Classes and Programs
We offer a variety of classes in various disciplines to accommodate interests and diversity in our population. Our focus is quality dance education in foundation and artistry. Our main objective is to strike a balance between a strong technical foundation while encouraging a love for the artistry in dance. Classes begin September 9th, 2023.
Toddler Moves and Grooves
18 - 36 months
Move and bond with your child in this multi-sensory class. An experienced educator will guide parents and tots through movement explorations that use song and props to encourage expression, body awareness and communication. Benefits include: developing motor skills, enhancing brain development and encouraging socialization. This fun filled class will have parents and tots moving and grooving! Parent participation is required. Classes run in 10 week sessions.
My First Dance Class
This class is for children who have recently turned 3 and who may have 'graduated' from Toddle Moves and Grooves. Our FIRST dancers will enjoy a playful class that includes imaginative play, experiences that promote gross motor skills, and plenty of opportunity to socialize. This class will prepare students for Creative Ballet by enhancing their ability to follow direction, take turns, and participate in our engaging lessons. Our teachers are experienced educators with knowledge in early childhood education. They will be supported by members of our teacher's in training program. This program is ten weeks.
3 - 4 years
Creative Ballet introduces students to the world of dance through movement exploration, that sparks the imagination and stimulates creativity. Dancers will explore the basic principles of body, space and rhythm in a nurturing and playful environment that helps develop both gross and fine motor skills. This concept-based approach allows the child to learn the principles of dance while still fostering enjoyment for the art. It is an excellent introduction to their future study of dance techniques. Creative Ballet is grounded in creating a nurturing and creative atmosphere to allow young dancers to explore their artistic abilities.
Introduce your dancer to the beautiful art of ballet! This class will enhance your child's coordination, balance and flexibility. Along with an introduction of ballet terminology and technique, dancers will explore imaginative story telling to foster their musicality and creative imaginations. Pre-Ballet prepares dancers for the Junior Ballet program by laying the foundation of beginning ballet principles.
7 + years
Our ballet program is rooted in safe teaching practices and current dance pedagogy. It is a curriculum not a syllabus, so teachers build their class dependent on the needs of the students. This program focuses on the development and foundational training of young students, embracing sound ballet principles and incorporating elements of the French, Italian and Russian schools of training. Our focus is to train dance students to use their bodies correctly by focusing on kinetics, coordination, anatomy and proper body alignment. With a knowledge and understanding of technical elements students will be given the freedom to investigate and develop their own sense of artistry.
Int/Adv ballet is for those students with extensive prior ballet experience. Dancers will focus on their classical ballet technique through a professional class progression that includes conditioning, barre, center work and enchainment work. Students can be expected to be challenged. The curriculum allows for new exercises, on a monthly basis, so dancers stay motivated and can work on goal-setting. With quality and knowledgeable teaching and an encouraging environment, these classes will be a perfect fit for those who aspire to improve their technique and artistry. Dancers are encouraged to attend both the Monday and Wednesday class.
Creative Movement is a joyful way for children to explore movement through music and dance. Your child will work on developing physical skills, channel energy, stimulate imagination and creativity. In creative movement, students can simultaneously develop motor skills, rhythmic awareness, coordination and balance in a safe environment. It is an excellent introduction to other genres of dance. Creative movement is for any child who loves to dance!
Pre-contemporary/Jazz is our introduction to contemporary and jazz studies. Dancers will be introduced to the creative and exploratory genre of contemporary dance through play and exercises that enhance body awareness, control and expressivity. Rhythm and musicality are fostered through the use of an eclectic mix of music like African drumming, contemporary classical music and popular music. Contemporary dance is an excellent compliment to a dancer's ballet studies.
Contemporary dance is based in ballet and has its roots in modern technique. Its aesthetics are influenced by modern dance icons such as Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Lester Horton to name a few. The form also borrows from other genres, such as African dance, jazz, hip hop and martial arts. Some of the cross features are the use of parallel legs, contraction and release, spiral and tilting of the spine, embracing gravity and floor work, and grounding. Contemporary dance encourages the use of expression to enhance performance skills. It is an excellent compliment to a student's ballet studies.
This class focuses on improvisation as an ensemble practice. Using a shared set of movement systems and scores we will learn to co-create movement. You will learn how to source movement from within yourself and from the environment around you, understand time in your body, and techniques for working as an ensemble. In all this practice we will always be asking the question “What does the space need?”
Modern - Horton Technique
Horton Technique is dynamic and dramatic. It develops both strength and flexibility, and works with an energy that is constantly in motion. The primary focus of many beginner-level Horton studies is creating length in the spine and hamstrings. There is also an emphasis throughout all levels on developing musicality and performance qualities. As students progress, exercises become longer and more complex. Horton uses flat backs and lateral stretches, tilt lines and lunges, all movements that could be found in a jazz warm-up. Horton technique also incorporates lyrical, circular movements focusing on stretching in opposite directions. Horton Technique is the perfect complement for ballet, contemporary and jazz studies. Experience in ballet and contemporary dance required.
Progressing Ballet Technique
Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) is an innovative body-conditioning and strengthening program that has been designed to enhance students’ technique by focussing on training the muscle memory required in each exercise in all forms of dance. The program helps with injury prevention and rehabilitation and enhances the ability of athletes to perform at their best. PBT focuses on core strength, weight placement and alignment of the body with a gradual approach of carefully designed exercises and repetitions of these exercises that trigger their muscle memory. The program is designed with safe dance methodology to promote a long healthy career.
CASE (Boys only)
7 - 10 years
A dance program for boys that promotes control, agility, strength and expression of the body and mind. Dance has long been the secret to the success of athletic performance in sports, providing improvement for balance, agility, control, strength and endurance. Dance also provides opportunities for expression, creativity and connection, linking it to an improvement in confidence and positive self-esteem. This program will be based in developing the above and aimed specifically to boys. Dancers will explore movement through a warm-up, structured improvisation and games. Through the process of collaboration, dancers will also have opportunities to create their own dance pieces.
Combining strength and flexibility, jazz employs movements that are quick, clean, precise and percussive. Dancers will also focus on dynamic turns and jumps, while learning choreography set to jazz and popular music. Many jazz styles are taught from Broadway to current.
Tap dance has many benefits such as improving one’s balance, coordination, mental and muscle memory as well as being a fun way to obtain cardio conditioning. Classes will work on developing rhythm, timing and musicality through learning the core steps of tap and combining these into routines. Both rhythm and Broadway style will be taught using technique drawn from a variety of curriculums.
Hip Hop classes focus on the fundamentals of Hip Hop dancing. Students will learn the history along with the various techniques and elements such as popping, locking and breakdance through a number of different activities, structures and choreographed combinations within the class.
Adaptive Dance is creative movement designed specifically for children with physical and neurological disabilities. This 45 minute class introduces dancers to the foundation of dance in a safe, fun and supportive environment. Dancers will work to develop coordination, rhythmicity, confidence and creativity, while developing social skills with others. Classes are taught by teachers who are trained in Boston Ballet’s Adaptive Dance program. Classes will take place at our city location,156 Union St., which is fully accessible.
Choreography Lab is reserved for students who participate in both ballet and contemporary studies. Dancers will explore the creative process by creating their own pieces of choreography. The lab will focus on inspiration sources, understanding the elements of dance, along with many opportunities to collaborate. Unique to First City, choreography lab is where students' technique facilitates artistry.
First City Ensemble
11- 14 years
First City Ensemble is for dancers who are looking for more opportunities to immerse themselves into the artistry of dance. Dancers will be a part of an encouraging and supportive group that will help facilitate a culture committed to the artistry of dance. Students will have the opportunity to witness live dance performance, participate in guest artist talks, learn choreography, perform and contribute to their community through performance. Dancers must be enrolled in ballet and contemporary. No audition required. First City Ensemble begins in October.
First City Young Company
15 years +
A distinguishing feature of First City School of Dance is our Young Company. First City Young Company is a pre-professional performing company. Dancers ages 15 and up are admitted into the Company on an audition basis. Dancers will rehearse and perform repertoire created by First City teachers, guest dance artists and from our very own Choreography Lab participants. Audition dates are posted in the fall of each year. Company members are required to study ballet and contemporary.
All Levels of Ability
First City’s adult program has classes for the beginner and the experienced dancer. Classes in ballet, contemporary, musical theatre, heels, jazz, and tap are offered. See above for class descriptions. Classes run in 10 week sessions and new styles and classes will be added throughout the year. Stay up to date through social media and our registration page on our website.
Pilates incorporates low impact exercises designed to improve strength, mobility and alignment. A core-targeted practice with a focus on syncing breath and movement, participants will challenge their balance and coordination. No experience necessary.
Bring a yoga mat and water bottle.
Zumba is a form of fitness class in which you burn off calories by dancing to different kinds of lively tunes, often Latin-American inspired such as salsa, merengue and samba, but also other types of modern music like hip hop, Bollywood or even Oriental. It is a high-energy dance fitness program involving moves on international beats. All around the world, Zumba is being practiced owing to its health benefits, including mind relaxation, stress management, and physical fitness.
It is the best way to exercise and stay fit while having Fun. So come and join the Party!
Bring a yoga mat and water bottle.
Dance and the City
All Levels of Ability
Dancing and shopping!? Say no more. We're partnering with local small businesses to deliver a Saturday night experience like no other. You gather your friends and pick the genre of dance you'd like to learn. We'll provide a list of local businesses that will offer a personal shopping experience for you and your friends. Then, you can head out on the town. Everyone wants to dance beneath the First City chandelier! Now taking bookings for the fall! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your Saturday night.
First City's Junior Teacher Training Program
The teacher training program is for dancers who are entering grades 9– 12 and who have an interest in teaching. Junior Teacher Trainees must apply to participate. Students will be mentored by experienced educators through comprehensive training modules that will include lessons on: classroom management, lesson planning, dance pedagogy and student engagement. Monitored closely by their mentors, these aspiring teachers will eventually teach their own classes upon the completion of the program and recommendation from their mentor.
Uniform for Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary Programs
Uniforms can be purchased through FCSD's store.
3 - 6 years
Girls - Pink tank leotard and ballet tights
Boys - Pink or white Shirt/ black or pink shorts
Girls - Pink leotard and black leggings
Boys - Pink or white shirt and black shorts or leggings
7 - 10 years
Girls - Blue leotard
Boys - White/black tank or T-shirt, black tights or shorts
Girls - Blue leotard and black leggings
Boys - White/black tank or T-shirt, black shorts or leggings
11 - 14 years
Girls - Black leotard and pink ballet tights
Boys - Black/white tank or T-shirt, black shorts or tights
Girls - Black leotard and black leggings
Boys - Black/ white tank or T-shirt, black shorts or pants
15 - 18 years
Girls - Own choice leotard and ballet pink tights
Boys - Own choice Tank or T-shirt and black tights or shorts
Girls - Own choice leotard and own choice leggings, shorts, tights
Boys - Own choice Tank or T-shirt and own choice leggings, shorts or tights.