Modern and Creative Dance

Modern dancer posing on stage
The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute’s modern dance classes for students ages 7–18 are built on classical modern techniques, primarily Cunningham and Horton technique. The use of strength, physicality, rhythm, and momentum together with proper body alignment are key components of the class, as well as celebrating the expressivity of dance.

The Colburn Connected Virtual Dance Studio offers dancers the opportunity to advance their training at home, accompanied by live music, and get real-time feedback from world-class instructors.

New this semester, in addition to the many genre-specific classes offered online each week, students can take “Plus” classes that supplement training and physicality. Dancers will also have the opportunity to develop their artistry in new ways with film and choreographic projects, take master classes with notable professional artists, and participate in a special virtual Nutcracker project.

Register today for Fall 2020 and try two weeks of classes with no obligation.

Ages 7–9

This class introduces students to proper body alignment and engaging and strengthening muscles. Articulations through the spine and torso are developed together with work on coordination, balance, rhythm, and a fundamental movement vocabulary.

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Ages 9–10

While continuing to work on body alignment and strength, students begin to build the movement vocabulary. Phrases of movement across the space, use of different levels, and jumping are added to help build physicality and spatial awareness.

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Ages 10–14

At level III, students add comprehensive movement exercises that continue to develop strength, technique, and alignment. Students progress to more complex movement phrases that incorporate and explore the use of different levels, rhythm, and use of space. To develop artistry, the class emphasizes work on quality and dynamics within the movement. The addition of ballet once a week continues to help students develop strength and technique as well as knowledge of ballet terminology.

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Ages 10–14

An hour and a half Ballet technique class to supplement the Modern curriculum

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Ages 12–16

In this more advanced level, students begin to learn an additional technique, while continuing to work on the Horton based technique. The current second technique is Cunningham, developed by the choreographer Merce Cunningham. Unique in its use of the torso and of space, these classes continue to develop the student dancers’ strength, physicality, and artistry.

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Ages 12–16

An hour and a half Ballet technique class to supplement the Modern curriculum

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Ages 14-18

At the most advanced level offered, students continue to study Cunningham and Horton technique, with the addition of Graham technique class once a week. Ballet is offered twice a week to further development. Unique to level V is Repertory class; students learn the repertory of faculty and guest choreographers such as Merce Cunningham. Students have more performance opportunities and can take master classes. The focus in this level, while continuing to perfect general technique, is being able to move with a multidimensional orientation and developing artistry.

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Ages 14-18

An hour and a half Ballet technique class to supplement the Modern curriculum

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Creative Dance classes combine the mastery of dance skills and vocabulary with creative expression. They can be a transition from Early Childhood movement classes or be a child’s first experience with dance and movement.

In Creative Dance, students learn to invent movement from within their own skills and movement history. They are taught to experiment and try new, unexplored movements that arise from the demands of the moment, enabling them to create, think, and respond to a variety of stimuli and prompts.

Students work alone, with partners, and in small groups to explore key dance concepts as space, time, energy, relationship, and body awareness. Through structured improvisations, skill building, and creative problem solving, students are immersed in the artistic process, empowered to make creative choices in a supportive, joyful environment.

Two levels are offered according to age and experience, each meeting once per week for 55 minutes. Both classes include live musical accompaniment, enhancing the experience and aiding the development of musicality. Auditions are not required, but students between the ages of 4 years, 5 months and 4 years, 11 months are encouraged to take a trial class.

Creative Dance I: Ages 4.5–6

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Creative Dance II: Ages 6–8

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