Written by Meghan Owen, School Director
At this time of year, parents often ask if their child is ready for more than one dance class a week, and the answer is almost always a resounding YES! At Chara, we want to encourage our dancers to have versatility in their dance classes for a number of reasons.
In our experience, students who participate in more than one style of dance develop a greater passion for dance, a stronger sense of community at the studio, and more pathways to make progress. Studying multiple styles allows our students to expand their knowledge and develop complementary skills, which positively affect their minds and their bodies. Plus, it’s an awesome opportunity to make even more new friends and experience the joy of dance!
Benefits of the many styles of dance offered here at the studio
- Ballet – Classical ballet is widely regarded as the foundation for all styles of dance. With a mix of technique, tradition, discipline, and grace, our approach to ballet helps build each student’s overall terminology and movement vocabulary, ensuring they feel confident with ANY style.
- Tap – With its emphasis on musicality, tap’s advantages are limitless! Tap is a lot like drumming with your feet, meaning it’s beneficial for a student’s understanding of rhythms and syncopation AND for training their ears in music. The physicality of tap is also uniquely beneficial, since it requires the development of more intricate foot and ankle movements.
- Jazz – Expression is at the heart of jazz, allowing each student to “come out of their shell” and convey different emotions and characters. Styles in jazz can range from Broadway to Latin to lyrical and more! For students who enjoy expressing themselves, or who may need encouragement to do so, jazz can open the door to a big self-esteem boost.
- Hip Hop – Hip Hop’s roots are in street dance and quickfire music, making it one of the most high-energy styles of dance! Students in hip hop benefit from more aerobic-style dancing, as well as the exploration of full-body movements and freestyling. Hip Hop is what we consider a more “grounded” dance style, meaning it’s also advantageous for a student’s strength-building.
- Tumbling – With acrobatic skills as the focus, tumbling is an awesome class for a student to increase their flexibility and build strong muscles. Many of our dancers find that the body conditioning exercises they do in tumbling allow them to progress even more quickly in their dance technique classes!
- Contemporary – Several styles blend to create what we call “contemporary” movement: ballet, jazz, and modern are all influences. For the student with dance experience, contemporary allows them the chance to discover how to be off-balance, flow from one step to another, utilize floorwork, and bring a vision to life.
Although every style is special (and we love them all) the best part about each one is how it relates to the others. The building blocks they link together are invaluable! We encourage you to talk with your child about which other styles may complement their interests and give them even more opportunities for joy and success at dance.