Students in seventh through twelfth grade are invited to enroll in one-hour classes in the disciplines of their choice. Instruction is offered in tap, jazz and ballet and students are placed in classes according to age, years of dance experience and individual ability. Many of our students enroll in classes in each discipline. Tap classes are taught by Cece Bechelli, Sheri Bechelli, Caitlin Bechelli, Sandy Taylor and Maria Elena Cacciatore. Jazz classes are taught by Cece Bechelli and Caitlin Bechelli and ballet classes are taught by Vicki-Marie Bassing. Our goal is for students to gain self-confidence, build and improve dance skills and enjoy camaraderie with fellow dancers in a productive and positive atmosphere. Students will understand the importance of each individual dancer’s contribution to the class as a whole. Students are invited to perform in various community events as well as our annual recitals. Students are also invited to participate in all master classes with visiting guest artists throughout the school year. Classes run on a ten-month basis from September through early June. We also offer our seventh through twelfth grade students the opportunity to join in our summer dance intensive with daily instruction in tap, ballet, and jazz along with daily master classes in disciplines such as Pilates, West-African, Bollywood, flamenco, Irish, Hawaiian and American folk dance. During our summer dance intensive, students also participate in a history of dance – film and lecture series presented by Cece Bechelli.
Tap Classes for seventh through twelfth grade students are geared for students who enjoy music and dance and are serious in their pursuit of becoming more proficient tap dancers. Class levels range from beginner through advanced. Students progress through a curriculum where they learn tap technique and musicality while building core strength, flexibility, speed and clarity of sound. Students begin with the counting and execution of beginning tap rhythms and choreography and progress to an understanding and execution of very complex and intricate rhythm patterns and sequencing. Our intermediate and advanced tap students learn dances choreographed by world-renowned tap masters as well as original choreography by the Happy Feet faculty. Tap history is also woven into the curriculum. Through structured exercises, students are taught and encouraged to improvise. Improvisation is a long-held tap tradition which not only encourages creativity, but also reinforces the importance of timing and musicality. Music selection includes world beat, jazz standards, contemporary pop, funk, and Broadway show tunes. Students benefit from the professional performing and teaching experience of Cece Bechelli, Sheri Bechelli, Caitlin Bechelli and Maria Elena Cacciatore.
Jazz classes for seventh through twelfth grade students are geared for those who want great exercise, fun, camaraderie and are serious in their pursuit of improving their skills as jazz dancers. Beginning through advanced jazz classes are taught by Cece Bechelli and Caitlin Bechelli. Curriculum includes emphasis on developing core strength, proper alignment, placement, posture, and flexibility.
Technique is taught at the barre and center floor eventually incorporating the students developing skills into high energy across the floor patterns and dance combinations. In the second half of the year, students learn exciting choreography for our end of year recital. Music selection is varied and includes contemporary pop, lyrical, Broadway show tunes and world music such as African, Latin and Brazilian. Students benefit from both the teaching and the professional performing experience of Cece Bechelli and Caitlin Bechelli
Our teenage ballet students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of classical ballet and its vocabulary, in French, in a productive, encouraging and safe setting. Correct body alignment as well as developing the core strength needed for proper execution of ballet technique will be emphasized. Class starts at the ballet barre with warm up exercises that focus on building the strength, flexibility and coordination necessary to dance in the center floor. Through these teaching principles a positive body image will be cultivated resulting in a greater awareness of grace, power and beauty. In the second half of the year, students will incorporate their ballet technique into choreography for our end of year recital. Students will enjoy the experience, professionalism and incredible energy of our teen ballet instructor, Vicki-Marie Bassing.