The Academy now offers four disciplines – Ballet, Modern Theatre, Tap dance and Acrobatic Arts – as well as Theatrical Dance, plus DDMIX which is geared towards the older students and adults. All of these are fun activities to learn and help improve posture, strength, flexibility, co-ordination and stamina. As well as engaging the mind and body, dance encourages physical expression and creativity through movement and it helps develop a self-confidence that will aid a child with whatever they decide to do in life.
Ballet is a popular choice of dance style and has many benefits for young children. Most little girls go through a ballerina stage and thanks to Billy Elliott many boys are now showing a keen interest in learning this dance form. As one of the most physically demanding of all dance styles, ballet is a wonderful way for young children to gain strength and improve flexibility whilst teaching them to stand correctly and walk with grace and poise – qualities that they will appreciate for the rest of their lives.
Ballet is also an excellent foundation for many other dance forms.
Classes start with Pre-Primary for girls and boys from the age of 3. These are great fun, with the focus on nurturing a love of music and movement, stimulating imaginations whilst learning the fundamentals of basic ballet technique. From the age of 5, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) graded syllabus is followed.
Less structured than ballet, modern is an expressive and rhythmic form of dance and varies in style between flowing lyrical type movements and fast energetic steps and routines. It is a theatrical art form often seen on stage in musical productions and incorporates travelling steps, leaps, turns and kicks which help to develop strength and flexibility. The graded syllabus offered by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is followed.
Similar to modern, jazz explodes with energy and usually uses upbeat music. Students may enter for the Gold Jazz Award offered by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing once they have achieved their Modern Theatre Intermediate examination.
Tap dancing is a fun, challenging and energetic dance style and adults in particular find it a fantastic way to keep fit. Often seen in musicals, distinctive sounds are made by beating out different rhythms with both the toe and heel metal plates attached to tap shoes. Students learn timing, balance, co-ordination and rhythm and there is a real sense of accomplishment as they start to master basic steps which then progress to create impressive intricate and fast toe tapping routines – the result, a powerful dance form that is both aural and visual. The graded syllabus offered by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is followed.
Acrobatic Arts is a dance based tricks programme. The students learn how to master the tricks, whilst also focusing on other dance technique such as turns and leaps, giving their dance an exciting edge and additional dimension.
Although this is an exciting new discipline, technique and accuracy is the main focus. There will also be the option of taking examinations, achieving a world wide recognised qualification and progressing to a very sophisticated level of performance.
Theatrical Dance is a new dance style which has been available at LSA Dance since January 2016. It is an exciting combination of movement and musical theatre, taking inspiration from West End productions such as Wicked, Matilda, Chicago and many more. The classes are taught by Miss Georgie and are filled with energetic warm ups, characterisation explorations and rehearsals to put together a mashup of well-known songs with theatrical movement.
A specific production is chosen for each term, working towards a showing of the work to family and friends. These classes are open to students aged 7 to 15, with varied roles to suit ages and abilities; the students must already attend modern or ballet classes at the Academy in order to have prior knowledge of the key dance steps required.
These dance filled sessions, taught by Miss Georgie, are a great way to encourage expression, interpretation and have a fun filled Friday to end the week. Theatrical Dance – making the bridge between the studio and the stage that little more available!
Introduced to the curriculum from September 2015, DDMIX is a full body aerobic workout programme, devised by Darcey Bussell, based on a diverse range of easy to follow dance styles. The class, which is suitable for adults and teenagers, is taught by Miss Georgie on Friday evenings.
Whether pupils opt to study one or more of these disciplines, the countless benefits of learning to dance will equip children with many other valuable life skills: