Class Descriptions

Here you will find descriptions of the classes offered as part of Dance Summer School 2016. Descriptions for 2017 will be published when booking opens in February 2017.

Ballet Beginners

The Beginner's Ballet class is for those with little or no previous experience in ballet to establish a basic classical technique, build confidence and explore travelling dynamically through space. The class will include barre warm up and adage leading to short movement phrases, turns, jumps and travelling. Classes will focus on developing body alignment, technical accuracy along with movement dynamics, and flow.

Ballet Intermediate

The Intermediate Ballet classes are suitable for students with a minimum of one to two years of ballet training. This class will establish more technical barre and adage work leading to longer movement phrases, turns jump sequences and travelling.

Ballet Advanced

The Advanced Ballet classes are suitable for students who are in, or have completed, vocational dance training. These classes will be more complex and challenging. This class will establish more technical barre and adage work leading to longer dynamic movement phrases, turns, jump sequences and travelling with a focus on performance qualities.   

Ballet Barre à Terre

Barre à Terre is a special technique on the floor. Based on the principles of classical ballet, Barre à Terre is a system designed to work for bodies of all ages, athletes, dancers and the general public.

The exercises will be carried out laying on the back, stomach, and also on the side. Kim teaches Boris Kniaseff based technique with influence of ballet moves. In this Barre à Terre, the exercises are almost in the same order as a normal ballet class. The technique gives you coordination with arms and legs. The technique will strengthen your core to re-establish the lower and the upper part of the body. Barre à Terre technique not only sculpts and refines the body, but is an holistic approach to centre the mind and body.

Company Wayne McGregor Class

A Company Wayne McGregor dancer will lead a fast-paced and challenging contemporary technique class reflecting the idiosyncratic and dynamic movement style of Wayne McGregor.

Company Wayne McGregor Repertoire and Creative

A Company Wayne McGregor dancer will teach repertoire from recent company works Atomos and FAR. Taught phrases will then be developed through the use of creative tasks and choreographic tools that reflect the methods used by McGregor in the studio.

Contemporary Beginners (Release)  

Aimed at those with little or no contemporary dance experience, classes work towards building dance-specific strength, flexibility and co-ordination. In a supportive environment participants will be encouraged to find a free and full-bodied approach to moving. The class will explore a range of basic technical principles such as connectivity, using breath to release tension, and finding efficiency whilst moving into and out of the floor. There will be a progression towards expansive travelling phrases focusing on movement quality, musicality and performance. Overall, these classes are inclusive and energetic with a focus on fun and the enjoyment of moving together.

Contemporary Advanced (Release)  

This will be an energised and dynamic contemporary dance class, focusing on expansive movement sequences which encourage a sense of weight, flow and complete dynamic range. The class will work with a strong emphasis on the grounding and shifting of weight and the idea of maintaining clarity, authenticity and efficiency whilst moving.

Contemporary (Cunningham)

All class levels will focus on finding a healthy body alignment leading onto a more fluid centre practise. The sessions will combine rhythmical shifts in space with empathy for musicality and dynamics.

Contemporary Intermediate and Advanced (Graham)

This Graham-based class will work through the dynamics of the spiral, the oppositions in movements and in space, the use of the centre of the body through the contraction and release, and the shift of weight. Such principals, along with dramatic intentions and the importance of focus and breath, will be thoroughly experienced during the floor work which builds strength and flexibility. During the combinations across the floor, the students will be challenged by more complex sequences in which the dramatic value of the movement is as relevant as the use of the technique.

Contemporary Intermediate/Advanced - Mixed Teachers

The Mixed Teachers Contemporary classes give participants the opportunity to experience a range of styles and techniques offered by an assortment of teachers across the fortnight. The course is taught by highly acclaimed dance teachers who are either members of the Laban Faculty or professional dance companies. The classes will be challenging and dynamic, suitable for students with sound technique or for those that have completed or are completing professional training. 

Jazz General Level

The class will start with an energetic warm up that will challenge coordination, stamina and dance quality by incorporating movements of swing, isolation, cardio and stretch. The class will then develop technique by using jazz port de bras and corner work exercises. To finish the class, we will build up a mini repertoire of Musical Theatre works to include Fosse work and Classic and Contemporary book Musicals.

Choreography General Level (18+years)

Suitable for students over 18 years of age, classes focus on improvisation and creative exploration, leading toward choreographic making. Classes encompass improvisatory games and visualisations, contact work as well as work with text as stimulus for choreographic thinking. Classes then move on to explore specific choreographic tasks working alone, with partners or in small groups creating short studies. Drawing on Yael’s recent productions and her choreographic methodology, the aim is to give participants ‘hands on’ choreographic tools to support their practice and understanding as choreographers and performers. 

Classes also offer opportunities for reflection, through discussion and feedback, considering they ways in which a choreographic idea leads to the development of a specific choreographic language, aesthetic and structure. Classes are playful and varied covering a wide range of approaches and are therefore suitable for all, serving as a useful introduction to improvisation and choreography or as an opportunity to challenge existing methodologies for the more experienced practitioner.

Choreological Studies General Level (18+years)

These classes are an exceptional opportunity to explore Rudolf Laban's principles and practice for performing arts and are suitable to all interested in movement, choreography, acting, performance, and directing or teaching. Students will be introduced to the Structural Model of Human Movement containing practical tools for investigating dynamics, body, space, actions and relatedness.

Each day participants will have the opportunity to explore these in solo or group material and gain new perspectives on creating, improvising, performing, developing, observing and directing performance.

Contact Improvisation General Level  

This class aims to encourage people to attune their senses and deepen embodied awareness. The principles and skills of giving and supporting weight are communicated through both taught material and guided exploration. The class promotes enjoyment and ease of effort in movement and supports the generation of different energetic states for dancing both in and out of contact.

Feldenkrais General Level   

The Feldenkrais Method is a unique approach to movement and learning. Through gentle and innovative movement explorations, we tap the innate intelligence of the human nervous system to create higher levels of function. We learn to move with greater ease, power and efficiency and awaken our abilities to sense, think and feel. Feldenkrais works by enabling us to recognise our individual ways of doing things and discover new possibilities that serve us better.

For dancers, Feldenkrais classes are a powerful tool to help you expand and refine your skills. By improving your sensory skills, you will develop greater dexterity and find new ways to refine your technique. Enhancing your ability to perceive subtle differences aids making fine distinctions. Discovering unlimited movement possibilities feeds creativity. Through Feldenkrais, athletes and dancers find that learning to move with less effort and more efficiency increases stamina and minimises stress on muscles and joints. This can help you avoid, or recover from, injury.

Flying Low Technique

Flying Low focuses mainly on the dancer’s relationship with the floor. We will dissolve the hard floor into a lush swimming pool by transforming our bodies into water. Through individual and group movement phrases we will challenge gravity, learning how to fall, how to rise, and how to command our body as we change qualities. We will move in and out of the floor efficiently with speed without forgetting any part of our body. We will dive, roll, slide, gather and send, we will Fly Low. Ben’s class will be a fusion of the original principles of Flying Low (created by David Zambrano) and his further development of the technique.

Street Dance Forms

Session 3: H2ography Flava Grooves

These sessions will focus on Hip Hop Foundation movement. Kenrick will be breaking down the understanding of grooves and develop execution and choreographic performance.

Session 4: H2ography Commercial Edge

These sessions will focus on using Hip Hop elements in a commercial environment, incorporating discipline of choreographic lines, poses and dynamics.

Physical Theatre General Level (18+years)

The Physical Theatre (18+) course will take the form of an in-depth intensive class connecting the participants with their non-conscious physical impulses to situations as a means to create new and embodied material. Beginning with anatomical explorations of muscular and skeletal connectivity and combining these with exercises drawing on Struan’s artistic practise we will explore character development, partner work and physical theatre composition.

Pilates General Level

This matwork class is suitable for all levels of ability. Pilates is a bodywork practice taught through a unique system of exercises designed to increase physical fitness and strength through neuro-muscular awareness and the slow and gentle repetition of movements. It contains stretching and strengthening exercises that tone muscles. The technique improves posture, providing flexibility and balance. Its foundation is in the mind body connection. It is a gentle but effective form of exercise offering a holistic approach to body conditioning.

Please note: These classes are not suitable for pregnant women or for people with acute injuries or long term physical conditions that cause pain. Those people are advised not to do mat-work classes.

Teaching Dance

These classes are suitable for dancers with teaching experience, who wish to refresh and inspire their teaching practices.

Over the two weeks, classes will offer a practice-based overview of key teaching topics such as: the importance of warm up and cool down, exploring teaching aims and objectives to support class planning, formulating exercises based on practice of specific skills, feedback versus correction, and teaching and learner styles. An emphasis will be placed on dance teaching as an empowering experience for the learner. You will be encouraged to reflect on your own teaching experiences, share and explore ideas and strategies for teaching creatively.

Yoga General Level

Vinyasa Flow Yoga is a fluid and energising style of yoga, in which a range of postures are linked dynamically to the breath, designed to heat the body, build strength and develop flexibility, as well as cultivating greater mindfulness and overall well-being. Shamita enjoys being creative in her classes, playfully using her background as a dancer to choreograph imaginative sequences that move seamlessly from one posture to another, in a dance-like flow of breath and movement. She loves challenging practitioners to discover what their bodies are truly capable of, while maintaining a sense of humour and playfulness. She welcomes practitioners of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities - many postures are taught with options for modifications, encouraging students to approach the practice in a way that suits their bodies.

Youth Performance Project (16-18 years)

These workshop sessions offer an exciting opportunity to create a new dance work with other young choreographers. With a heavy emphasis on creativity and risk-taking, these workshops sessions will introduce choreographic structure and imaginative use of movement. Students will be guided through a variety of choreographic processes, generating inventive movement material along the way. Students will be encouraged to explore their own creativity and devise a work to be performed at the end of the Dance Summer School.

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