BALLET (RUSSIAN METHOD)
Ballet is a traditional, formal style of dance involving rigorous technique such as pointe work, turnout of the legs and high extensions, flowing, precise movements, and ethereal qualities.
Contemporary dance developed during the mid-twentieth century, originally borrowing from classical, modern and jazz styles and now incorporating elements from many styles of dance. Contemporary dance usually combines the strong legwork of ballet with modern dance’s stress on the torso and also includes contraction – release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation.
Tap dance uses the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. Two major variations on tap dance exist: rhythm (jazz) tap and Broadway tap. Rhythm tap practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the Jazz tradition. Broadway tap focuses on dance; it is widely performed in musical theatre. Stage tap taught in the Cooper School focuses on the more Broadway end of the spectrum.
MODERN STAGE DANCE
Modern Theatre dance is a rhythmic dance style often seen on the stages of musical productions and is known for its theatrical qualities. The style uses travelling steps, high kicks, leaps and turns which all need strength and flexibility. It is a highly energetic dance style.
This is a form of dance combining the techniques of Ballet, Modern and Contemporary with acrobatic tricks. It builds great core strength and enormous confidence once students overcome their initial nerves!
Freestyle started life as a way of dancing in which the dancer improvised moves on the spot instead of having them choreographed and mixed many styles of dancing without any regard for traditional boundaries or rules of the individual styles. Freestyle involves elevation, travel and flexibility and may often include acrobatic tricks. Today it is more formalised and dancers perform specific moves or sequences they’ve choreographed and practiced earlier.
Street dance is a dance style that evolved outside dance studios in any available open space such as streets, dance parties, parks, school playgrounds and nightclubs. The hip-hop dance style b- boying (breakdancing) and the funk-styles popping and locking are some of the most popular street dance styles and the most prominently practiced are so common that commercialised versions have been professionally choreographed in pop, hip – hop, electronic and R&B music videos. Newer styles include Liquiding, Electro Dancing and Jump style. These styles, like Freestyle dance, have been formalised by the dance community.
SONG AND DANCE
This form of dance is available for examination initially through the ‘Rainbow’ system and then via ‘Cabaret Awards’. It prepares students for the demands of performance in Musical Theatre, a form combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Students taking ‘Song and Dance’ examinations explore the techniques used in Musical Theatre.