. Learning the following terms and definitions will allow you to better understand the instructor on your first day of ballet, tap, and jazz dancing.

  • Swivel - When an instructor advises a kid to swivel, he or she is referring to an action that takes place on a weighted foot. This can take place in ballet, tap, or jazz, and results in a twirl or spin. It can be tricky for beginner child students because of balance development.
  • Tap Step - Used in tap dancing instruction and choreography, tap is the downward motion of the foot, which results in a tap sound when wearing tap shoes. Step, on the other hand, is the upward movement of the foot in between tap sounds. This can be slow or very fast, depending on the routine.
  • Tempo - The speed of the music is referred to as its tempo. A faster tempo means a faster song, and by extension, probably faster dance moves and choreography. Faster temp music is saved for more advanced dance routines and school performances.
  • Unit - A unit is the smallest measurement of a piece of music or dance. More often, you will hear about rhythm units, which groups several units into the dominant pattern of the song.
  • Timing - Timing is another technique taught at a dance studio. A dancer that is able to control his or her movements to keep them parallel to that of the music is a student that has timing.
    American Alliance for Health,Phys Ed,Rec & Dance
    Reston, VA 20191
    Our goal is to create a society where dance and physical education are part of a healthy and active lifestyle for children and adults. Find out more about how you can get involved by contacting us today!
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    Spin Sity Dance Studio
    615 W 2nd St, Antioch, CA 94509
    This is an adult dance studio instructing in pole dancing, lap dance lessons, sensual classes, and floor work. We do individual and group session classes. If you are looking for a fun way to get fit, come dance with us!
    (925) 706-1333
    Shely Pack Dancers
    270 Capistrano Rd #32, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
    Offering dance instruction for students of all ages in our brand new dance studio! If you are interested in learning tap, ballet, jazz or hip hop dance techniques, then visit our studio and learn about classes.
    (650) 726-7811
    Trio, School of Music, Dance and Languages
    121 W Washington Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086
    Trio School believes that good things come in Three’s. That is why, our core curriculum covers the three chief subjects of Music, Dance, and Languages.
    (408) 628-9272
    Marin Ballet
    100 Elm St, San Rafael, CA 94901
    (415) 453-6705
    Just Dance Academy
    933 D St, San Rafael, CA 94901
    (415) 451-1734
    The Moving Center School
    180 Harbor Dr, Sausalito, CA 94965
    (415) 388-0431
    Happy Feet Dance School
    15 Montford Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941
    (415) 381-0811
    Marin Dance Theatre
    1 Saint Vincents Dr, San Rafael, CA 94903
    (415) 499-8891
    Love Two Dance
    874 Sweetser Ave, Novato, CA 94945
    (415) 898-3933
    Petaluma School of Ballet
    110 Howard St, Petaluma, CA 94952
    (707) 762-3972
    Santa Rosa Dance Theater
    569 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95405
    Our dance theater company teaches a wide variety of styles, including ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, and modern dance. If you want the best dance instruction, come to us for expert lessons.
    (707) 539-0516
    Soaring Spirit Dance Studio
    940 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95125
    (408) 971-7627
    Hula Ikaika Ohana O Kaawai-E Honu ITI E
    4220 Commercial Dr, Tracy, CA 95304
    (209) 839-2205
    Dance Attack
    14110 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032
    (408) 356-6456
    Santa Teresa Academy Of Music And Dance
    7174 Santa Teresa Blvd. Ste.a2, San Jose, CA 95138
    We provide private music and group and dance instruction in: piano, guitar, voice, cello, ballet, jazz, hip hop, and ballroom for children, adults, and preschoolers.
    (408) 226-8742

    Modern dance is an art that is accessible for both adults and children. Dance schools around the country host classes from advanced to beginners, all in an effort to maintain the sport, and pass it along. If you are interested in finding out more about different ballet academies, tap classes or jazz schools, or the topic of dance instruction in general, start to do some research online. Because there are so many different forms of dance, like step, hip hop and modern, you will find information easily accessible. To start with, take a look at ballet. You might find that it dates all the way back to the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th century. It began to gain more of the common elements that we are used to seeing, like the different positions of the legs and arms, in the 17th century. You should also know that Pointe is an advanced form of ballet, often taught at a dance academy, or in specialized classes. If you delve into the history of tap dancing, you might find the influence of several different cultures have worked to create various styles of tap. This means that when you go to choose a school or dance hall, you should ask the instructor what kind of forms the study. If the history does not interest you, try looking up training programs in your area. Maybe the local jazz studio offers lessons in choreography; a small musical production might offer classes if they need their actors to learn a certain routine; or, if you are looking for group lessons for your child, you might find a teacher that specializes in working with kids. Simply by typing in a few phrases in the search box, you can find a great deal of information about dancing.
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