The Charter Arts dance technique curriculum is designed to educate and accommodate students of all levels, whether it is in the basic elements of training or at the pre-professional level.

Students will learn discipline, physical control, class etiquette, properly executed alignment and technique through rigorous daily classes. In addition, students will be able to identify, write, perform and understand dance vocabulary.

As students’ dance abilities mature, they will demonstrate increased individual artistic expression through musicality and quality of movement. Focus will be on the refinement and mastery of classical and contemporary techniques.

Ballet I-IV

(900, 901, 902, 1105)

A variety of leveled classical ballet technique is taught, from fundamentals to advanced.

Freshman Seminar


This course involves lecture, discussion, and movement, builds confidence and provides students with the best tools for succeeding in the Charter Arts Dance Department as well as anywhere they may choose to dance in the future. The information and skills learned will strengthen the student’s ability to perform and provide a general understanding of all Charter Arts Dance Department technique classes, including proper etiquette and rules for how to behave in class, rehearsal, and performance. Students will thoroughly explore how to achieve anatomically correct body alignment, work toward becoming intelligent, strong, flexible, clean and articulate movers, speakers, and students, as well as learning to analyze the emotional, mental, and physical effects of pushing themselves to new levels in a dance environment.

Modern Dance

(903, 904, 905)

Modern Dance is not a leveled course. Students are assigned a different faculty member each year to ensure experiences in a variety of techniques and styles.

Jazz Technique


Students will study the overall concepts and techniques fundamental to jazz dance with an emphasis on developing movement capabilities and increasing personal expression. Through movement exercises students will explore various jazz dance styles and briefly examine their cultural and historical influences.



This course provides the dancer with additional work in the areas of flexibility and strength. Aerobics, Pilates, yoga and weight training will be incorporated into a program that will take into consideration the distinct, individual needs of the student. Because the dancer’s body is a finely tuned instrument, effort must be made to work on imbalances and weaknesses that surface during daily work. Injury prevention is a key focus of conditioning and cross-training.



This class focuses on pointe work as an extension of classical ballet training and also as a technique in its own right, utilizing the same vocabulary and practice of alignment and turnout, but demanding an even greater awareness of anatomy, kinesiology, core strength, effort and musicality. Additional work on the specific nuances of épaulement, port de bras, phrasing and expressive footwork will create the image of the pointe shoe being an integral part of the leg and foot.

Dance History

(906, 907, 908)

Through reading, writing, class lectures and discussions, dance videos and movement workshops, students will explore the significance and role of dance throughout history, broadening their understanding of the different approaches to dance by discovering how dance influences and is reflective of diverse human experiences.

Freshman Dance History


An introductory course in the history of dance. Students will prepare for further studies in dance history over the next four years at Charter Arts. Focus will be on dance in ancient and prehistoric times.

Sophomore Dance History


Study of modern dance icons, their disciples, and the artistic and historic events taking place during the first half of the 20th century.

Junior Dance History


Study of ballet history from the 15th century to the early 20th century, including specific dancers, choreographers, and produces who attracted interest or caused great change.

Senior Seminar


Senior Seminar explores dance in the world today and also reviews the major works, figures, and trends responsible for shaping dance as an evolving contemporary art form. Students will study their own creative process as well as the creative process and contributions made by significant dance artists to the development of contemporary dance. An emphasis will also be placed on college preparation, nutrition and the development of skills and materials necessary to pursue dance as a career.

Junior Composition


In this class students will explore the basic act of creating dance by using tools and exercises which aid in the development of an individual creative process. Students will utilize each other as critic, performer and director during all exercises. These exercises will focus on the use of space and general stage direction, timing and musical selection, emotion and how it can physically change or assist in the creation of new movement styles. At the conclusion of the class, students will have created many variations of solos, duets, and group work, based on their introduction to choreographic devices, composition structures, and other influences.

Senior Composition


Students will explore a number of valuable tools that function in the task of converting ideas and movement into complete cohesive dances. By the end of the course, students will have conceived of, titled, created, and set a piece of their own that will be performed in concert. They will explore where movement for dance comes from, what is an appropriate theme for a dance, how to consider the space in which a dance will be performed, how movement can emotionally – and in turn physically – support a theme, and the many ways a concept of movement can be manipulated to be most effective in communicating the choreographers intention. In addition, students will begin to hone their analytical skills and work with one another through verbal critical response. Young Choreographers In Concert is the culminating graded event of this course.


(910, 911)

Students will explore and develop their individual movement potential through dance improvisation and experimentation. Focus will be on experiencing new kinds of movement, deepening an awareness of self, and expanding energetic and dynamic capabilities in their dancing. Demonstration of improvisation skills and creative development will be assessed in the weekly movement experiences and occasional reading and writing assignments.

Rehearsal/Performance Class


Students will be educated and involved, in numerous ways, in the creative process of making a dance, casting through performance, producing a dance concert, and participating as a performer. Charter Arts’ spring dance concert is the culminating graded event of this course.