The Asheville Academy of Ballet and Contemporary Dance welcomes new and returning students (ages 3 to senior adult) to our Fall/Spring classes (beginning Tuesday, September 5). We provide excellent training for both pre-professional and recreational dancers in a variety of disciplines, including Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Pointe, Improvisation, and Pilates, and we encourage students of all ages to begin their exploration of dance or to further their technical training with our wonderful faculty. Take a look at our Fall class schedule, fill out this form to enroll, or and contact us if you have any questions about classes and placement.
Pilates and Conditioning
Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by the Greek German-born Joseph Pilates. It is especially practiced in the United States (where Pilates lived, developed and taught his method) and the United Kingdom (where he lived and taught the early stages of his method). This physical practice focuses on concentration, control, centering, flow and efficiency of movement, core strength, precision, and breathing, and is a current main staple of any dancer's training. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.
Ballet and Pointe Work
Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology. The Asheville Academy of Ballet and Contemporary Dance offers classes in Creative Ballet for 3-4 year olds, 5-6 year olds, and levels of Ballet I - III for 7 year olds through adults. Creative Ballet will incorporate the basics of ballet terminology, body coordination, and musicality. Ballet I - III classes begin with ballet barre exercises focused on strengthening, stretching, and properly aligning the body for center exercises. Students ages 11 and up may begin Pointe as a part of their classical study with permission and supervision of the faculty.
In the early 20th century, dance artists such as Isadora Duncan, Maud Allen, and Loie Fuller paved the way for aesthetic dance or free dance in a theatrical concert dance setting. Later throughout the 20th century, artists such as Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Lester Horton, Jose Limon, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor among others carried the tradition of what we now know as "modern dance" into the forefront of concert dance, each developing their unique perspective on movement, kinesiology, and musicality. The faculty members of the Asheville Academy of Ballet and Contemporary Dance offer training that incorporates this wide-range of perspective in modern dance, in beginning, advanced, and adult levels.
Jazz and Broadway Dance
Jazz dance is a classification shared by a broad range of dance styles. Before the 1950s, jazz dance referred to dance styles that originated from African American vernacular dance. Jazz dance was an integral part of jazz until the end of the swing era in the late 1940s. In the 1950s, a new genre of modern jazz dance emerged and combined with balletic and modern styles found its way onto the concert dance stage as well as the Broadway musical dance stage. Jazz dance promotes focus, conditioning, alignment, strength, and cardiovascular health for the well-rounded dancer.
Variations and Partnering
In ballet, a variation (sometimes called a pas de seul) is a solo dance. At the Asheville Ballet, we offer classes in instructing well-known classical and contemporary variations, both for the experienced pointe dancer, and for demi-pointe as well. A pas de deux (a dance of two), is a dance duet in which two dancers, typically male and female, perform ballet steps together. Concepts of weight sharing, center alignment, and partnered musicality are explored in this class.
Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by using 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. Broadway tap is widely performed in musical theater. Rhythm tap focuses on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the Jazz tradition. At Asheville Academy of Ballet, we utilize our knowledge of ballet and jazz dance techniques, the musicality, and technical precision of the rhythm tap tradition, and Broadway tap dance terminology in our classes.
Contemporary Dance is a post-modern theatrical dance form that builds on, but breaks free from, the traditions of Modern Dance and Classical Ballet. Instructors, choreographers, and students can explore individual interests in movement expression and communication.
Hip Hop dance began in the Bronx, NYC in the 1970s as an inevitable accompaniment to the beats of Rap music, and has evolved into a theatrical art form incorporating an inner-city vibe with body isolations, attitude, funk, and above all strength, flexibility, and rhythm.