Classes & Programs / DanceTap & Jazz
Tap and Jazz Dance Classes
April- August 2018
The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts teaches rhythm-based tap technique. Each class will begin with a warm up of the legs and ankles and progress to more intricate combinations utilizing the entire studio space. Improvisation skills are also practiced that incorporate strong technique, syncopation of rhythm, and being able to “think on your toes”. In Fall 2017 our Advanced students were selected to perform in a showcase at the Twin Cities Tap Festival.
Jazz at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is a fusion of many different types of techniques from historical jazz grandmasters, such as Fosse, Dunham, Giordano, and Luigi. All levels of jazz class center around strong technique and initiation of movement, while incorporating different styles of performance.
National Tap Dance Day workshops
Each class will include tap technique, warm-ups and rehearsal to learn a choreographed piece to be performed in the Twin Cities National Tap Dance Day (NTDD) celebration. Even if you do not plan to attend NTDD, you are still welcome to participate and learn! Each year tap celebrations are held in honor of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity.
Dates: Classes May 1- May 25, Performance on May 27, in Twin Cities as part of a larger NTDD Celebration organized by Keane Sense of Rhythm.
Tap for Kids & Tap I- Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5:15-6:15pm $96 (ages 6 years and up ), Instructor: J. Dienger
Tap II/III*– 6:30-7:45pm Wednesdays and Fridays, $112 Instructor: C. Martin
Tap IV & V*– 5-6:30pm Wednesdays and Fridays, $112, Instructor: C. Martin
Dancers will wear MCA Tapper Shirts, new ones can be purchased for $12 in the office.
*Please don't let the lack of tap shoes be a barrier, we have a tap shoes that can be borrowed in most sizes, just ask our office.
NEW! Tappin’ Technique Time
A great compliment to those who participate in NTDD workshop to focus on the fundamentals of tap technique or for those 6+ who are excited to explore this fascinating dance form! Students will stomp, flap, and shuffle their way through this fun, rhythm filled class.
Day/Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays, May 29- June 14
Time: 5:15-6:15 pm
Age: 6-12 years (with 2 years or less experience), by 5/1/18
Price: $54 (6 classes)
Instructor: J. Dienger
Join us for an exciting week of rhythm! TAP CAMP will include classes in tap technique, repertory, improvisation, body percussion, music theory and concepts for the tap dancer, tap history, and tap in films. TAP CAMP is for intermediate and advanced tap dancers ages 11 – 21 or MCA Tap levels II, III, IV, and V. Dancers should bring a water bottle and snack each day. An informal demonstration for family and friends will be held on Friday, Aug. 3rd at 5:00 pm followed by a potluck pizza party! Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, come on dancers, it’s TAP CAMP time!
Dates: July 30- Aug. 3, 2018 (Mon.- Fri.)
Time: 1 – 5 p.m.
Age: Intermediate & Adv. Tap Dancers ages 11 – 21 or MCA Tap levels II, III, IV, and V
Price: $165 (early Bird), $189 (after May 1) includes camp t-shirt
NEW! Musical Theatre Dance, 8-12 years
Unleash your creative side while dancing to new and classic songs from the Broadway stage. Dancers will work on perfecting dance technique while bringing a character to life.
Day/Dates: Saturdays, May 5-June 16 (No class May 18th)
Time: 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Age: 8-12 years
Price: $56 (6 classes)
Instructor: J. Dienger
NEW! Musical Theatre Dance, 13+ years
During this fun, fast-paced class dancers will explore musical theatre pioneers of past and present. A special focus will be placed on style development and storytelling.
Day/Dates: Fridays, May 11-June 15
Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Age: 13+ years
Price: $56 (6 classes)
Instructor: J. Dienger
NEW! Stay Strong August Session
Stay strong this summer and be in shape for Nutcracker auditions. Buy a 3 or 6 class punch card and attend the Ballet or Contemporary classes that fit in your summer schedule.
Stay Strong Ballet
Day: Tuesdays, Aug. 7-21
Times: 4:30-6:00 pm
This is a mixed level ballet class for students in Ballet IV+ or dancers with an equivalent level of training.
Stay Strong Contemporary
This mixed level class will include instruction in Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern and conditioning. This class is open to students in Modern III+, Jazz III+, Hip Hop III+, or Ballet IV+ or equivalent level of training.
Day: Thursdays, Aug. 9-23
Times: 4:30-6 pm
Stay Strong Fees:
3 class punch card- $40
6 classes punch card- $80
Dance Repertory Company
In addition to dance classes, an exciting part of learning experience for MCA students is performance opportunities. Students may audition for MCA's pre-professional performing ensemble, the Dance Repertory Company (DRC), or MCA's junior performing troupe, Dance Repertory Company II. DRC produces two production annually. Biannually DRC presents a full-length production of the traditional holiday classic The Nutcracker.
Important Upcoming DRC & DRC II Dates
Cinderella Performances: April 19-22 at the Page Theatre on the St. Mary’s University Campus
Nutcracker Audition Workshops: Aug. 22 during MCA's Fall Open House
Nutcracker Auditions: Sept. 8th, 3pm, ages 5+ are invited to audition.
10th Anniversary Nutcracker Performances: Nov. 28-Dec. 2 at the Page Theatre on the St. Mary's University Campus
For more information about auditioning for DRC, ordering tickets or past productions click here.
2018 Summer Camp Overview
Mini-Summer Dance Intensive- June 18- 29, 9am-4pm, Monday- Friday, ages 9+ (with approx. 3 years dance experience/ MCA Ballet Level II) Q & A about our Mini-SDI
Super Artist Multi-Arts Camp– June 25-29, Monday-Friday, 9:30am-10:45am, ages 3-5 & K-1st grade.
16th Annual Boarding Summer Dance Intensive (SDI)- NOW 3 WEEKS! July 8-28, ages 11-22, acceptance by in-person or video audition required. Q & A about our SDI.
Tap Camp- July 30-Aug. 3, 1pm-5pm, Monday- Friday.
Winona Arts Camp 2018: I Create- August 6-10, Monday- Friday, 9am-3:30pm, 1st-8th grade
NEW! Nutcracker Fairy Tale Camp- August, 13-17 Monday- Friday, 9:30-10:30am, ages 5 & 6 years & 10:45-11:45am, ages 3 & 4 years (pair with Drummin' up Fun for 2.25 hour drop off camp).
NEW! Drummin' up Fun Camp- August, 13-17 Monday- Friday, 9:30-10:30am, ages 3 & 4 years & 10:45-11:45am, ages 5 &6 years (pair with Drummin' up Fun for 2.25 hour drop off camp).
All of these camps will take place at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts home, The Valencia Arts Center. Please check back soon for more details on these camps, 2018 National Tap Dance Day Celebration workshops, stay strong classes, summer private lessons, spring dance classes, and Arts Camps at the YMCA by MCA staff.
For full camp descriptions Click Here.
MCA in partnership with the Winona YMCA this Summer
MCA is proud to be partnering once again with the Winona YMCA to offer more opportunities for local kids to explore the arts and get creative this summer. Registration for these camp is through the Winona YMCA at: winonaymca.org
July 23-27- Little Creaters, ages 3-6 years, 8:30am-12:30pm
July 30-Aug. 3- Art Around the World, 1st-5th grade, 8:30am-4:30pm
In addition to the above camps featuring both performing and visual arts, the regular YMCA Childcare program will also take field trips to MCA throughout the summer.
About MCA's Dance Program
MCA is an affiliate program of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Department of Theatre and Dance. Students at the university, or those taking a post-secondary education option (PSEO) for high school, can get university credit towards their major, minor or PE credit, when they take an upper level MCA dance class. Our younger dancers also get the opportunity to perform in main-stage university productions, due to this connection, such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Le Corsaire, etc.
The Conservatory's Dance Repertory Company puts on a biannual Nutcracker, as well as a full-length performance every April. This production is either a full-length story ballet, or contemporary dance concert choreographed by a variety of professional choreographers from across the region. For the winters in years that there is not a Nutcracker, MCA produces a dance showcase in our black box theatre for the younger dancers, as well as pieces choreographed by students that have taken the Choreography class at the Conservatory. When possible dance classes also perform at local establishments and events. MCA's dance program does not participate in competitions, nor does it do recitals.
MCA's dance division offers students exciting technique classes and performance opportunities in a nurturing and rigorous but non-competitive environment with qualified instructors. MCA successfully prepares students for future arts-related professional and educational pursuits.
Students and alumni have studied at or performed with:
- American Ballet Theatre
- Ananya Dance Theatre
- Ballet Austin
- Ballet Chicago
- Butler University
- Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
- Chicago Human Rhythm Project
- Colorado Ballet
- Columbia College
- Continental Ballet
- Eastman School of Music – Rochester University
- Joffery Ballet
- Limon Dance Company
- Milwaukee Ballet School
- Minnesota Ballet School
- Minnesota Dance Theatre’s The Dance Institute
- Radio City Music Hall Rockettes
- Saint Olaf College
- St. Paul City Ballet
- Texas Christian University
- The Laban Institute
- University of Iowa
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- University of Missouri Kansas City
- University of Oklahoma
- and Wichita State University among others.
Whether you or your child dreams of dancing professionally or just want to reek the benefits of a fun, enriching, quality dance education MCA has a program for you!
To ensure the continuous education of both our instructors and students MCA is a proud member of the National Guild for Community Arts Schools and National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). As a member of NDEO MCA is also sponsors Junior (6th-8th grade), Secondary (High School), and Collegiate National Honors Society for Dance Arts Chapters to help recognize dancers accomplishments and commitments and further the field of dance education.
Dance Program Dress Code
Dance Division Dress Code
MCA students are asked to follow the below dress code. Adhering to this policy promotes safety and injury prevention, allows instructors to view the student's bodylines and placement to make corrections, and provides a sense of tradition, discipline and respect. Please note: no jeans may be worn for any classes. Basic dance shoes and attire may fitted and ordered through MCA's Dance Boutique. Other items may be ordered online or may be found at Blades to Ballet in Rochester. If the cost of dance attire makes participation in MCA programs difficult please contact our office at 507-453-5500, we would love to see if we are able to help provide gently used donations.
Female attire – pink tights, pink ballet slippers and a black leotard. Hair is to be pulled tightly off the face and neck in a bun. Pre-Ballet for 4 & 5 Year-olds and Beginning Ballet Students are also invited to wear pink leotards and simple ballet skirts (please non-tutu’s).
Male attire – white T-shirt, black leggings, tights, or shorts and black or white ballet slippers. Compression shorts and dance belts are required for teen and adult male dancers, respectively.
Modern: Female attire – Any color leotard. Leggings, footless tights and or biker shorts may be worn. Hair is to be pulled off the face and neck. No shoes needed, this class is taken in barefeet.
Male attire – Any color plain (no logos or design) T-shirt, black leggings, tights, or shorts and black or white ballet slippers. Compression shorts and dance belts are required for teen and adult male dancers, respectively.
Creative Movement & Boys in Motion: Movable clothing (not too baggy as to hinder the instructor’s view of the student’s body lines), bare feet, hair pulled off the face and neck.
Tap: Movable clothing and oxford style tap shoes. Hair is to be pulled off the face and neck.
Jazz: Any color leotard and moveable exercise/dance bottoms (not too baggy as to hinder the instructor’s view of the students’ body lines), jazz shoes, jazz sneakers or ballet slippers. No bare feet or socks. Hair is to be securely pulled off the face and neck.
Dance Technique for Boys: White T-shirt, black leggings, tights, or shorts, and black or white jazz shoes or ballet slippers.
Irish: Movable clothing (not too baggy as to hinder the instructor’s view of the student’s body lines), shorts or leggings are preferred, and Irish soft shoe Ghillies. Black ballet slippers are acceptable for beginners. Irish hard shoes also required for dancers in Irish III & up.
Hip Hop, Adult & Other Specialty Classes: Movable clothing as desired. Hip Hop students wear clean tennis shoes or jazz sneakers. Oxford style tap shoes required for Clogging and Teen/Adult Tap students. Ballet slippers or jazz shoes for Teen/Adult Ballet. Barre Students can be barefoot.
Click Here to learn more about observation/ demonstration days, discounts, cancellation policy and more for dance classes.
PSEO Students in their junior and senior years of high school who participate in the Post Secondary Education Option (PSEO) may also take selected MCA classes for Saint Mary’s University credit offered through the Saint Mary’s dance minor. For more details, contact your high school or counselor.
Saint Mary's University Students have the option of taking upper level dance classes at MCA that are not offered on the SMU campus and performing with MCA's pre-professional dance company, The Dance Repertory Company (DRC) for credit. SMU students do not have to be a Dance Minor or even in the Theatre & Dance Department to participate in MCA dance classes or DRC. Please contact Tammy Schmidt, MCA Director of Dance and SMU Dance Department at: email@example.com or 507-453-5502 for more info.
Cotter High School students who also participate in MCA dance classes and performances are able to track participation hours (MCA will validate) and turn them in to count towards Physical Education graduation requirements.
Other Memberships & Opportunities: To ensure the continuous education of both our instructors and students MCA is a proud member of the National Guild for Community Arts Schools, River Arts Alliance, National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). As a member of NDEO MCA is also sponsors Junior (6th-8th grade), Secondary (High School), and Collegiate National Honors Society for Dance Arts Chapters to help recognize dancers accomplishments and commitments and further the field of dance education.