Dance/Movement

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Dance has a long tradition as a foundation of BAX’s youth classes.  Rooted in modern dance practices, our classes use concepts, imagery, form, and rhythm to progress technically and creatively in a lively, caring space.  Composition and choreography are vehicles for self-discovery, while collaborative partner and group work create a dynamic community in the studio.  As the young artist progresses, her/his focus turns to strength, coordination, line, balance, and flexibility,  which is thoughtfully aligned with the student’s age and experience.

Our teaching artists are professionals working within the wide scope of the NYC dance community as dancers, choreographers, performers, somatic practitioners, and aerialists.  Using their vast experience, knowledge, and questions within the dance art form, they hone and develop the expertise of the young artist as a performer, dancer and choreographer.  Dance classes at BAX nurture the well being of the young artist’s unique voice, agile body, and full expression of who she/he and her/his community is through the power of movement. 

Modern Dance Classes

Modern Dance is a contemporary, expressive dance form, stemming from a history that includes ballet, jazz, African, capoeira, yoga, and many other rich cultural dance traditions.  Modern Dance at BAX is rooted in the exploration of movement through basic concepts that include body, space, shape, energy, and time, while providing dance technique and terminology in a mindful developmental progression.  Improvisation and choreography are key elements to the modern dance training at BAX and work is done independently and collaboratively within a safe and dynamic environment.

Modern I
(Ages 5-6)
Modern I introduces young dancers to a more structured dance class that includes center work and across the floor while exploring rhythm, spatial relationships, basic leg and foot work, and locomotive movement, including chases, leaps, and turns. Opportunity for creative choice is abundant through imagery and music, and students will begin the exciting entry into creating and observing choreography (making dance pieces) through memory and repetition. This is a joyful class that honors individual expression and encourages collaborative work in partners and groups.View Schedule & Register
Modern II
(Ages 7-8)
Modern II builds on the foundation of a structured dance class that began in Modern I, and introduces more formal dance terminology and concepts in floor and center work. Music and imagery play a vital role for deeper explorations and expressions in movement improvisations while rhythm and musicality begin to come into play through exercises that are repeated for more advanced movement combinations. Students continue to explore their artistic voice through choreography which includes relationships to props, partner work, and working as a cohesive group.View Schedule & Register
Modern III
(Ages 8-10)
Modern III class will explore the techniques and form of modern dance that includes ballet, improvisation, and partner work in relationship to its dance history. This class will have an emphasis on somatic and anatomical knowledge. Students will develop strength, flexibility, and balance, while gaining awareness of their alignment. The class will explore rhythm, musicality, breath, dance positions, leg and footwork, and multi-dimensional space. Students are encouraged to express themselves through intentional movement, invent through improvisation, and reflect on their choices. Students work both independently and collaboratively, learning phrase material, and with breaking down and building up repertory. At this level, students should have experience taking a dance class.View Schedule & Register
Modern IV
(Ages 9-12)
While expanding on the technique and form of modern dance introduced in Modern III, the Modern IV class deepens students’ understanding of Time, Shape, Space, Force, and the Body in movement. Students further develop their strength, flexibility, balance, and line in structured warm-ups and floor work, and learn more advanced phrases and movement combinations. Repeated dance phrases week-to-week provide a framework for development in technique, and performance, and also allow for opportunities to break the repertory down and build it back up in the students’ own way. Students are encouraged to express themselves in solo, duet, and group choreography projects. The class allows for the observation and reflection on the creative choice and performance of peer work, while creating a group dynamic that is supportive of each student as artists-in-process. This class is designed for students who have completed Modern III or the equivalent.

** Modern I through IV overlap in age depending on student’s experience and interest.
Please contact the Education Department to discuss the best class level for your child.
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Hip Hop Dance Classes

BAX Hip Hop Dance is a high-energy technique class that combines energy, rhythm, groove, individuality, and originality with contemporary dance techniques. Students learn basic techniques like house, top rock, up rock, and freezes. As students develop, they have opportunities to create funky patterns and original variations on learned combinations and, ultimately, choreograph their own movement sequences based within the parameters of the form. Students also deepen their knowledge of historic vocabulary by relating this form to other social Africanist dance forms like swing, jazz, and soul line dancing. Age-appropriate hip-hop and pop music is used.

Hip Hop I (Ages 7-9)In Hip Hop I: Groove and Flow, students will learn current and past dance trends like the Running Man, Whip/Nae Nae, Chicken Noodle Soup, Dougie, to name a few, as the basis of exploring the historical depth and social aspect of Hip Hop dance so that they begin to know and appreciate the roots of the dance form and how it links to the music and other African American dance forms. View Schedule & Register
Hip Hop II (Ages 8-10)In this class, students learn basic techniques like house, top rock, up rock, basic hip hop grooves and tutting and learn variations that build musicality and style . Freestyling is also an import component that is practiced throughout the term with an emphasis on cultivating students' unique dance styles and voice. View Schedule & Register
Hip Hop III (Ages 9-12)In this class, students expand upon the fundamentals of house, basic grooves, tutting and learned choreography and build a deeper understanding of musicality and stylized choreography. Students create original choreography as well as learn hip hop vocabulary and history. They will also learn how to give and receive peer feedback. Each class will end with a high energy freestyle circle in which the students will be given the chance to explore their personal voice as dancers while combining the techniques and fundamentals learned throughout the class. View Schedule & Register
Hip Hop III/IV (Ages 10-14)This class hones the skills of musicality, choreography and freestyling. Students engage in a more advanced exploration of movement, playing with tempo, musicality, style and performance. Students will be called upon to recall the basics of hip hop and approach them through an advanced land personalized lens. Students will create original choreography and teach it to the class. Students will also continue to learn hip hop vocabulary, history, and geography in order to better contextualize their work as well as give and receive peer feedback. Each class will end with a high energy freestyle circle in which the students will be given the chance to explore their personal voice as dancers while combining the techniques and fundamentals learned throughout the class. View Schedule & Register

Additional Dance Classes

Ballet I (Ages 6-8), Ballet II (Ages 8-11)Ballet at BAX offers an introduction to the traditional techniques of ballet, while maintaining a strong awareness of modern dance aesthetics. Our classes promote balance, form, line, strength, and grace in floor, barre, and center work. Students are encouraged to develop their practice of ballet technique and to use the rigorous skills unique to ballet to explore their own creativity and originality. Students have opportunities to try new ideas with their peers, and to express their own artistry through original compositions and choreography.View Schedule & Register
Boys Movement I
(Ages 5-8), Boys Movement II (Ages 9-11)
Capitalizing on high energy, imagination, and student interests, this class explores many different dance and movement forms, including modern dance, yoga, dramatics, and sports moves, with special emphasis on rhythmic and spatial awareness. Students work in close collaboration and have opportunities to compose original dance sequences. Boys Movement welcomes participants who are trans, gender non-conforming, and questioning.

In level II, students focus more on partner work and have opportunities to develop individual and small group composition. An integral part of this practice is working closely with classmates to give and receive feedback and talking about what they are trying to make and what they see in a performance piece.
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Umfundalai: Contemporary African Dance Technique (Ages 7-10)As a Pan-African dance technique, the Umfundalai technique draws upon key movements from different ethnic groups and many nations in Africa along with movements of Black cultures in the United States, Caribbean, and South America. The literal word, Umfundalai, means “essence” or “essential” in Kiswahili. In this class, students will work on the rhythm, body alignment, core movement and progression as well as vocabulary of the Umfundalai technique to generate collective and self-expression. Students will also engage in the ritual practice of giving "dobale" or thanks for each other and their shared space. As Dr. Kariamu Welsh, Umfundalai’s progenitor, describes it “[Umfundalai is] an approach to movement that is holistic, body centric and organic.” This class is taught by Umfundalai M'Singh Wuti certified teacher Angie Pittman.View Schedule & Register
Modern TechniqueThe Modern Technique class is based in the fundamentals of modern dance technique (connectivity, body awareness, weight balance, rhythm, overall strength) and honing the dancer’s body as her/his instrument for artistic expression. It is taught on a semester basis by Guest Artists, professional dancers and choreographers. Students in these classes have already mastered an introduction to modern technique. Fundamentals are reinforced and the focus is more on body alignment, accuracy of movement and sequencing.

For non-BAX Dance Performance Workshop (DPW) students eligibility (i.e. equivalent technical skills and/or prior class experience) must be confirmed before registering. Wednesday’s Modern Technique class is for advanced students, ages 13+/DPW III level. Tuesday’s class is an intermediate level, students ages 12-15/DPW II level.
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Our progression of dance classes culminates in a series of truly exception programs for our most motivated senior students (ages 9-18). To learn more about our full-year Dance Performance Workshop classes CLICK HERE.