Dance Program Description
Sole City Dance offers a class schedule and leveling system which allows students to self-design their program according to their interests, goals, time commitment and skill level. While faculty permission is required to participate in all upper level classes, there are no requirements for number or type of classes per week that a dancer must take with one exception for pointe. Here are the basics:
Youth and Teen classes are leveled 1 through 7. Moving through the levels is not automatic. It is not uncommon for dancers to stay in a level for up to three years.
For classically-based dance styles (ballet, modern, jazz), we recommend studying multiple times per week by Level 3 with at least one of the classes being ballet. Please be aware that it is difficult to move beyond level 3 with only once per week training.
Upper level jazz and ballet classes are offered multiple times per week and we suggest dancers attend all classes at a given level but it is not required.
Dancers studying pointe are required to take at least 2 ballet and all pointe classes offered at their level.
Dancers MUST be able to keep up with the level of technique demanded by a class or, for their own safety and out of respect for the other dancers, they will be asked to study at a lower level. A dancer may be asked to move at any time based on attendance, skill level or work ethic.
Before the start of the academic year dance season, SCD faculty will recommend placements for dancers in Level 2 and up. Adjustments may be made by faculty at the start of classes in September if a dancer has gained or lost skill over the summer. Student levels may be adjusted at any time the faculty feels is appropriate.
Dancers who wish to audition for The Nutcracker or the Solstice Youth Dance Company must be enrolled in and have good attendance in at least one ballet class per week.
Things to keep in mind:
Dancers are unique individuals who bring different natural abilities, learning styles and levels of commitment to the dance education process. Some people learn a skill quickly, others need more repetition. Some are naturally strong or flexible and others must work extensively to achieve both. Some excel at one style of dance while others excel at a different one. Some dancers are highly focused and committed to intensive study while others choose dance as a light-hearted, recreational activity.
Please understand that the faculty are continuously (every class!) evaluating each dancer. The corrections and compliments they are given are the feedback about how they are doing on a certain skill. Dancers must take responsibility for remembering and applying this feedback; we suggest everyone keep a dance journal and write down corrections and compliments after class.
Learning in a dance class also involves listening to other dancers’ corrections and compliments and checking in with oneself to see if the information may apply to you. Observing other dancers in an open-minded, nonjudgmental way can help a dancer better understand their own skills and goals.
Because everyone is different, please make an effort not to compare your progress to others’. Our recommendation: align your class choices with your dance goals, work hard every day, don’t miss class, and be inspired by those dancers you admire.
Trust the faculty. SCD faculty are experienced dance educators who care deeply about all students’ progress. The faculty works together as a group to place students in groups where we believe they will best be challenged, inspired and successful.
If you have questions about your classes or your placement, please bring speak to the executive director, Christine Hounsell, who will collect information from the faculty and bring it back to you or arrange an in-person conversation. Remember that faculty are continuously observing dancers in class and will approach you with any concerns or suggestions when they arise.