About our Early Childhood Program:
Foundations, is our new, all inclusive Early Childhood Education program geared specifically towards our youngest dancers (ages 2-7). With a focus on training and technique, our Foundations program remains true to our mission statement and provide the basis for all types of dance. This curriculum was created specifically for Morgantown Dance and our diverse group of students. With classes in Ballet, Jazz, Irish, AcroFlex and Tap, Foundations core curriculum (based on the National Dance Education Organization’s standards for Dance in Early Childhood) has something for every child – even a Grown-Up & Me class! Additional classes for students with special needs and interests coming soon.
Foundations: The Learning Objectives
- Creative exploration of our classroom environment while interacting with fellow students, their teacher and their Helper(s)
- Locomotor Movements (take us though space) – ex: skipping, running, jumping, hopping, galloping, gliding and leaping
- Non-Locomotor Movements (stay in place) – ex: symmetrical shapes, asymmetrical shapes, twisting, reaching, swaying and swinging – focusing on balance and understanding opposition
- Space – Levels (high, medium and low), exploring space as it relates to our own body versus that within a group, and creating pathways like zig zag, straight and curved lines to travel on
- Time – finding rhythm with music and with our bodies, creation of our own rhythm and learning to move with a predetermined time
- Technique and movement basics of Ballet, Jazz, AcroFlex, Irish, and Tap
- Being a good student – classroom etiquette (taking your turn, following direction, listening skills, working with other students and other basic interactions of a classroom), develop an understanding of self-awareness and special awareness; developing an imaginative exploration of movement with creativity and emotional expression
- Benefits for everyday life – increase flexibility, range of motion, coordination, agility, strength, and stamina; correct alignment/posture, improve muscle tone, and maintain good cardiovascular and physical health; gain trust of others, become disciplined, maintain focus, and improve on their social and communication skills; understand how their bodies move through space, gain confidence, and develop a positive self-esteem.
A Sample Foundations Class
Each class begins with stretch and strengthen exercises.
Center Exercises are where we learn the basis for all movement. While in the “center” we learn the basics of our technique while maintaining the correct posture for the type of dance we are learning. In Tap this is where we would learn rhythm, and in Ballet we learn to plié, tendu and jump.
Across the Floor is where we learn our locomotor movements. Since all techniques have varied “steps”, the Across the Floor section of class focuses on the traveling movements of dance while learning the specific technique of that dance genre. Walking with rhythm, skipping, leaping/jumping are all used with special patterns to travel.
Creative Expression allows the students to participate in movement exercises designed to maximize their creativity while improving their listening skills and special awareness. Example: The Hip Hop Game is “played” at the end of every Hip Hop class. The students are instructed to draw their bubble around their body (“don’t pop your bubble”), the teacher then leads the students through movements that express emotion, use multiple body parts, and work on skills that they learned in class while maintaining musicality within the body (“keep the beat with your feet”).
Monthly Objectives are given to each class. Whether it’s musicality, specific skills or flexibility, each month has an objective to learn. These objectives create an outline for the class to follow for the semester.
Arriving at the studio – Place all personal belongings in the dressing rooms located near the lobby, change clothing and use the restroom. All students must use the restroom before class begins.
Before class – The classroom “Helper” will meet all of the students in the hallway 10 minutes before entering the classroom. Please leave your child with the Helper to allow him/her to focus and prepare for class time. If your child has a hard time with separation, talk with your child’s teacher about your specific situation and discuss ways to ease the process.
During class – The waiting room/lobby is available and there are benches in the main hall of the mall. Feel free to run errands. Make sure that you have filled out our registration form with your cell phone number if you plan on leaving.
After class – The Helper will bring the students back to the lobby at the end of class. Please meet your dancer and take them to retrieve their belongings. The Helper will stay with all students until they have met their parent/adult.
Class Offerings & Age Requirements
Classes in the Foundations program are grouped into age-specific levels for two to seven year olds. These classes meet once a week for 45 minutes or an hour depending on level. Students are initially placed in a Foundations class based on their birthdate (see below); however, program flexibility allows for movement to other levels by the discretion of the Foundations staff. This individualized approach takes into consideration the student’s ability as well as their age.
Grown-up & Me (2-4 year olds): The Grown-up & Me class is for our tinniest of dancers. 2 to 4 year olds are accompanied by an adult in this class – a great way to bond with your child and to get them socialized at a younger age. *Children must be 2 on or before September 1, 2018.
Level II (3-5 year olds) – This class focuses on learning how to interact in a classroom, building strength, increasing flexibility, and learning basic coordination. *Children must be at least 3 on or before September 1, 2018.
Level II (5-7 year olds) – The Level II classes focuses on foundational elements that will be important in a technique class. It reinforces all of the skills learned in the younger level and challenges them with changes of direction and level. It continues to build on basic skills such as strength, flexibility, coordination, and classroom etiquette. *Children must be at least 5 on or before September 1, 2018.