Dance | Greensboro Performing Arts


GPA's Dance Program is designed to train tomorrow's dancers through weekly technique classes, connecting students of a similar age and skill level, in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, musical theatre dance and more. Specialized classes include the Zena Rommett Floor-Barre; and the Lynn Simonson Jazz Technique taught by our school director, Suzanne Vandergrift, who is certified in these methods practiced by professional dancers worldwide. Our qualified faculty develops programming with opportunities for everyone to succeed, no matter whether you are a beginner student, dancing purely for recreation reasons, a theatre student in pursuit of becoming the "Triple Threat" or serious dancer seeking an intensive Young Artist and Professional curriculum.

Dance training begins at age 3 and classes continue through adult professional levels. MUSIKGARTEN®, the early childhood music & movement classes taught by our certified instructors, serve as a wonderful foundation in the performing arts for children 6 months to 3 years.

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Summer Arts Camps - Dance, Music, Theatre

Disney-Marvel Mashup Summer Camps for Ages 4 - 9 years
What do Marvel superheroes and Disney princesses have in common? Favorite movie and comic book personalities represent strength of character and goodness that inspire our children. Let’s create together, celebrating “super virtues” that rebuild and unify our community. Summer Storybook Adventures begin with Disney-Marvel mashup fun for young imaginations! Children, 4-9 years, enjoy “magical messages" gracefully wrapped in music, dance, crafts and theatre games. Little Dancer Program (Ages 3 - 8)
We introduce dance, music, and artistic concepts to the young student through a balanced curriculum of pre-ballet, tap, and creative movement in a combination class. The pre-ballet component focuses on fun ways to learn the French terminology for dance movements and to improve motor skills, flexibility, strength, and spatial awareness. Tap instruction includes standard tap steps practiced with emphasis on musicality and rhythm. Creative movement guides the child through an exploration of his/her own unique artistic expression as it relates to story-telling musical inspiration and movement games. All children must meet the minimum age requirement by September 1 and are placed according to age. During the first two weeks of classes, teachers may suggest a different class or level.

Young Artist Program (Ages 7 – 18+)
GPA's "Young Artist" Technique Curriculum is designed to prepare the students ages 7 to 18 years for a future in dance and theatre performance and/or dance education. Technique classes include fundamental concepts in body alignment and placement, correct execution of movement sequences and a solid foundation of muscular strength. All technique classes include warm-up exercises, center floor exercises and across-the-floor progressions. Ballet and/or Zena Rommett Floor Barre; is required of all students enrolled in any other technique, with the exception of our Open Level Classes.

Dance students graduate through four levels of training on average devoting 3 years at each progressive level. Class lengths vary depending on 3 factors: technique, level, and age. An introductory technique class (Level I) ranges from 45-minutes to 1-hour in length of class time. More advanced technique classes (Levels III & IV) require 90-minutes or more to complete the demands of the advanced work.

PLEASE NOTE: Students are expected to master the basics at each level before progressing to the next, and are admitted into upper levels only with prior experience or approval of the instructor. During the first two weeks of class each student will be individually assessed and alternate class or level placement may be suggested. The high quality of each class will be maintained when all students are capable of dancing at the level of difficulty presented by the instructor.

Technique Class Descriptions

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Classical Ballet

Ballet technique is the foundation of all other dance forms. Because of this fact, all students must enroll in ballet technique, in addition to any other technique classes they wish to take. Experienced dancers may request placement out of the ballet technique requirement per faculty evaluation and/or register for Zena Rommett Floor Barre®.

Class Elements:
  • Warm-UP Exercises/Barre Work
  • Center Floor Combinations
  • Accross the Floor Combinations
    and Choreography
Required Attire:
  • Solid Leotard
  • Pink Tights
  • Pink Ballet Shoes
  • Hair In Bun
  • Water Bottle

Level I: Beginner Ballet
  • Basic understanding of classroom etiquette & sequence
  • Basic French Terminology
  • Introduction to Choreography
  • Basic Body Awareness of Posture and Alignment
  • Introduction of Spatial Concepts, Balance, Strength, Body Conditioning and Flexibility
  • Introduction to Stage Presence, Musicality and Dance Discipline
Requisite Skills
All 7-year-old students must have completed at least 1 year of Ballet/Tap under the Young Dancers Program.
Available Classes:
Level II: Low-Intermediate Ballet
  • The student is expected to demonstrate a deeper understanding of technical terminology in connection with body placement and movement concepts.
  • The student should be more confident learning new choreography at a faster pace and be more aware of dance discipline.
Requisite Skills
Technique skills include:
pirouettes en dehors and en dedans, adagio développé in 8 body positions, balances in passé, attitude posé, body and leg fouetté at the barre, 5 to 6 element "petite allegro" combinations.
Available Classes:

Level III: High-Intermediate Ballet

  • Students should demonstrate an ability to bring emotive, dramatic and artistic elements to the movement.
  • Can utilize correct alignment with ease even with more complex, 10 - 12 element combinations/dance sequences
  • Are expected to learn choreography at a more challenging pace
  • Are expected to take technique classes in multiple dance disciplines
Requisite Skills
Extended adagios with penché arabesque, double pirouettes, eight body positions and épaulement, faster pace of frappé, petit battements and battu - intricate patterns emerge. Strength, balance, and control are a priority.
Available Classes:
Level IV: Advanced Ballet
  • Students should demonstrate a commitment to dance and performance techniques
  • Can learn and master multiple dance choreography and maintain it at an accelerated rate.
  • Are expected to take technique classes in multiple dance disciplines several times a week
  • Can describe advanced combinations verbally with the dance terminology
Requisite Skills
Multiple pirouettes in poses, fouetté turns, petite allegro with beats, sustained extensions, flexibility and turn out. Ballet steps include brissé, arisé vollé, balatté, temps de cuisse, grande sissonne ouverte, pirouette a la seconde, piqué turns in poses, contretemps.

Students are eligible for this level if they have met the above requirements, at least 6 years prior dance technique, and with teacher recommendation.
Available Classes:
Zena Rommett Floor-Barre®
In this unique ballet class, the first part of the class is conducted on the floor (without the pull of gravity), where correct alignment and movement become a part of the dancer's muscular memory. The body is centered, lengthened, and strengthened, while maximum turnout and extension are developed. Suzanne Vandergrift is trained and certified by Zena Rommett. Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Technique® has assisted thousands of dancers to overcome serious injuries and prolong their dancing careers.

Available Classes:

Developed in the late 20th century, modern is a free, expressive style of dancing, not bound by the strict rules of classical ballet. This exciting form of dance pioneered the rebellion against the rigors of ballet and here at Greensboro Performing Arts it means concentration on Graham and Hawkins techniques. These exciting classes incorporate more mature movement concepts such as over curve/under curve and contraction/release of the torso, and articulation of the spine.
Available Classes:

Jazz & Contemporary
Jazz is an umbrella term that can be related to a broad range of dance forms, with its roots in African-American rhythms and Caribbean traditional dance, and includes theatrical or Broadway style jazz, contemporary, street jazz, and more.

Jazz technique basics always include a combination of body isolations, rhythm, coordination and balance work, followed by energetic progressions (turns, leaps, & jumps) across the floor and short movement sequences set to motivational music. Through fun choreography and combinations, dancers will gain knowledge and appreciation of styles of jazz technique including Simonson Jazz Technique.

Available Classes:

Fun and vibrant classes teach rhythmic coordination and style, beginning with the foundational Al Gilbert curriculum, which serves young dancers as a fundamental for easy transition into jazz technique. Throughout the technique levels, dancers will explore the evolution of tap terminology and style within the genres of classic Broadway, Street and Rhythm Tap.
Available Classes:

Hip Hop
Dancers learn a variety of hip hop styles -East Coast, West Coast, Street, Pop, Krump, and Funk are just a few of the different styles of hip hop that the dancers will explore in this class.
Available Classes:

Dancers may choose to add pointe technique to their ballet training through the Little Artist Program beginning at age 11 & 12 with instructor recommendation. Beginning with Pre-Pointe, dancers work on conditioning and strengthening the feet and ankles, then move all the way through to advanced levels in Pointe, which emphasize style, proper technique, body alignment and performance repertory.

*Not all ballet students are encouraged to pursue pointe technique due to specific body-type requirements to safely perform this technique. Please call the studio for Pre-Pointe Evaluation.

Available Classes:

Recreational - Open Level Classes
Open Level Classes provide an opportunity for students new to dance to explore some of the more contemporary styles without the initial commitment to ballet technique.
Available Classes:

Teen & Adult
GPA offers classes for Teens and Adults (Ages 16 & Up) in variety styles of dance including Beginning Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, East Coast Swing, Cardio-Dance, Zena Rommett Floor-Barre®, Praise Dance and Zumba. Whether trying to stay fit, learn something new, or desire continue training in the art form you loved growing up, these classes are ideal for inspiring the young at heart through great music and movement!

Spring Concerts
At the end of the school year (usually in May/early June), Greensboro Performing Arts presents several exciting and eclectic recitals at a local theatre. These concerts give each student the chance to experience the thrill and challenge of a live performance, while enabling their family and friends the opportunity to see what their student has learned over the course of the year. We carefully select musical and theatrical content, costumes, and movements, suitable in context and theme for the various age groups presented in our productions.