Tap dance is an art form that has been around since the seventeenth century but did not emerge as a well-known form of dance until the nineteenth century. In the United States, the dance emerged as an combination of different ethnic dances, such as Irish jigs, African American Juba dance, Scottish step dancing, and English clog dancing. Originally, early tap shoes had pennies or nails attached to them to make the signature tapping sound. Tap dancing became a signature of traveling minstrel shows post-Civil War, and by the twentieth century, was a prominent staple in Vaudeville acts. In the 1930s, tap dancers would gather at the Hoofer’s Club in Harlem, practicing steps and competing in dance competitions. Though tap dance declined in popularity by the 1950s, it influenced a new style of movement known as jazz dance. At Pamelot dancers will learn basic tap steps that develop skills in rhythm and syncopation. Tap is performed to almost any style music but originated with Jazz music. Dancers will learn basic musical beats and advance to counter rhythms and syncopations.
Jazz funk dance is a super-set of the Jazz form of dancing that is influenced by the Hip Hop dance style. Much like the Hip Hop, Jazz Funk has been often fast-paced pointed gestures and quick movements. Most of the performances you will see will be emphasizing on feminism and intricate movements.
Ballet—rooted in the Italian word “ballare” which means “to dance”—is an elegant but very physically strenuous style of dance. Ballet dance is a traditional art form that originated over 500 years ago in Italy. Though ballet dancers are trained to appear gentle and graceful in their movements, ballet technique requires a tremendous amount of strength, balance, technical skill, and flexibility. Dance moves like arabesques, pliés, and pirouettes are part of the basic movement vocabulary of ballet. A Ballet class teaches Ballet technique and vocabulary. Dancers will learn professional and proper body alignment and flexibility. The dancer will learn the principals of turn out, and balance. The class will include barre and center exercises.
Jazz dance is a social dance style that emerged at the turn of the 20th century when African American dancers began blending traditional African steps with European styles of movement.
Though Jazz dance was born through intimate religious and social gatherings, it has always had a performative feel. The African dances that built the foundation of Jazz were explosive, grounded, sensuous, and rhythmic. In the recent development of Jazz dance, Ballet technique integrated into the teachings. Now, Jazz class moves to popular styles of music. Dancers will learn coordination steps, turns, leaps and kicks. The class begins with a center warm up and then move on to ‘corner to corner’ technique. The class will finish with combinations of choreography that encourages self-interpretation and expression.
Musical theatre dancing is less of a particular style, and more of a description of dancing that is rooted in the diverse history of Broadway musicals. Relying heavily on a knowledge of ballet, tap, and jazz, musical theater dancers are, first and foremost, actors and place a high focus on musical interpretation. In this class, dancers will play theater and acting games to help them develop performance skills and listening skills. There will be a warm up and then some choreography that will include gesture/interpretive type movement plus coordination steps.
Hip Hop Dance is a style of movement characterized by bounces and rocks, executed to Hip Hop music. It has deep historical and social roots in African American culture, having emerged in Black communities living in 1970s New York. Learn choreography and street style techniques in this energetic class.
Contemporary dance is a style of interpretive dance that embraces innovation, blending techniques from various genres, including classical ballet, jazz, modern dance, hip hop, and lyrical dance, This genre of dance, isn’t restricted by the rules that govern traditional dance forms. Instead, it relies on improvisation and versatility and is characterized by freedom of movement and fluidity, letting dancers explore the mind-body connection and ideally evoking emotion in the audience. This is a choreography based class that requires a high level of technique and a huge love of music. The choreography taught in this class is often a direct interpretation the music. As an emotionally charged class, the music consists of many genres including pop, rock and hip hop.