Variety Dance Classes
"Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion"
- Martha Graham
FDS's curriculum is created on the principle that dance education can influence a student's physical, mental, and emotional health through the creative performance of self-expression combined with the rigor of dance techniques. Our concept-based program offers a well-rounded, developmentally sound approach to teaching the art and joy of moving.
Call to schedule your Trial Class Today! (650) 965-4135
“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.” –
Agnes De Mille
Charachter Dance Classes
Character dance is the stylized representation of traditional folk or national dance, mostly from European countries, and uses movements and music which have been adapted for the theater. Popular character dances include the national dances of Hungary, Poland, Moldova, Argentina, Spain, Romania, Italy, Russian, Greece, and more. Dances like Csardas, Mazurka, Tarantella, Flamenco, Barbuncu, Crihalma, Zorba, and Sirtaki are all forms of traditional national character dance.
At FDS, Folk/Character dances are taught to students beginning with the basic skills of coordination and style of folk dances from around the world. As the student develops in his/her dance training, character dance becomes a perfect blend between technical skill and emotion portrayed in their dance performances.
FDS teachers are familiar with the history of the folk-dances that the character work was developed from and teach not only the ‘moves’ but also the meaning and intent behind the dances.
Character dances are usually performed in shoes or boots, with leather or suede sole and a small heel. Men typically wear jazz-type shoes and women typically wear lowly heeled character shoes.
We highly encourage you to schedule your trial class and see for yourself the beauty and grace of character dance – in a fun and inviting atmosphere at FDS.
Students must have 4-5 years of dance training
In these levels, the student will begin to study ballet technique exclusively. The first half of class is spent working at the barre. The second half of class is for working in the center and across the floor. We begin exploring pirouettes and an increasing vocabulary of jumps and connecting steps. The dancers work on the quality of movement, musicality, and clarity of form. Students will work on developing muscles carefully and safely to support their technique. A student will need to build up "muscle memory" by taking ballet classes several days a week.
Students must have 5-6 years of training & up
In these levels, students will continue to study ballet technique with a strong emphasis on understanding anatomical concepts and how to work best and most safely within their own bodies. Students will be expected to know ballet vocabulary and use it as communication. Dancers should be able to maintain their turnout and have strong ankles and feet in preparation for pre-pointe and pointe work. Steps will increase in difficulty and combinations will grow in length and complexity. Adagio, multiple pirouettes, grand allegro (leaps) and petite allegro will be introduced and increase in difficulty.
Pre-Pointe & Pointe
Teacher Placement required for
Pre-Pointe and Pointe
Pointe dancing is an elite form of ballet, requiring years of training and dedication. While appearing light and ethereal, the dancer must be extremely strong. She has to have the technical skill to align her muscles and bones perfectly over the toes of one foot (about a square inch) while making it look effortless. Only students with the proper strength and dedication should go on pointe. Well trained, and with properly fitted shoes, a pointe student can progress from pre-pointe work to an advanced level with no ill effects.
Students must have 1-2 years of dance training (from 6 years old)
This level is designed specifically for six-year-olds to help make a smooth transition from the pre-school quality of Creative Dance to Ballet. We will continue some of the same activities from Creative Dance but will add introductory ballet concepts. Students will learn a few French words from ballet vocabulary, positions of the feet and arms, tendu, and other ballet basics.
Students must have 2-3 years of dance training
In this level students will begin to learn basic concepts of ballet technique such as turn out, proper alignment, and brief barre work. We combine these essentials with exercises in movement quality, rhythm, tempo, balance, and coordination. The children learn basic steps including polka, chasse, saute, turning, skipping, hopping and partner patterns. We emphasize the understanding of how music works with dance.
Students must have 3-4 years of dance training
In this level, students will begin to develop more ballet technique and less creative dance material. More positions are taught; ballet vocabulary is increased, with a longer barre and beginning work on crossed positions. Many new steps and patterns are learned, as well as combinations of elements. Musicality becomes increasingly important in dancing at this stage. We continually work to balance technical elements, with expressiveness and joy in dancing.
Contemporary dance is a genre of dance performance that developed during the mid-twentieth century and has since grown to become one of the dominant styles for formally trained dancers throughout the world, with particularly strong popularity in the U.S. and Europe.
At this level, students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of Contemporary dance through release-based technique. We focus on understanding the principles of the body in movement and applying them to memorize and perform dance sequences, both in class and on stage.
These classes blend elements of Contemporary and Modern dance, such as freedom of expression, interpretation of music, principles of fall and recovery, control, breathing, balance and contraction/release. Students will learn how to quickly change tempo and create sharp and clean transitions between their movements, and focus once more on understanding their own bodies.
In these classes, Lyrical combinations will incorporate the technical elements of ballet with jazz and modern movements. Students will learn how to express a wide range of emotions through their dance based on musical interpretation. Contemporary combinations will consist of abstract movements that combine modern and classical ballet elements.
One of the most popular and well-known forms of dance. Jazz dance includes strength, flexibility and conditioning technique, and progressions including turns, kicks, and leaps. This is a perfect class to start your dance training at any age.
An introduction to jazz technique, style, and creativity. Classes will be structured in three segments: warm-up, where they will learn how to stretch correctly, & strengthen their bodies. Across the floor technique and followed by center combinations where they will be being to practice memorizing dances and staying on beat with the music. This class is designed to introduce the style of jazz and work on basic jazz techniques.
At this level, students have grasped the concept of the jazz style and will begin to focus on proper technique, improving flexibility, focusing on isolations, creatively, and learning combinations that will challenge them—beginning to integrate creative expression along with their technique. Classes will be structured as before with a warm-up, including stretching and strengthening, across the floor, where technique and new tricks will be learned, and center work along with combinations.
In this level of jazz, students will be expected to understand and apply the proper techniques. They will continue to focus on technique, flexibility, and control of their bodies. Here creative expression will be used thoroughly to advance and set these dancers apart from the begging levels of jazz. Classes will begin with a warm-up, continue with across-the-floor progression, center work, and challenging combinations that will be picked up quickly by the dancers. Balancing the joy, they have for dance along with the hard work they continue to put into the class.
Hip-Hop dancing is a popular, energetic dance style that involves whole body movement and self-expression. Students will learn about movement dynamics, be introduced to footwork, and work with their teachers to discover the joy of Hip-Hop in class and on stage.
Introducing a fast, funky, powerful style of dance students will begin to learn hip-hop basics with fun and creativity in each class. Warming up, learning various hip-hop steps, and fun combinations.
Students have been introduced to the fun upbeat style of hip-hop. Here they will focus on learning different styles of hip-hop, the origins of how the style developed, hip-hop technique, and strengthening their skills. Warming up, learning new moves and tricks, and combinations that will challenge them.
At this level students are working to master the various components of hip-hop that make the different styles so intriguing to watch. They will be focusing on how to blend sharp and powerful moves, with smooth, effortless transitions. Placing an importance on creative expression along with proper hip-hop technique.
GTC ... Girls Technique Class
The FDS GTC classes are taught by dance professionals who recognize that tricks and gender-specific skills are imperative for great dancers.
The GTC classes focus on stretching and conditioning for young girls to be able to complete tricks of high levels of difficulty.
In this class, students will develop their understanding of their anatomy and dance alignment.
Emphasis will be placed on turns, leaps, and jumps as well as Character Dance, Contemporary, and Hip-Hop tricks.
BTC ... Boys Technique Class
The BTC classes focus on strengthening and conditioning young boys to develop the necessary technique to be able to shine on stage. The boys will learn jumps, turns, and Character Dance tricks as well as skills needed for other styles of dance.
The class is for more serious dancers ages 7 and up. In this class, students will develop flexibility and strengthening their core, turnout muscles, legs, back, and upper body posture.
These classes are a requirement for dancers in the FDS Troupe to ensure that all students have a solid technique base before moving on to learn impressive, difficult dances.
SFC ... Stretch and Flexibility Class
This class complements the training of the dance student by helping dancers get and stay in shape as well as avoid injuries. Students will focus on learning how to stretch correctly by releasing overall pressure, relaxing muscle tension, and calming the mind while defining specific muscles groups.
The SFC class for adults focuses on core strength development through low-impact exercise, designed to tone up the body. It incorporates the use of the lightweights, stretching, and across-the-floor work. Classes are easy to follow and held in a comfortable, non-competitive environment.
Welcome to the amazing world of Ballroom and Swing dancing here at FDS! With a variety of Ballroom dance styles to choose from, there is something for everyone! Learn the Waltz, Rumba, Jive, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, Tango, Salsa, Country! If you have heard of it, we probably dance it! No partner is required and complete beginners to the dance are always welcome. Are you serious about getting good at ballroom dancing?
Take a class with FDS and learn dancing with professionals.
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