Iskra ("The Spark") class teaches our youngest students the beginning steps in Ukrainian dance in an encouraging and fun environment. They are introduced to skipping, the basic “1-2-3-“ step, and simple footwork. They work on free movement, developing coordination and confidence while working together with their new dance friends.
Malenki Zirki ("Tiny Stars") work on mastering their beginning steps and build on their budding dance knowledge. They learn more complex steps, simple combinations and work on the beginnings of turning and simple tricks. In addition to the Central region they sometimes explore the beginning steps of regions such as Hutzul or Transcarpathia.
Prolisok ("Snowdrop") is introduced to a short warm up period that includes some beginner ballet arm and foot positions. This teaches proper alignment, enhances their technique and builds on their dance vocabulary. The dances they learn have more complex choreography, which encourages group participation and working together. Girls build their turning skills and boys work on their acrobatics.
Promin ("Sunbeam") continues with the introduction of a brief warm up, in addition to enhancing dance technique it works on emphasizing the need for proper warm ups and stretching. We introduce more regions such as Hutsul and Bukovinian to work on developing quick footwork, jumps, syncopation and partner work.
Sonechko ("Sunshine") is introduced to a simple ballet oriented warm-up with the emphasis of ballet as a tool to enhance dance technique and prepare the body for dance. The students are taught a more complex regional choreography with more challenging steps and formations.
Kvitka ("The Flower") has a one-hour ballet and character class before they start their choreography class. This class is important because ballet and character exercises develop the dancers grace and endurance and help them achieve better presentation and confidence on stage. They also explore new regions such as Lemko or Polissia, building their experience in Ukrainian dance.
Kalyna ("Berry") dancers have a one-hour ballet and character class followed by their choreography class. This gives them the opportunity to work on the skills they built while in Kvitka and challenge themselves to improve the lyrical and graceful qualities of their dancing. As these dancers are older they have the opportunity to explore more ethnographic regions with their dancing and also explore lyrical styles of Ukrainian dance.
Veselka ("Cheerful") continues with an hour ballet class, taught in the Vaganova style and followed by 90 minutes of choreography. This group is made up of our most senior school dancers and we endeavor to foster their love of dance and encourage their skills in new regions of Ukrainian dance. They work on enhancing and improving their technique in regions with which they are already familiar. We also aim to have dancers from this group have feature roles in our Storyline production.
Radist ("Joy"), our adult group, is open to anyone who is 18 and older. Previous dance experience is an asset, not required, but it helps!! This group joins Veselka for an hour ballet class in the Vaganova style followed by their choreography class. This fun, hardworking group of dancers has performed dances from various regions such as Central, Hutsul, Bukovina and Volyn. Both the exercise and mental challenge of learning new choreography is sure to keep them young for years to come.
For boys ages 9 & up we also offer an optional boy's enhancement class, which focuses on developing their skills in the tricks and acrobatics involved in male dancing. They also work on a boys/men only dance, which is always a wonderful addition to our shows.