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Rutgers Community Arts

Dance

IMPORTANT

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all classes will be conducted virtually until further notice. We will return to the Mason Gross School facilities for each class as soon as guidance from Rutgers University indicates we are safely able to do so.

The Rutgers Community Arts Ballet School promotes discipline and creativity while encouraging each child to reach their highest potential as young dancers. Classes focus on building a solid foundation in ballet technique with an emphasis on proper placement and safe progressions of movement while remaining sensitive to the developmental needs of young dancers at every level.

Classes are divided by age and level of experience and are rooted in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum (NTC), which draws on elements from the classic French, Italian, and Russian schools of training. Our experienced faculty take the NTC guidelines and expand it into a curriculum uniquely designed to best fit Community Arts students. Live accompaniment is featured in each ballet class. Electives in contemporary dance, Pilates, and Classical Variations are available.

Young dancers are introduced to New Jersey’s leading arts conservatory with all classes and performances taking place in the professional venues of Mason Gross School of the Arts*. Faculty members teach within the Mason Gross collegiate program, and classroom assistants are current EdM (Dance Education) students.

Note: Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all classes will be conducted virtually until further notice. We will return to the Mason Gross School facilities with live accompaniment for each class as soon as guidance from Rutgers University indicates we are safely able to do so.

Courses

Primary (ages 4–8)

Note: No formal evaluation is necessary; placement is determined by age.

Primary 1 classes introduce our youngest dancers to age-appropriate, beginning ballet exercises in an energetic, creative, and nurturing weekly 45-minute class with live piano accompaniment. Students gain fine motor dexterity through activities that encompass story-telling and creating, as well as activities related to children’s literature and number counting. Incorporating the use of fun colorful props such as scarves, floor dots, and flowers enhance these physical, cognitive, and creative skills.  Primary 1 students perform and participate in all school wide performances and events. Primary 1 is open enrollment and no prior experience is necessary.

Register

Young Dancer (grades 3+)

Note: Placement is by faculty evaluation.  Please contact Rutgers Community Arts to schedule a trial class. 

The Young Dancer level introduces barre work and builds a strong technical and artistic foundation by focusing on alignment, placement, balance, flexibility, musicality and strength through age-appropriate progressions.  Students work carefully to build the fundamentals of alignment and the muscular development needed to advance into the upper division levels, where young dancer material is refined and expanded upon.  Dancers will take two ballet classes a week with live piano accompaniment.  Young Dancer students are also offered an optional contemporary technique class in addition to their ballet technique classes.  Young Dancer students perform and participate in all school wide performances and events.  Students must take a trial class to determine class placement.  At the end of the year, dancers will take part in an assessment class to provide feedback on their progress throughout the year, adjudicated by Mason Gross Dance faculty.

Junior Conservatory (grades 5+)

Note: Placement is by faculty evaluation.  Please call to schedule a trial class.

The Junior Conservatory level introduces more complex barre work and builds a strong technical and artistic foundation by focusing on alignment, placement, balance, flexibility, musicality and strength through age-appropriate progressions.  Students explore more complex pirouettes and allegro steps, and use of port de bras with a defined sense of épaulement.  Students in this level will be preparing for pointe work, and may begin pointe work during the academic year when ready.  More information about pointe shoes and fittings will be given later on in the year.  Dancers will take three ballet classes a week with live piano accompaniment.   Junior Conservatory students are invited to participate in an optional contemporary technique class in addition to their ballet technique classes.  Junior Conservatory students perform and participate in all school wide performances and events.  Students must take a trial class to determine class placement.  At the end of the year, dancers will take part in an assessment class to provide feedback on their progress throughout the year, adjudicated by Mason Gross Dance faculty.

Pre-College Conservatory - Apprentice Level (grades 7+)

Note: Placement is by faculty evaluation.  Please contact Rutgers Community Arts to schedule a trial class.

The Pre-College Conservatory Apprentice (PCCA) level provides a comprehensive program designed for students who seek to build artistic acuity and technical endurance while preparing for college dance programs and careers in dance.  Apprentices learn and perform classical repertory in addition to ballet technique and pointe classes.  Apprentices are integrated into the Pre-College Conservatory class once a week, challenging the dancers to experience the next step in their development as dancers.  Students in this level are invited to participate in an optional Contemporary Technique class as well as a new elective Classical Variations class.  PCCA students perform and participate in all school wide performances and events.  At the end of the year, dancers will take part in an assessment class to provide feedback on their progress throughout the year, adjudicated by Mason Gross Dance faculty.  Students must take a trial class to determine appropriate class placement.

 

Pre-College Conservatory (grades 7+)

Note: Placement is by faculty evaluation.  Please contact Rutgers Community Arts to schedule a trial class.

The Pre-College Conservatory (PCC) level, is the highest level and is a comprehensive program designed for students who seek to build artistic acuity and technical endurance while preparing for college dance programs and careers in dance.  Pre-College Conservatory students learn and perform classical repertory in addition to ballet technique and pointe classes.  Students in this level are invited to participate in an optional Contemporary Technique class as well as a new elective Classical Variations class.  Dancers also have the option of supplementing their dance training with semi-private classes on the Pilates Reformer.  PCC students perform and participate in all school wide performances and events.  At the end of the year, dancers will take part in an assessment class to provide feedback on their progress throughout the year, adjudicated by Mason Gross Dance faculty.  Students must take a trial class to determine appropriate class placement.

NEW: Classical Variations/Progressive Ballet Technique (Grades 7+)

Note: Open to PCCA/PCC Students. No formal evaluation necessary.

In our new elective class of Progressive Ballet Technique and Classical Variations, dancers will have a two-part experience.  In Progressive Ballet Technique, dancers will explore different ways to work their muscles and bodies to complement their ballet training.  A fit ball and yoga mat would be ideal to have.  In Classical Variations, dancers will learn all of the classic ballet variations that every dancer should know.  These are so important in thinking ahead for potential performance opportunities, competitions or even college auditions.  Not only learning the steps, but the history of the ballets they come from, will be a huge part of this class.  This class is not required, but highly recommended to the PCC/PCCA students and will follow their regularly scheduled ballet class.

 

Contemporary (ages 10+)

Note: No formal evaluation necessary.

Junior Contemporary introduces dancers to modern dance technique, creative expression, improvisation, and choreography.  This elective course adds a new dimension to the dancer’s ballet studies.  This class is open to students outside of our school as well.  Junior Contemporary students will perform and participate in all school wide performances and events. 

Pilates

Enhance your conditioning with Pilates mat classes, led by instructor Kiana Fischer. The goal of this Somatic practice is to provide quality, motion-specific training to dancers so that they can cross-train, learn how to ward off common dance injuries, maintain their conditioning while recovering from injuries, and heal at a faster rate when injured.

Students must be enrolled in the  Pre-College Conservatory to register for this elective class.

Dance Faculty

Erika Mero
Director of Rutgers Community Arts Ballet
Dance
Community Arts
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Peggy Petteway
Part-Time Lecturer
Dance
Community Arts
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Kiana Rosa-Fischer
Dance Instructor
Dance
Community Arts
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