We offer a range of programs throughout the school year for children of all ages and skill levels. Our 2017/2018 school year starts September 5, 2017 and ends May 19, 2018. You can download the 2017/18 brochure by clicking here. The schedule undergoes changes between print time (generally in February) and the start of classes in September. Be sure to check the website schedule for any additions or changes.

Early Childhood Program

Creative Movement 1Our Early Childhood classes develop motor skills, coordination, and listening skills, as well as promote the exploration of creativity and expression through movement. All classes in the Early Childhood Program develop skills necessary for the formal study of ballet or other forms of dance.

  • Tiny Toes (Parent ‘n Me for 18 months to 2 1/2 years old)
  • Creative Movement 1 (2½ – 3 years old)
  • Creative Movement 2 (3½ – 4 years old)
  • Creative Movement 3 (4 to 5, Pre-K)
Class Descriptions and Dress Code

Tiny Toes

is for children between 18 months and 2 1/2 years and a parent or caregiver. Each class includes elements of both movement and music, as well as thematically-related art projects.

Part of the Claire School of Dance Early Childhood Program, its goals are to promote the developmental milestones of this age group, to prepare the child for future study of the arts … and to have fun!  Classes are intended to include a parent or adult for every child, facilitating not just the participation of each child but also providing an opportunity for adult and child to have fun together.

This class meets once a week for 30 minutes. Each session is 13 weeks long.  Activities focus on both fine and gross motor control, identifying shapes and colors, and spatial relationships such as “inside,” “around,” and “over.”  The class includes sitting on the floor so parents should dress accordingly. Stocking feet as street shoes are not worn in the dance studio.

Each semester’s fee includes tuition for the class as well as art supplies and a musical kit each family can take home at the end of the year. All supplies needed for the class are provided by the school.

Creative Movement 1
is a program designed for children between the ages of age 2 ½ and 3 ½ . In this class, children are imaginatively stimulated to dance and move through space. Age-appropriate activities develop large motor skills, coordination and balance, while introducing classroom etiquette. The class introduces children to a wide range of music, from ballet to music from around the world, as well as musical concepts such as steady beat.

This class meets once a week for 30 minutes. Attire is a pink or black leotard. Dance skirt (attached OK) or tutu OK. No tights! No shoes! For cold weather, leggings and a sweater may be worn.

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Creative Movement 2
is for children 3 ½ to 4. It stresses coordination, large motor skills development, musical and spatial awareness, and listening skills. Every lesson includes an opportunity to explore imagination and movement.

Parents are invited to attend class twice a year to observe their children.

This class meets once a week for 45 minutes. Attire is a pink or black leotard. Dance skirt or tutu OK. Attached skirt OK. No tights! No shoes! For cold weather, leggings may be worn. Hair should be pulled back into pony tail. Short hair must be pulled back from the face.

Parents are invited to attend class twice a year to observe their children.

Creative Movement 3
for children entering Pre-K, further develops coordination and motor and listening skills while promoting natural creativity, musical awareness, and improvisation. In addition to building physical ability, this class gives children the opportunity to use movement to tell a story through interactive group exercises. Attention is given to the ability to retain increasingly complex instructions.

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This class meets once a week for 45 minutes. Attire is a pink or black leotard. Dance skirt or tutu. Attached skirt OK. No tights! No shoes! For cold weather, leggings and a sweater may be worn. Hair should be pulled back into pony tail. Short hair must be pulled back from the face.

Parents are invited to attend class twice a year to observe their children.

Foundations

Preballet-dsc_3667The Pre-ballet and Primary classes of our Foundations Program provide a transition to the formal classical ballet classes which start with Level 1.  Pre-ballet is for students entering Kindergarten, while Primary A is for First Graders and Primary B is for Second Graders.

Pre-ballet (Kindergarten)

Pre-ballet is for children entering Kindergarten. In this class, children are introduced to age-appropriate ballet vocabulary as preparation for more formal training. Children are introduced to additional basic steps and positions of classical ballet, while continuing to develop proper alignment and placement. New traveling steps are introduced and there is a new emphasis on musicality.

This class meets once a week for 45 minutes. Dress code is a lilac tank leotard, (for example: Natalie PB302C) and white Natalie child skirt with lettuce edging. Hair should be pulled back into a ponytail or put up in a bun. Short hair must be pulled back from the face. White ankle socks. Pink leather ballet slippers. No costume slippers!

Parents of Preballet students are invited to attend the annual Parent Day Demonstration, held the second or third Sunday in May. In addition, Preballet students are eligible for participation in our annual Nutcracker.

Primary A & B (First and Second Grade)
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In the two-year Primary course, students continue to develop placement and alignment and to expand their fundamental ballet technique and vocabulary. Exercises emphasize the development of balance, posture, and spatial awareness. We continue to stress musicality and self-expression through directed improvisation of both individuals and groups. Primary A and Primary B meet once a week for one hour.

Attire is a mulberry tank leotard, (preferably Natalie PB302C) and white Natalie child skirt with lettuce edging. White anklet socks. Pink leather ballet slippers. Costume slippers are NOT acceptable. Hair should be pulled back into a ponytail or put up in a bun. Short hair must be pulled back from the face.

Parents of Primary students are invited to attend the annual Parent Day Demonstration, held the second or third Sunday in May. In addition, Primary students are eligible for participation in our annual Nutcracker.

Level Classes

Level1-dsc_3040Students 8 years and up participate in classes in our Levels Program. Students in the ballet program follow a carefully designed sequence of exercises designed to strengthen placement, alignment, and precision as building blocks for the more complex steps of classical ballet. Each Level takes two years to complete. Our curriculum is based on the American Ballet Theatre National Training curriculum, in which Ms. Claire and Miss Renee are certified teachers. The ABT National Training Curriculum is based on the slow and careful development of proper placement, resulting in beautiful lines and the safe execution of steps. Also incorporated into our Level classes are elements of Pilates and floor barre, in order to develop the strength and flexibility of core and back muscles.

The Claire School of Dance is a boutique school where class size in the Levels program is generally between 6 and 8 students and never more than 12. Our small classes permit our teachers to focus on the individual student. Our students have been accepted into Houston Ballet Academy and The Rock ballet conservatory, as well as summer intensives at Houston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, and The Rock.

In addition to developing strong technique and beautiful posture, students gain valuable life skills such as self-discipline, creativity, confidence, and self-esteem.

Students in the Level Program are eligible for participation in the annual New York Nutcracker.

Level I

Level 1 students are generally 8 years old. Classes are 75 minutes long.  Light blue camisole leotard (such as Sansha Y1555C), white pull-on dance skirt (preferably Mirella MS12CH), pink tights, and pink leather ballet slippers. No attached skirts. Hair must be worn up in a bun. Short hair must be pulled back from the face. No jewelry. No watches.

Level 2
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Level 2 students are generally 10 years old. Classes for students with a minimum of 2 years previous ballet instruction. They should be familiar with basic ballet terminology and exercises. Classes are 75 minutes long. Seafoam camisole leotard (such as Sansha Y1555C), white dance skirt (preferably Mirella MS12CH), pink tights, and pink leather ballet slippers. No attached skirts. Hair must be worn up in a bun. Short hair must be pulled back from the face. No jewelry. No watches.

Level 3

Level 3 classes are for students with a minimum of 4 years previous instruction. Classes are  75-90 minutes long. Students are required to take class twice a week.

Attire is a navy blue camisole leotard (such as Capezio CC102C), white pull-on dance skirt (preferably Mirella MS12CH, older girls may wear a white wrap), pink tights, pink leather ballet slippers, and, if applicable, pink pointe shoes. Hair must be worn up in a bun. Short hair must be pulled back from the face. No jewelry. No watches.

Level 4

Level 4 classes are 90 minutes to two hours long. Students are required to take class at least twice a week.

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Attire is a garnet leotard,  white pull on or wrap dance skirt, pink tights, pink ballet slippers, and, if applicable, pink pointe shoes. Hair must be worn up in a bun. Short hair must be pulled back from the face. No jewelry. No watches.

Level 5

Level 5 classes are 90 minutes to two hours long. Students are required to take ballet class three times a week and pointe class twice a week.

Attire is a hunter green leotard, white wrap dance skirt, pink tights, pink ballet slippers, and, if applicable, pink pointe shoes. Hair must be worn up in a bun. Short hair must be pulled back from the face. No jewelry. No watches.

Tap, Jazz & More
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Fitted plain white t-shirt or white leotard. Black shorts or athletic pants. White socks. Black leather ballet slippers, socks, or dance sneakers, depending on the style of dance.

Jazz

Our  jazz class introduces students to the vocabulary, music, and “language” of Broadway style movement. Attire is a leotard (any color) and black  dance pants or leggings. Bare feet or black jazz shoes. Hair should be pulled back from face.

Children’s Tap

Tap for children introduces students to basic steps of tap.  Emphasis is placed on the development of rhythm and musicality. Attire is a leotard or t-shirt, black dance pants or leggings. Black tap shoes with ribbon or elastic. Hair should be pulled back.

Flamenco

This dance form from south Spain is characterized by rhythmic footwork and elegant arms. We offer both children’s (7-12 years) and adult classes.  Attire is a leotard or t shirt and long skirt for girls; t shirt and fitted pants for boys. Character shoes may be used in place of flamenco shoes for children’s classes. Adults will need flamenco shoes.

Modern

Modern is a contemporary dance style whose movements range from everyday gestures to large traveling steps. Special attention is paid to floor movements and the effects of gravity. Emphasis is placed on both the development of individual style and group interaction. Attire is a t-shirt or leotard, any color. Black dance pants or leggings. Socks or dance sneakers. Hair should be pulled back from face.

Hip Hop

Our Hip Hop class introduces students to the basic vocabulary of hip hop including isolations and floor movements.  Emphasis is placed on developing rhythm and listening skills.  Attire is a t-shirt, dance pants, and sneakers.

Hippity Hop

This class introduces the younger student to an elementary form of hip hop using age appropriate music and movements.  Attire is a t-shirt, dance pants, and sneakers.