Kinetics Dance Theatre

School of Contemporary Dance

 

 

Kinetics is committed to serving students of every age, level, interest and ability.  Our placement system is designed to give students what they need: flexibility for young children just trying out dance for the first time or learning the basic concepts, offerings for beginners at every age, a variety of dance and fitness options to meet a variety of needs and interests, and a core progression program accommodating students committed to building their technique.  

Basic Placement Guidelines

Placement within our Creative Beginnings programs (ages 2-6) is based primarily on age.  Our instructors do offer individualized recommendations for new and returning students, but these are suggestions only; we respect parents’ wish to choose the best fit for their children at this early level.  Please note that minimum ages for these classes are based on childrens’ ages at the START of the session for which they are registering.  At these levels, exceptions to age ranges are unusual and made only at the recommendation of faculty.

Offerings continue for ages 7-18 within a more structured Progressive Level system. Our modern, ballet, and jazz classes fit within this structure, beginning with Pre-level (age 7/8, or 6 by recommendation) and continuing through levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  Separate offerings of beginning level classes suit different age ranges, so that a beginner 12 or 15 year old can take class with a group of his or her peers.

Kinetics Collaborative Placement System: Kinetics employs a unique collaborative process to determine placement for students within these leveled classes.  All student placement assignments, pre-level through level 5, are conducted jointly among faculty within each discipline prior to the start of the Fall season.  Because it is vital to build cohesive age/level groups to allow teachers to gear instruction to the highest benefit of every student, the placement system is based on firm assignments and rests on the background and knowledge of our dance educators, nearly all of whom are degree-holding, experienced professionals. Occasionally, student progress requires a mid-year shift.  Our placement process is responsive and ongoing, with faculty recommending those shifts as necessary.  Each student’s placement is carefully determined on the grounds of ability, experience, maturity, effort, focus, learning style, and technical progression.

In addition to these leveled classes, Kinetics offers a wide array of Specialty Classes.  These offerings span a rich and diverse body of dance genres and techniques.  Ranging from tap, hip hop and musical theatre, to lyrical, dance composition, improvisation and different forms of ethnic dance, these classes have uniquely assigned age and level requirements and provide our students with broad opportunities to learn and study different forms of dance.

 

Initial Placement for new students

Whether joining us on an ongoing level or just dropping in, it is important to know where to start! First, remember that Creative Beginnings classes, for children 2yrs – 6yrs, are based primarily on age, and that new students may try or join any class for which he or she meets the age requirement at the start of the session.

For students ages 7+, placements for new students are based on recommendations made by faculty after a period of review. Students will be asked to attend an age-appropriate class in which faculty will review their performance, even when coming to us with prior experience. Generally, instructors use the first one to two classes to observe and determine placement for new students.  Students will be given an official placement by the School Manager after this brief period. The chart at the bottom of the page outlines our recommendations for new students according to age.

Should you have questions about initial placement, or drop-in classes, or wish to discuss any other placement or scheduling concerns with our School Manager, Liz Quiñones, you may always do so by dropping by during School Manager hours, emailing Liz at school@kineticsdance.org, or calling the studio, at 410-480-1686.

 

Placement Considerations

Our placement philosophies are driven by our wish for every student to feel successful.  Proper level placement is integral in allowing for the conveyance of specific techniques and forms, and in minimizing discouragement and frustration.  It is a common misunderstanding that level advancement should be a student’s overarching goal.  In fact, progression in dance is subtle and ongoing, and requires the body to learn, and often re-learn, specific patterns.  This requires focus, structural alignment, body awareness, and muscular strength, all of which our instructors work to develop to support movement concepts.  Most students spend 2-3 years at each level, constantly aided by instructor correction and feedback and continually improving.  Advancement through dance levels at an accelerated and unwarranted pace not only undermines true technical progress, it can be can be injurious and wearing to dancers’ bodies.  While ages and abilities vary within any class, our faculty makes a concerted effort to place students in groups of peers where they will experience the most success, and to teach individuals within these groups.  Technical ability, maturity, age, focus during class, attention to correction and other factors are considering in making placement determinations.  Students who study more hours a week do often progress at a faster rate than those who study only one or two hours per week.  However, this is not always the case, and it is important to note that success is measured in different ways for different students.  We respect that each student has different goals and we are devoted to helping them to achieve those goals.  At Kinetics, the level placement/advancement process is always ongoing.  Students are sometimes recommended to advance mid-year, or to take two classes at separate levels, otherwise known as split-leveling, when we feel the student requires a slower pace to solidify movement patterns, strength, or alignment, but would also benefit from the challenge of an upper level class. Aside from Creative Beginnings classes, all placements are determined through this innovative and responsive process involving instructors and the School Manager.

 

Initial Placements by Age

The age cutoff for all Kinetics classes is September 1st. Students that do not meet the minimum age requirement for a class by September 1st will require special approval to attend a higher level class. The italicized classes listed for each age below do not require pre-approval. They are open to new students who wish to drop-in or begin classes at Kinetics. The rest of the listed classes are age-appropriate, but require level placement.

Age 2

Parent/Child Movement & Song

Age 3

Parent/Child Movement & Song; Creative Dance if 3 by September 1st

Age 4

Creative Dance; Dance Basics & Ballet Basics if 4 by September 1st

Age 5

Dance Basics; Ballet Basics; Dance Fundamentals if 5 by September 1st

Age 6

Dance Fundamentals; Ballet Basics; Pre-Level if 6 by September 1st

Age 7

Pre-Level Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop

Age 8

Pre-Level Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop; Level 1 Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater

Age 9

Level 1 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop by recommendation

Age 10

Level 1 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop by recommendation

Age 11

Level 1 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2+ Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop by recommendation; Open Ballet or Modern Technique Classes (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+)

Age 12

Level 1 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2+ Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater by recommendation; Open Ballet or Modern Technique Classes (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+)

Age 13

Level 1 (13+) Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2-5 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater by recommendation; Open Ballet or Modern Technique Classes (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+)

Age 14

Level 1 (13+) Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2-5 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater by recommendation; Open Ballet or Modern Technique Classes (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+)

Age 15

Level 1 (13+) Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2-5 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater by recommendation; Open Ballet or Modern Technique Classes (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+)

Age 16

Level 1 (13+) Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2-5 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater by recommendation; Open Ballet or Modern Technique Classes (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+)

Age 17

Level 1 (13+) Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater; Level 2-5 Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theater by recommendation; Open Ballet or Modern Technique Classes (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+); select Yoga and Fitness Classes

Age 18

Level 1 (13+) or Beginning Adult Level Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap; Open Ballet or Modern Classes (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+); Yoga and Fitness Classes

Classes for Special Needs Students

Ages 8-12:  Mini-Combo Class |  Ages 12+:  Teen Combo Class | Ages 16+: Adult Combo Class

Classes for Adults

Beginning Adult Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop; Intermediate Adult Modern, Ballet, Tap; Open Ballet or Modern Technique (for experienced dancers equivalent to level 3+); Yoga and Fitness Classes

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