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 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.

Dance Classes

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 I
(Ages 7-9), Hip Hop II (Ages 8-10), Hip Hop (Ages 10+)
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, power moves, freezes, threading and locomotion. 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.

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. In Hip Hop levels II and III, there is a greater emphasis on developing personal style as well as developing musicality and ways of listening and hearing different beats and layering in music. Students perform for classmates and give and receive feedback as well, learning how to talk about what they are making and also what they see.
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Ballet I (Ages 6-8), Ballet II (Ages 8-11), Ballet III (Ages 10+)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
(Ages 6-9)
Capitalizing on boys’ energy, imagination, and 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.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.