Primary Level: Walking – Age 5
Class Selections by age for dancers who are walking – age 5. Movement and concepts will be age appropriate, even for students of this age who have previous experience. Our curriculum builds on the basics and proper technique at the youngest ages. Variety each year in songs, dance combinations and recital routines keeps it fun while we focus on repetition of movement and skills which is key to progression. Our youngest students are introduced to French terminology, basic ballet, movement/place concepts, tap, jazz and hip hop dance starting at Discover Dance 1. Discover Dance Mix classes allow the dancers to learn core dance disciplines (ballet/tap/jazz/hip hop) within a 45 min class.
Discover With Me! (walking – Age 3 with Adult): Explore the joy of movement with your little one and discover the many benefits of early childhood dance classes. We will dance, sing and play in both one-on-one activities and group activities. Through circle songs, open exploration and gross motor development exercises, children will blossom with each passing class as they grow with their caregiver during this precious time together.
DiscoverTOTS (Ages 2-3): Watch your child’s independence and confidence soar, as our DiscoverTOTS explore and discover the benefits of a more structured dance class. Following directions, waiting for our turn and collectively problem solving will encourage emotional and social development. Live singing, musical play and sensory props will have these little ones moving and grooving with their friends and eager to return to class each week.
DiscoverDance 1 (Ages 3-4): Discover the magic of imaginative play with live singing, structured explorations and skill development. Our DiscoverDance 1 classes offer an outlet for creative expression, physical growth and social interaction. Children will explore the essence of movement that will lead to the discovery of multiple styles of dance.
Discover Dance 2 (Ages 4-5): As a continuation of our DiscoverDance 1 classes, our DiscoverDance 2 dancers continue the exploration of concepts with more emphasis on physical growth, flexibility and coordination. Short choreographic combinations assist in memory development as structured explorations continue to encourage more advanced problem solving and social interaction with their dance friends.
Primary Tumbling is offered for students ages 3-5 who are also enrolled in a weekly Discover Dance 1 or 2 class. Basic acro/tumbling skills are introduced such as: X’s & O’x, forward rolls, pike position, straddle position, tuck position, baby bridges, bridges, tripods, splits, rollie pollies, crabwalk, assisted cartwheels.
Pre-Level 1: Kindergarten Dancers Ages 5-6
Beginner dancers ages 5+ and/or who have completed all primary (Discover Dance) levels at LOVV. Pre-Level 1 curriculum is a continuation of our primary classes with all the elements of fun but introducing more class structure and brand new material that dancers of this age are better equipped to execute because of their maturity and body awareness.
Ballet: A dancer’s first experience in Classical Ballet. Standing at the barre for balance is introduced with simple skills or combinations of skills. Playful ballet activities are used during class to teach the next level of basics, building upon what was started in Discover Dance. Positions (1st & 2nd) Proper technique in plies, tendus, degajes. Jumps in 1st and 2nd, eschappe, bourree, chasse, chaine turns introduced.
Jazz/Tap: Mix discipline classes offered at Pre-Level 1. Basic technique in jazz introduced: jazz walks/runs, battements, chaine turns, grande jetes. Tap: All single and double sound repetitions (more advanced/faster than Discover Dance levels) including shuffles, flaps, combination of sounds (ex: flap heel, shuffle ball change).
*Tumbling: Consists of learning basic acrobatic skills that involve the use of body for counterbalance while gaining strength and flexibility. Some strength skills are learned while using the wall for assistance.
Typical skills include (but are not limited to): Rolls forward, X’s & O’x, pike position, straddle position, tuck position, baby bridges, bridges, tripods, splits, rollie pollies, crabwalk, bridge & walk, beginning cartwheels.
Level 1: Beginner Dancers Ages 6+
Beginner dancers ages 5+ and/or who have completed all primary level classes at LOVV. Level 1 curriculum continues with a focus on proper posture, body alignment and simple coordination while learning technique for new and beginner dancers.
Ballet: Age appropriate basic studies of classical ballet starting at the ballet barre and working through exercises in center. Continued repetition of skills from Pre-Level 1 such as positions (1st & 2nd) and also including positions 3rd and 4th. More advanced technique cues for plies, tendus, degajes using external rotation and parallel alignment. Jumps in 1st and 2nd, eschappe, bourree, chasse, chaine turns, ¼ and ½ pirouettes introduced. Arabesque lines (1st, 2nd & 3rd) and pique arabesque in center are also introduced.
Jazz/Tap: Mix discipline classes offered at Level 1. Continued technique in jazz for: jazz walks/runs, battements, chaine turns, grande jetes. Level 1 adds progressions across the floor and pirouette prep. Tap: Continued work on all single and double sound repetitions including: shuffles, flaps, combination of sounds (ex. flap heel, shuffle ball change), buffalos, running flaps, cramp roll, 3 and 4 count riff walks. Single time step introduced.
*Tumbling: Continued basic acrobatic skills that involve the use of body for counterbalance while gaining strength and flexibility. Some strength skills are learned while using the wall for assistance.
Typical skills include (but are not limited to): Rolls forward and backward, bridges, complex bridge balances, inside-outs, tripods, headstands, handstands (against wall), splits, rollie pollies, crabwalk, bridge & walk, cartwheels.
Level 2: Low Intermediate Ages 8+
Low Intermediate dancers ages 8+ and/or who have completed Level 1 at LOVV. Curriculum advances into maintaining proper posture, body alignment and confidently dancing with simple coordination and age/maturity appropriate technique goals.
Ballet: Level 1 + Positions (5th introduced) Proper technique in rond de jambe, develop at 45 degrees, Single pirouettes and petite allegro in the centre. Building strength to maintain proper turnout and use of core strength for all movement.
Lyrical/Jazz: Level 1+ Knowledge of/working towards proper body alignment, core stability for control, lengthened lines, strong arm placement (jazz lines 2nd and 4th). Single/Double Pirouettes, Battments above 90 degrees, leaps (right/left and center jetes), leg extensions (devant/a la second/pitch/tilt), double chaine turns with preps from 2nd and 4th, more complex progressions and leg hold turns introduced.
Tap: Level 1+ Double/Triple time steps, Double buffalos, drawbacks, broadway/shirley temple, back essence, bombershay, alternating cramp rolls, Maxie Ford, double paradiddles and paradiddle combinations. Wings and pull backs and Irish introduced.
*Acrobatic / Tumbling: Level 2 students must be able to complete all Level 1 stunts. Level 2 structures itself on Advanced Beginning Acrobatic Skills that also involve the use of body for counterbalance while gaining strength and flexibility and include the introduction to running tumbling skills. Level 2 also includes the introduction to the opposite side tricks. Tumbling on both sides ensures balanced strength and agility in the body.
Skills learned at this level include (but are not limited to): One hand cartwheels, marching and various bridges, backbend and recover, standing round-offs, run around the head, various headstand balances, front and back fish, front overs, back walkovers, running cartwheels.
Level 3: Intermediate Dancers Ages 10+
Intermediate dancers ages 10+ and/or who have completed Level 2 at LOVV. Curriculum focuses on requiring proper posture, body alignment and more complex coordination while refining technique.
Ballet: Level 1, 2+ Students are able to maintain strong posture and turnout with one hand at the barre. Epaulement coordination of movement with head and arms. Exercises are executed at a slow pace in a methodical manner. Single and Double Pirouettes, Petite allegro jumps with beats are introduced. Adagio with develop in centre. Extensions are maintained at 90 degrees.
Lyrical/Jazz: Level 1, 2+ Working towards full height battments, extensions and leaps (right/left/center). Float leaps, chaine jete introduced. Double Pirouettes required.
Tap: Level 1, 2+ maxie ford turn, 5 and 7 count riff walks. Pull backs/grab offs, wings and double Irish required.
*Acrobatic / Tumbling: Level 1 and 2 skills must be accomplished to proceed into Level 3. Level 3 focuses on Intermediate Acrobatic and Tumbling Skills using both the left and right sides of the body while introducing running tricks on the student’s strong side. Level 3+ introduces power tumbling.
Skills on the list for Level 3 include (but are not limited to): Various hand and head balances with wall support, various head balances (free of wall support), one-handed backbends, front and back limbers, front walkovers, cartwheel flips, handstand forward roll, back fish from handstand, turning cartwheels, back valdez, cartwheel flip, running cartwheels and roundoffs, preparation for headspring and nip-ups, tricks in succession, all basic tricks on both the right and left side, various partner skills, right – left – center splits.
Level 4: High Intermediate/Advanced Dancers Ages 12+
High Intermediate/Advanced dancers ages 12+ and/or who have completed Level 3 at LOVV. Curriculum challenges students to take individual responsibility for proper posture, body alignment and advanced/mature coordination, knowledge of and executing technique with precision and artistry.
Ballet: Level 1, 2, 3+ More complex coordination, maintaining proper technique with strong posture, turnout, correct placement, central line of balance, dynamic eye-line and comprehension of musicality in centre work. Triple Pirouettes and Fouettes introduced. Extensions required above 90 degrees. Some students at this level will be approved for work en pointe.
Lyrical/Jazz: Level 1, 2, 3+ Full height battments, extensions and leaps (right/left/center), Right/Left/Center Splits and triple pirouettes required. Fouettes/a la second turns, capezios and turning discs introduced.
Tap: Level 1, 2, 3+ more complex combinations with clarity of sounds, traveling time step, toe stands, scuffle. Super shuffle, shiggidy bop, switching/separated/staggered and alternating wings introduced.
*Acrobatic / Tumbling: Level 4 students must be able to accomplish all tricks outlined in Levels 1-3. Level 4 is for the strong, Intermediate/Advanced Acro-Tumbler and continues to work on power tumbling.
Skills for Level 4 include (but are not limited to): Various balancing strength exercises (with and without support), handstand walks, elbow stands, back extensions, Arabian front and back limbers, scissor front and back walkovers, front limber with half twist, front and back walkovers with leg elevated, various revolving splits, handsprings, mule kicks, introduction to back handspring, various partner skills, right – left – center splits.
Level 5: Advanced Dancers Ages 14+
Advanced dancers ages 14+ and/or who have completed Level 4 at LOVV. Curriculum works at an advanced level of body awareness, quality of movement, setting new standards with artistry while maintaining proper posture, body alignment and defined technique.
Ballet: Advanced technique. Triple/Quad pirouettes and fouettes required. Extensions are maintained at full height. More complex Grande Allegro jumps are introduced. Partnering is introduced. All students at level 5 have been approved for work en pointe.
Lyrical/Jazz: 1, 2, 3, 4+ Triple/Quad Pirouettes and solid fouette/a la second turn sets required. Capezio and turning discs at full height.
Tap: Levels 1, 2, 3, 4+ Knowledge and clean clarity of sounds for all advanced combinations of sounds and complex choreography.
Acrobatic / Tumbling: Level 5 students must be able to accomplish all tricks outlined in Levels 1-4. Level 5 is for the strong and technical Advanced Acro-Tumbler and includes power tumbling and aerials.
Skills for Level 5 include (but are not limited to): Handstand walks, various balancing skills, complex basic skills, back walkover drop split, tinsicas forward and back, spotters, kip-ups, consecutive power tricks, diving walkovers, side – front – back – standing aerials, complex basic skills, back handsprings.
* Tumbling and Acrobatic levels are not denoted by age but rather by accomplishments. The importance of technique, strength, and agility when learning skills should never be minimized. Acrobatics focuses on movements that require counterbalance, which is often associated with curved lines and arched back positions. Tumbling occurs when off-balance actions are associated with straight lines and with minimal back arch. In tumbling, movements wherein “hand support” is withdrawn before “foot support” is maintained. Ambidexterity is important in tumbling/acrobatic skills because it assists in muscular balance while keeping the spinal column straight and the hip/shoulder girdles square, all while improving students’ dexterity in executable skills.