Classes & Programs / DanceTap & Jazz
Tap and Jazz Dance Classes
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 rehearsals to learn a choreographed piece to be performed at MCA’s National Tap Dance Day (NTDD) celebration in the Academy Theatre on Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. Each year tap celebrations are held in honor of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday. Don’t miss this exciting performance opportunity!
Dates: Classes April 29- June 1, Rehearsal and performance Sunday, June 2, 3 p.m.
Days, times and levels: See Below
Tap for Kids- Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5-6 p.m. $120 + $12 for T-shirt (ages 6+ ), C. Deysach
Tap I- Tuesdays, 5-6 p.m. & Saturdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. $120 + $12 for T-shirt (ages 6 years and up ), C. Martin
Tap II/III- Saturdays, 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. $120 + $12 for T-shirt , C. Martin
Tap IV & V- Fridays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. $120 + $12 for T-shirt, J. Dienger
Adult Tap- See Adult Fitness Section
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 to MCA? No problem, please contact our office so we may help you choose the right level for you.
Back by popular demand, Christine Martin will lead adults through this fun, rhythm-filled class. No experience necessary. Tap shoes in some sizes are available for loan. In celebration of National Tap Dance Day (NTDD), students will learn the national tap dance anthem, the Shim Sham Shimmy and will be invited to perform during MCA’s NTDD Celebration. Don’t miss this toe-tappin’, foot stompin’ good time!
Day/Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 2 - May 30 (optional performance opportunity on June 2)
Time: Tuesdays, 6-7pm,Thursdays, 12:00-1:00pm
Fee: $42 for once a week, double the fun and register for both for only $69
Instructor: C. Martin
*Punch card eligible, but regular attendance or past tap experience is recommend.
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 will hold new challenges for beginning, intermediate, and advanced tappers.
Dancers should bring a water bottle and snack each day. An informal demonstration for family and friends will be held on Friday, Aug. 2nd 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 29-Aug.2, M-F
Time & Ages: Tap for Kids and Tap I: 3:00-5:00 pm (ages 6+, no experience- 2 years experience)
Tap II-V: 1:00 - 5:00 pm (Intermediate & advanced Tap Dancers ages 11+ or MCA Tap levels II-V. Tappers will participate in a placement class on day one.)
Fee: Tap for Kids and Tap I: $99
Tap II-V: $189
*Fees include camp t-shirt.
Stay Strong August Session
Stay strong this summer. 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. 6-12
Times: 4:30-6 p.m.
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. 8-12
Times: 4:30-6 p.m.
Stay Strong Fees:
3 class punch card- $40
6 classes punch card- $80
NEW! Beginning Contemporary
This is a beginning study of contemporary dance, an expressive dance genre that combines elements of modern, jazz, and classical ballet. In addition to exploring dance technique, dancers will also focus on initiation for movement and emotional intent behind each combination.
Day/Time: Thursdays, May 9-13
Time: 4-5 pm
Price: $57 (6 classes)
Instructor: J. Dienger
NEW! Intermediate/ Advanced Contemporary Dance
An intermediate–advanced study of contemporary dance, an expressive dance genre that combines elements of modern, jazz, and Classical ballet. In addition to exploring dance technique, dancers will also focus on initiation for movement and emotional intent behind each combination. Best suited for dancers in Ballet IV+, Modern III+, Jazz III at MCA or equivalent experience.*
Day/Dates: Wednesdays, May 8- June 12
Time: 7:35- 8:50 pm
Age: Placement by level Recommendation (see level recommendations above)
Price: $67 (6 Classes)
Instructor: J. Dienger
2019 Summer Camp Overview
Junior Training Program for Dancers- June 17- 28, 9am-4pm, Monday- Friday, ages 9+ (with approx. 3 years dance experience/ MCA Ballet Level II) Q & A about our Junior Training Program.
NEW! Young Dancer Intensive– June 24-28, Monday-Friday, 1-4 pm, ages 6-9 years
17th Annual Boarding Summer Dance Intensive (SDI)- July 7-27, ages 11-22, acceptance by in-person or video audition required. Q & A about our SDI.
Tap Camp- July 29-Aug. 2, 1pm-5pm (Int./Adv. dancers), 3pm-5pm (beg-2 years tap experience), Monday- Friday, ages 6+ .
Winona Arts Camp 2019- August 5-9, Monday- Friday, 9am-3:30pm, 1st-8th grade
NEW! Island Style- August, 12-16 Monday- Friday, 9:30-11:30am, ages 3-5 years & K-1st grade
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, 2019 National Tap Dance Day Celebration workshops, stay strong classes, summer private lessons, spring dance classes, and Arts Camps at the YMCA by MCA staff.
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
DRC II Winter Show Case Auditions: Sept. 7th, 2019 at MCA, beginning- intermediate dancers 5-13 years-old invited to audition for ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and hip hop pieces. Performances: Friday, Dec. 6- Sunday, Dec. 8.
DRC Annual Spring Dance Concert Performances: April 11-13 at the Page Theatre on the Saint Mary's University Campus
Next MCA Nutcracker will be in 2020.
For more information about auditioning for DRC, ordering tickets or past productions click here.
MCA Classes in collaboration with Winona YMCA
Fall Dance Classes at YMCA
Wednesdays, Sept. 11–Oct.23
Ballet Adventures: Pride Rock 5:30–6 pm, ages 3–5 years
My Grown-up & Me 6:15–6:45 pm, ages 18 mo.–3 years with a grown-up
Wednesdays, Nov. 6–Dec. 18
Ballet: Nutcracker 5:30–6 pm, ages 3–5 years
My Grown-up & Me 6:15–6:45 pm, ages 18 mo.–3 years with a grown-up
Instructor: J. Dienger
Click Here to see full descriptions of YMCA Programs and how to register
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 bare feet.
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.