Dance Theatre Fairbanks
Class Descriptions

Please talk with DTF staff for placement in classes.  Rough age guidelines for classes are as follows:

Ages 3-4           Creative Movement
Ages 5-7           Primary
Ages 7+             Level 1
Ages 10 +         Level 2 by placement
Ages 13+          Level 3 by placement
Ages 15+          Level 4  and Level 5 by placement

Class level placement will be evaluated by our staff and involves factors including: physical, social, experience and additional classes being taken. Each level of class is designed to be a two to three year process.  Dancers should expect to progress through each level as a beginner, an intermediate, and an advanced dancer before advancing to the next level.

Creative Movement is an introduction to dance for the youngest dancers. Students learn through fun dance movements the concepts of counting, isolating body parts, balance, stretching, basic dance positions of the arms and feet, basic choreography while developing increased attention and retention.

Ballet is considered the basis for all styles of dance technique. Regardless of what style of dance a dancer chooses to pursue he or she will undoubtedly be exposed to ballet terminology.  Primary and Level 1 Ballet classes are where true ballet technique is introduced. Young dancers learn basic ballet vocabulary and how to properly execute steps. Emphasis is placed on creating strong, well-placed dancers so the risk of injury is minimal. Dancers also begin to learn the art of expression and are taught to bring themselves out through their movements. Students will learn basic ballet class structure, body positions, ballet terminology, musicality and choreography in a fun yet structured environment. They will also learn dance etiquette where respect for the art of ballet, themselves, classmates and instructors is emphasized.  Level 2, 3, 4 and 5 Ballet classes typically begin with a slow warm up at the ballet barre and progress through a series of jumps and turns in the center.

Pointe classes are for the serious ballet student who has already had a substantial amount of ballet training. Primarily for female dancers, pointe classes prepare the dancer to dance “en pointe” or wearing toe shoes. Often these classes go through a rigorous series of exercises geared toward strengthening the muscles of the feet, ankles and legs. Pointe classes may only be taken with permission from the instructor.

Jazz classes focus on the development of style and stage presence. Jazz is an energetic style that uses quick turns, big leaps, and graceful elongated moves. Students practice center choreography in modern or fosse style jazz.

Hip Hop is a comprehensive class covering major styles of hip hop, including popping, locking, uprocking, krumping and more. Students practice quick articulations and isolation of the body in warm-up, breakdancing “power moves,” followed by a center combination focusing on a specific branch of hip hop.

Tap teaches rhythm, coordination, and an introduction to basic tap fundamentals, terminology and basic tap choreography. Students will put the fundamentals to work by learning new steps, rhythms, patterns, and combinations. Levels II, III and IV are designed to refine tap skills, while moving beyond the fundamentals of tap.  Students will learn new steps, rhythms, patterns, and combinations. These technique classes will focus on faster and more intricate footwork.  The dancer at these levels will develop speed, clarity, dynamics, and the ability to execute complex rhythmic combinations.

Lyrical is a combination of Jazz, Modern and Ballet technique that focuses on the emotions of dance. We use popular music with lyrics that invoke a certain feeling. For the upper level classes,  combinations are the emphasis, giving the students ample time to focus on the lyrics and emotion of a piece of music and choreography. For the lower level class, emphasis is put on improvisation, where students explore their own style and find out what makes their bodies want to move.