Children’s Dance Classes
Read more about Children's Dance
“Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery.” -Martha Graham.
Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts offers technique and performance classes as part of a dance curriculum that allows students to discover and explore new ways to move and communicate with the world around them. While the classes are an energetic and fun outlet for self-expression, dance is also an important tool in the development and growth of students. Skills and technique play a primary role in this course, as students sharpen their abilities, working toward their personal best. Instead of competition, a final group performance is the goal of each class.
We believe that dance is important in the lives of people of all ages. Dance experience for children, however, is most important for many reasons; reduce obesity, a fun source of exercise, a creative outlet, and teaching children about healthy lifestyles. There is clinical evidence that children who participate actively in performing arts spend less time sitting in front of a computer screen playing games and therefore are at less of a risk of developing health problems. Children who spend more than two hours on screen related pastimes are at a high risk of developing health issues, such as obesity. Physical benefits of taking dance classes can also include developing a greater range of movement while developing the ability to work in a different space. They also learn to interpret the effect their movement has on the world around them. Dancing can improve a child’s coordination. Good coordination is important during those stages in life when they are learning to ride a bike and learning to multitask successfully. Dance develops strength and endurance, kinesthetic memory, and develops a child’s platform for physical development and level of fitness.
Most beginner dance classes at the McKinney Center are offered in a group setting where students feel comfortable learning together. No experience is necessary. Classes are based on learning techniques and skills but teamwork is encouraged as well as maintaining positivity.
Under the director of our faculty students will gain a full value of an education in dance. In addition to the fulfillment that comes with dance students also acquire other important skills. In a study parents with children aged 5-7 years it was found that, on average, 82% of parents felt that their child’s confidence levels improved as a result of attending dance classes. In another study, parents were asked why they decided to enroll their child in a dance class. The second most popular response was, “That it would build my child’s confidence.” Other responses included, “improved communication skills,” and “made friends.” These things can be achieved when studying performance art and can make a positive impact on the arts and the positive impact the arts has on a child’s interpersonal development.
Currently, the McKinney Center offers different levels of Hip Hop dance taught by Kevin Glasper. While we are working to grow our dance offerings Kevin Glasper works to create enthusiasm and motivation in his students. It is important to Kevin that his classroom environment be comfortable and that students stay positive even when progress is not as quick as the students may expect.
How can you help as a parent? Show an interest in what your child is learning. Provide space for them to practice. Give your child praise and encouragement and help them schedule a time for practice, 15 – 30 minutes a day should help them retain what they have learned in their class. Teach them to be on time for class and rehearsals. You can even record their practice sessions to watch back or to email to family members. Be sure to encourage them and provide positive feedback at home!
At the end of each semester students will have the opportunity to perform tougher or solo at a student celebration usually held the first Thursday in December for Fall classes or the second Thursday in May for the spring classes.
Class schedules and fees vary each semester. Please review the most current class catalog for specific detail and always feel free to call the McKinney Center to discuss what class is best suited for your child.
Ballet Level 1
This class will introduce the classical dance of Ballet which focuses on one’s physical alignment and lines of the body to show a dancer as powerful as well as graceful. Ballet level 1 is perfect for beginner dancers to learn the classical techniques.
In this class, students will explore different jazz techniques ranging from contemporary pop jazz to Fosse. A typical class will be spent warming up, going across the floor, working on technique, and learning choreography. All skill levels welcome. Students should bring jazz shoes or soft tennis shoes to dance in. They should also wear comfortable, flexible, and fitted clothing that allows them to move freely.
NEW! Kid’s Tap In this children’s dance course, students will begin with steps and shuffles and eventually build towards time steps and fun combinations. Students will focus on learning about the tap shoe as well as learning the basics of tap dance. As the class progresses, they will work center floor and learn basic choreography. Students will need to bring tap shoes to class. They should wear clothing that is comfortable, fitted, and flexible that allows them to move freely. All skill levels welcome!
Hip Hop Level I – Mighty M.C.’s
Hip Hop is a street style or urban style of dance that focuses on self-expression and movement that involves the whole body. Students will have fun while focusing on techniques of gliding, popping, breaking and whacking. Hip Hop is perfect for the beginning or advanced student who has the desire to participate in a less structured dance form which does not require knowledge or training in classical technique. Classes are not open to observation by parents or any other person who is not a part of the McKinney Center staff. Students will receive a free T-shirt for their final performance.
Hip Hop Level II
Hip Hop is an eclectic street style or urban style of dance that is performed in running shoes to current upbeat tempos. The dynamic moves taught in this class are fast, stylish, and funky. This class is appropriate for high energy students that are driven by a beat. Students will work on choreography, strength, flexibility, and musicality through intricate fun and faced past choreography. Students will receive a free T-shirt for their final performance.
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ABOUT THE MCKINNEY CENTER
The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School is a multi-use facility providing arts education through Jonesborough's Mary B. Martin Program.