Riverside Performing Arts offers an accelerated dance program in Acro, Ballet, Jazz, and Tap for the focused dancer who is committed to the art of dance. This is an invite only program and requires that each student take at least one ballet class (focus or recreational). Students are placed according to skill. All focus classes will perform in the Focus Performances in January and June at Washougal High School.
Entry to a ballet focus level is by audition or invitation from the Dance Director of RPA, Josh Murry-Hawkins.
Requirements for Level I
- Take at least 1 year of ballet and be familiar with basic terminology
- Know and understand how to behave in a classroom setting outlined in the Class Etiquette Sheet.
Ballet Level I
Focusing on class development, the dancer learns fundamentals of proper placement and alignment. Musicality becomes a key element, learning combinations to music with preparations. New stretches are introduced to promote flexibility. Primary positions are introduced with arms and legs with the expectation of knowing them without fault before moving on.
Requirements for Level II
- Know the 5 basic ballet positions of the feet and arms
- 8 Relevés at the barre in First and Second Position with heels staying on the ground in each plié with proper hip placement
- Sur Le Cou-de-pied to Retiré, properly wrapped without sickling as the foot lifts and lowers
- Sauté, Changement, Pas de chat, and Glissade should all be executed correctly
- Is an example of proper classroom etiquette and dress code
Ballet Level II
With fundamentals established the student experiences carefully regulated exercises in progression to warm up and strengthen the body. Muscle memory evolves with balancing, turning, jumping, and stretching. Class room etiquette is enforced to promote a healthy discipline. The dancer learns to pick up combinations quickly and efficiently developing a unique memory skill.
Requirements for Level III
- Quickly pick up combinations without relying on others
- Show a wide range of flexibility in torso, back, legs, and feet
- Balance in Sous-sus, Coupé, Retiré, Attitude, and Arabesque with stable supporting leg at barre
- Pirouette from fifth, Chainé, and Piqué turns without elevated shoulders or compromised positions
- Changement, Soubresaut, Échappé, Assemblé must all be clean
- Grand Jetés, Pas de Chats, and Sissonnes must all be executed with ease while maintaining turn out with a strong but calm port de bras
Ballet Level III
Classic ballet lines are taught with the nine directions of the body. A student’s endurance and strength is pushed to new limits. Seamlessly connecting steps and lines in multi fashion students learn how to balance and transfer their weight without pause. A complete class with all the ingredients of barre, center, progressions, petit and grand allegro, révérence, are created in many ways, promoting versatility and strength. Dancers experience the same intense training as elite athletes.
A class that focuses on getting the strength needed for pointe shoes. The anatomy of the foot, muscles, and bones structure are taught to prepare students for what happens to feet while on pointe. Specific exercises are introduced to target certain muscles in the foot and calf.
*There may be a mixture of students starting pointe and those preparing for pointe
*Taking this class does not guarantee you will start pointe.
Requirements for Pointe
- Be 11 yrs. old
- 16 Relevés on each foot at barre with other foot in coupé derriere without tiring or faltering
- Have a straight line or past from ankle to toes when pointing feet while sitting on the floor
- Engage quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes while on relevé, pulling up knee caps
- Have a strong core, holding correct pelvis alignment without tipping forward and allowing lower back to push the abdomen forward in class
- Show strong ankles in relevés in class always having the weight in the 2nd toe, never rolling the ankle forward or back
- 8 temps levés on each foot in coupé derrière, arms in low fifth without labored upper body
Requirements for Level IV
- Developpés must be at least 90 degrees
- Clean double pirouettes
- Show clean beats in petit allegro
- Have a confident port de bras in grand allegro without relying on others
- Take three ballet classes a week (taking a lower level class to supplement the requirement is acceptable).
Ballet Level IV
Advanced students work on combining pointe with technique class, a key moment in a ballet dancer’s training. Pointe work is integrated into class work. Artistic development is encouraged; the grace and poise of a ballerina dancer is perfected. Students experience the training of a pre-professional dancer.
Entry to a jazz focus level is by audition or invitation from the dance director of RPA
Requirements for Jazz Level I
- Take at least one year of Jazz and be familiar with basic terminology
- Pivot turn
- Grand Jete
Jazz Level I
Focusing on class development, dancers learn the fundamentals of proper placement and alignment. Musicality becomes a key element, learning progressions to music with preparations. New stretches are introduced to promote flexibility. Primary positions are introduced with arms and legs with the expectation of knowing them without fault before moving on.
Requirements for Jazz Level II
- Battement Devant, Seconde, and Derriere keeping hips and shoulders squared in 2nd Position
- Hold a flat back with arms and legs in 2nd Position
- Single Pirouette
- Pas de bourée, Pivot, Ball-change, and Chasé should be executed without fault
- Grand Jeté with arms in Second Arabesque without bent knees
- Is an example of proper classroom etiquette and dress code
Jazz Level II
With fundamentals established students experience carefully regulated exercises in progression to warm up, strengthening the body. Muscle memory evolves with balancing, turning, jumping, and stretching. Class room etiquette is enforced to promote a healthy discipline. Dancers learn to pick up progressions quickly and efficiently, developing a unique memory skill.
Requirements for Jazz Level III
- Show a wide range of flexibility in feet, legs, torso, and back
- Fan kick without raising hips
- Double Pirrouette
- Pique turns
- Grand A’ La Seconde Jeté
- Single tour
- Jazz floor roll
- Right and Left cartwheel
Jazz Level III
A student’s endurance and strength is pushed to new limits, seamlessly connecting steps and lines in powerful configurations. The dancer learns how to balance and transfer their weight without hesitation. With dynamic jumps and exciting turns dancers experience the intensity and showmanship as athletes.
Requirements for Jazz level IV
- Battement Layout
- Right and Left Split
- Triple Pirrouette
- 16 counts of Fouetés
- Tour Jeté
- Back Jeté
- Side Aerial
Jazz Level IV
Advanced students experience the training of a pre-professional dancer. Artistic development blossoms as lyrical, contemporary, and pop jazz genres are explored.
Entry to a tap focus level is by audition or invitation from the dance director of RPA. All students in Focus Tap must be enrolled in a Focus or Recreational Ballet class. Oxford Tap shoes are required.
Requirements for Tap Level I
- Take at least one year of tap and be familiar with basic terminology.
- Heel Toe, Toe Heel
- Ball change
- Cramp Roll
- Toe heel Turns (Arms in Jazz 1st Position going to 2nd Position)
Tap Level I
Focusing on class development, dancers learn the fundamentals of tap and rhythm. Musicality becomes a key element, learning combinations to music with simple arm movements. Different styles of tap are taught throughout the year with an emphasis on proper rhythm and parallel foot and leg placement.
Requirements for Tap Level II
- Two-Sounded Pickups (starting from balls of the feet)
- Drawbacks (Step, Spank, Heel)
- Cincinnatis (Step, Spank, Heel, Shuffle, Heel)
- Alternating Cramp Rolls (Right/Left)
- 4 Sound Riffs
- Front Irish (Shuffle, Hop, Step)
- Back Irish (Crossing Back)
- Broadway (Flap, Heel, Heel, Spank, Tip, Heel)
- Toe Stand (Feet together)
- Single Time Step with break
- Is an example of classroom etiquette and dress code
Tap Level II
With fundamentals established students will begin working on more stylized arm movement as well as performance quality. A more fast paced warmup will promote greater control over step execution and allow students to quickly recognize steps in their choreography. Class room etiquette is enforced to promote a healthy discipline.
Requirements for Tap Level III
- 4-Sound Pickups
- 3 Sound Wings
- 4 Sound Toe Rolls
- Lindy Turns (Flap, Heel, Tip, Heel, Step, Spank Heel)
- Single, Double, Triple Time Steps with Break
- 4-7 Sound Riffs
Tap Level III
With a keen sense of rhythm and musicality, students are challenged to express their choreography through facial expressions, well executed arm movements and the ability to use the whole body while dancing. Students will begin to pick up choreography quickly without a lot of breaking down of steps as well as begin to explore their own choreography.
Requirements for Tap level IV
- Shuffle Pickups
- 6 Sound Wings
- Over the tops
- Wings to Tip
- Front Pickups (2 and 4 sound)
- Single, Double, Triple Time Steps with Stomp, Stomp-Spank, and Shuffle introductions
Tap Level IV
Advanced students experience the training of a pre-professional dancer. Different styles of tap are explored using a variety of music as well as a cappella work.
Entry to an Acro focus level is by audition or invitation from the dance director of RPA. All students in Focus Acro must be enrolled in a Focus or Recreational Ballet class.
With fundamentals established students will begin working on the five points of balance, utilizing flexibility, increasing stamina with strength training.
Requirements for Acro I
- Right and left cartwheel
- Headstand with vertical legs
- From standing go into bridge and roll back up
- Forward roll starting and finishing with feet together
- Back roll starting and finishing with feet together
- Handstand against wall with feet together