Our youngest students start off in our Toddler & Preschool classes with Creative Movement, Ballet and Tap. The minimum age is indicated on the chart above, but we may recommend spending a couple years in the same class depending on when you join us or when your birthday falls. Because dance is a physical activity it's important to give little bodies the time they need to master the motor skills taught at each level before moving on to the next. Learning steps is only the beginning of a dance education. Exercising the steps with repetition is what allows kids to grow mentally and physically stronger!
Kids in Kindergarten and 1st grade are usually ready to step up to our Petite Combo classes where they're introduced to Jazz. We have a Petite 1 Combo and a Petite 2 Combo. Students may spend a couple years at either of these levels to help them master the technique. Remember, as a physical activity it's important that we let young dancers grow stronger through repetition! These classes are still lighthearted and imaginative with the goal of sparking a life-long love for dance.
As students climb to our Primary level they start coming for class two nights a week: one night for Ballet & Tap and another night for Jazz & Lyrical. This is where kids start to really mature as dancers and our expectations for them increase. While of course fun, these classes start to become more serious. Dance is hard work! Your dedication and your child's perseverance will start to play a major role in their progress. Once again, we may have students repeat levels to ensure they are physically and mentally prepared for the next set of skills. Repetition of dance exercises helps kids grow stronger!
Jumping up to our Principal levels is truly an honor. A "principal dancer" is the highest rank within a professional dance company. So, too, are the Principal Dancers at CCA. These dancers are showcased in multiple recital performances instead of just one. Plus, at these levels students will finally unlock all genres of dance by taking Contemporary. But the crowning achievement of every Principal Dancer is taking their Ballet Exams through our Cecchetti classes and eventually earning their Pointe shoes. Even if the name of their classes remains the same for several years, Principal Dancers are always progressing through new skills and mastering new levels of technique. A student could spend the rest of their childhood dance education at these levels and still have room to grow!
Dancers who put the most time and energy into their dance education will be invited to join our Junior and Senior Companies. Not all dancers will be invited to these Companies before they graduate... and that's ok! Remember, our Principal classes make up the CORE of a student's dance education. But students who wish to pursue dance beyond high school may be ready for even greater challenges. Dance is both a physical and emotional activity. For their own safety and mental stability, it's important that students have the strength, technique, stamina, expression, drive, maturity and resilience to handle Company classes. If a student is lacking in any of these, we will encourage them to keep working at it. They're still a Principal Dancer!
No matter where you're at in your dance education, as a Senior you'll be invited to showcase your training in a Senior Solo performed at the year-end Recital. This is truly a culmination of all that you've learned and achieved over your years of dance. Students will perform a solo in the style they are best at. We can't wait to celebrate your Senior with you someday by shining the spotlight on them!