Our Dance Program at bergenPAC Performing Arts School is an electrifying dance program under the direction of roberta mathes. With our professional faculty from NYC and our facilities, our dance program has had resounding success in reaching children and members of the community, offering them the opportunity to receive excellent dance training in a positive setting whether they become performing artists or simply dance for fun!
We offer a wide variety of classes for all ages and abilities (children through adults), including Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Modern Jazz, Horton, Afro Modern, Tap, Hip-Hop, Acrobatics and more!
For more serious-minded students we have a Pre-Professional program which offers college guidance for dancers and includes more performance opportunities.
Earn College Credit!
Learn more about the Program at Bergen Community College. High school juniors and seniors can receive college credit for less than $100 per credit! There are currently six classes where students can receive college credit from Bergen Community College: The Performing Arts School Show Chorus, Advanced Jazz Dance, Teen Acting Technique, Summer Musical, Private Voice Lessons, and Private Piano Lessons. These college credits are transferable to many colleges in the state of New Jersey!
Early Childhood Dance
Early Childhood Dance
ABOUT CREATIVE MOVEMENT
This class is designed as an age-appropriate introduction to the exciting world of dance. Parents and children work together to explore new ways to move and dance at a very early age. Students learn the basic elements of movement through storytelling, imagery, rhythmical patterns, improvisation, and direction in using space.
Acro is a performance art form that combines balance, strength, agility, motor coordination and tumbling exercises with the artistry of dance and the athleticism of gymnastics. In this class dancers will work on backbends, somersaults, and fundamental balancing needed in walkovers, handstands, and cartwheels. As students master these pre-requisite skills, they safely progress to more advanced work such as scorpions, aerials, handsprings, and layouts. Then they seamlessly integrate it into choreography. Throughout the class, students are challenged on an individual basis and also learn to work together creating group tricks and variations.
*Ballet required for Acro
This one-hour class introduces students to the absolute basic fundamentals of ballet. Students learn dance etiquette, coordination, steps and moves.
ABOUT CHILD BALLET
These classes are progressive in structure introducing the discipline of classical dance. Students learn the basic positions, the use of turnout, and the importance of proper posture. Children develop coordination and footwork skills through barre work and center exercises. They continue to learn ballet terminology and slowly begin to put steps together.
ABOUT PRE-TEEN/TEEN BALLET
Teachers build from the child ballet syllabus and strengthen the exercises at the barre to increase students’ physical strength and ability. At this level instructors attempt to improve flexibility in crucial muscle groups, to strengthen dancers’ lines, to work on expression and basic performing skills.
Students learn the fundamentals of pointe work. Dancers MUST have at least three years of proper ballet training and MUST take at least three ballet classes a week. Pointe is demanding on the body and especially on the feet; sore feet and blisters often occur. At the beginning level, we make sure pointe shoe fits properly and show students the correct way to tie them. Correct ballet technique, alignment, and balance along with proper turnout and strength in the legs are required in order to avoid injury. The mastering of basic pointe gives the dancer proper use of the floor and allows for freedom in complicated steps. “En pointe” students will learn short excerpts of classical repertory.
ABOUT INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED BALLET
As students continue their education in classical dance, the focus is on technique, perfecting lines, refining their movement, and gaining more control and mobility at the barre and in the center. Exercises are more demanding, and footwork is more complicated. Performing skills are also emphasized.
*Must take both Ballet & Pointe
This class emphasizes urban and street movement, popping and locking, along with jazz isolations, new style reggae, body waving and break dancing techniques all done to the beats of popular and Hip-Hop music.
All jazz warm-ups embody a strong ballet and modern foundation, based on the “Mathes Technique” with an emphasis on correct posture, torso exercises, footwork, leg extensions, floor stretching, sit-ups, and pushups. Dancers repeat progressions across the floor (grand battements, turns, leaps) and learn to put the steps together in different sequences all done to popular and contemporary music. At the end of each class, students will learn a combination varying in style from week to week.
In more advanced classes, Roberta continues the “Mathes Technique” training system. Abdominal (core) strength and endurance are emphasized through body alignment including a series of contractions and releases, isolations, and floor work. At this level students gain more muscular control while increasing flexibility, improving extensions, learning how to sustain movement with more ease, linking one step with another and forming artistic expression. Progressions are more challenging, and choreography is more diversified including Latin, lyrical, soulful, upbeat, or theatrical jazz, working on one style for several weeks.
All Pre-Professional classes: it is mandatory to take two ballet classes per week.
** Two Ballet classes per week are required for Preteens and Teens.
Modern & Contemporary
These classes are done barefoot and emphasize balance and control, weight shifting and use of gravity. Our contemporary class draws on a more aggressive way of moving and builds strong, athletic dancers.
Modern will explore numerous contemporary techniques, including Graham, a modern dance method devised by the esteemed Martha Graham, Cunningham, and other modern styles.
Horton, the training system of the Alvin Ailey School in NYC, is a grounded and structured modern dance technique allowing dancers to strengthen their lateral muscle groups.
Afro Modern will focus on combining traditional African dance stylings and modern strength and movement techniques.
*All Pre-Professional classes: it is mandatory to take two ballet classes per week.
There are different techniques and a range of styles that cover the basics of tap dancing: soft shoe, hoofing, and Broadway tap. We cover the fundamental use of musical patterns with footwork (heal toe) and the shifting of weight. These classes are also progressive in difficulty beginning with simple relaxed footwork, across the floor exercises and then in more advanced classes, students develop separation of sound, use of swing rhythms and more challenging rhythmical patterns done a capella or to music.
Our Preteen Audition Prep class is designed for young, pre-professional/professional performers who wish to gain more confidence in their dance skills and improve their auditioning process. Proper dance "technique" will be emphasized- working on the "basics" in jazz dance and tap. Students will learn to be more aware of proper spacing when dancing in a group or chorus, and more mindful of how to expect the unexpected at an audition. The first part of the year is dedicated to working on "technique" and picking up movement quickly. Later we will work on more advanced choreography. Surprise auditions will be given throughout the year. Basic ballet is highly recommended.
The PRE-PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM offers a diverse but set curriculum for dancers between the ages of 13 and 18. Each pre-professional student is required to take a minimum number of classes in classical ballet, partnering, modern (Horton or other), contemporary jazz “Mathes Technique,” enriched by other dance electives – composition/choreography, ethnic, tap, voice and theater dance, or Hip-Hop. Proper technique and dance training are emphasized in order to develop strong, well-rounded dancers. Evaluations are done annually. Masterclasses along with workshops are offered.
The pre-professional dancers will be a part of the Dance Ensemble and will have opportunities to perform in NYC and throughout the community.
Attendance and Lateness
Consistent attendance is crucial for the development of each dancer. Make-up classes are encouraged and should be taken during the session enrolled. Please inform us of all absences and be sure to make-up in the proper level. Call to schedule make-ups. Students who arrive more than fifteen minutes late will be asked to observe class.
In the event that classes are cancelled, students will be notified via telephone/email or a notice will be posted on our Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
No refunds. Credit may be given due to prolonged illness with a medical note.
Registration and Tuition Information can be found, Below!