Classes & Programs / Dance

Ballet

Spring & Summer 2020

May-August

The foundation of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) dance program is rooted in classical ballet. MCA began in 1973 in a one-room dance studio under the direction of Stefannié Valéncia Kierlin as The Ballet School. Classes focus on the development of technique as well as artistry. Today MCA is a full service community arts school housed inside the state-of-the art Valencia Arts Center which features 3 dance studios and a black box theatre.

All levels of ballet at MCA include concepts from the Vaganova, Cecchetti, and RAD methodologies. The classes begin with barre exercises and then progress to performing center and across the floor combinations. Equal emphasis is placed on having both strong technique and artistry of movement. Pointe is introduced to students based on the individual’s skill level, technique and maturity. Our Director of Dance and/or ballet instructors will do an individualized assessment to make sure it is safe for the student to begin pointe work.

Twice yearly written evaluations completed by the student’s instructor and the director of dance and include recommendations for level placement and advancement. New students are invited to join classes at the beginning of each semester, for leveled classes the first week of each session is used to determine placement. Semesters begin in August, January, and May. Performance opportunities are made possible through participation in Dance Repertory Company (DRC) productions. DRC is MCA’s pre-professional dance troupe. To view videos of our ballet program and for more information about our dance program, dress code and accreditation please keep scrolling down.

 NEW! Daddy & Dancer

In celebration of Father’s Day, we are holding a special class where ballet dancers (both boys and girls) get to invite their dad, grandpa, or other special friend to join them at the barre and on the dance floor to make memories together and enjoy a little treat together at the end.

Date: Saturday, June 20

Times and levels: 

Pre-Ballet/Beginner Ballet: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. 

Ballet I-III: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Ballet IV-VII: 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Cost: $10 per family or $5 if enrolled dancers are enrolled in spring dance classes

Instructors: J. Dienger, R. Ryan-Dahlgren, T. Schmidt

Young Dancer Intensive

Do you dance in your dreams and everywhere you go? Grab your dancing shoes and get ready to spin and soar. We will start each day off with ballet to build a strong dance foundation, then explore a “genre of the day” class including jazz, modern, or hip hop and end the day with a creative class such as costume design or acting to ignite your imagination and performance skills. No dance experience necessary.

Dates: June 22-26, 2020 M-F

Time: 1-4 pm

Age: 6-9 years

Fee: $99 (Early Bird Special) $119 (after May 1), Fee includes a camp t-shirt. Students will need to bring a snack and water bottle daily.

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Nutcracker Fairy Tale Camp

Journey with Clara and the Nutcracker to the lands of snow and sweets as you creatively explore the world of ballet and this classic tale.
Friends and family will be invited to an informal showcase on the final day of camp.

Dates: Aug. 10-14 (Monday- Friday)

Time: 9:00 am- 11:00 am

Ages: 3-5 years & grades Kindergarten- 1st

Price: $59 (Early Bird), $69 (after May 1), price includes a camp t-shirt

Students will be asked to bring a water bottle each day. Includes camp t-shirt. Students must be potty-trained.

ballet dancers

Pre-Ballet for 4 year-olds

Playful and engaging first steps into classical ballet.

Day/Dates: Mondays, May 11-June 8 (No class May 25)

Time: 4:15-4:45 pm

Age: 4 (by May 1)

Price: $32

Instructor:  R. Ryan

Pre-Ballet for 5 year-olds

An imaginative, technique-based introduction to classical ballet perfect for your 5 year-old.

Day/Dates:  Thursdays, May 14-June 11

Time: 4:30-5:15 pm

Age: 5 (by May 1)

Price: $45

Instructor: J. Dienger

Beginning Ballet

Continued introduction to classical ballet. Designed to build coordination, strength and body awareness through a range of creative techniques perfect for your 6 year-old.

Day/Dates: Wednesdays, May 13-June 10

Time: 4:15-5:15 pm

Fee: $50

Age: 6 (by May 1)

Instructor:  R. Ryan

Dance Adventures

Do you have a little one who loves to twist and spin and dance around the room? If so, they will love this sampler class, which is a blend of creative movement, ballet technique and games. Students will love expressing themselves through movement, gaining knowledge of different dance forms ,and benefiting from moving in space with others.

Day/Dates: Saturdays, May 16-June 13

Time: 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Age: 4-6 years (by May 1)

Fee: $45

Instructor: J. Dienger

MCA Classes in collaboration with Winona YMCA 

Adventures in Ballet: Frozen

Your Little one is invited on a magical journey that will tickle their imaginations as they fall in love with ballet during the class perfect for "Frozen" and dance enthusiasts.

Day/ Date: Wednesdays, Jan. 15- Feb. 26th (7 weeks)

Ages: 3-5 years

Time: 5:30-6 pm

Instructor: A. Kline

Adventures in Ballet: The Little Mermaid

Young dancers will fill with joy as they use their imaginations and bodies to dive under the water; point their mermaid tail, and jam with their underwater friends.

Day/Date: Wednesdays, March 18- April  29th (7 weeks)

Ages: 3-5 years

Time: 5:30-6 pm

Instructor: A. Kline

Click Here to see full descriptions of YMCA Programs and how to register

Ballet I

Beginning classical ballet basics, including the introduction of barre work.

Day/Dates: Mondays, May 11-June 8 (No class May 25)

Time: 4:45-5:45 pm

Age: 7+ (by May 1)

Price: $40

Instructor: R. Ryan

ballet dancers

Ballet II

Fast beginning level of classical ballet.*

Day/Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays, May 12- June 11

Times: Tuesdays- 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. & Thursdays- 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Age: Placement by Instructor

Price: $137 (13.75 hours/ 10 classes)

Instructors: J. Dienger & R. Ryan

 

NEW! Ballet TOO

This class is for the dancer that has advanced out of Ballet I and wants to continue her or his ballet training, but is not able to commit to more intensive instruction. As the class meets once per week, it is a great option for contemporary dancers who want to continue working on the foundation of her or his technique and proper placement.*

Day/Dates:  Mondays, May 11-June 8 (No class May 25)

Times:  6:00-7:15 pm

Ages: N/A

Instructor(s): R. Ryan

Cost: $50

Ballet Dancers

Ballet III

Intermediate level of Classical ballet.*

Day/Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays, May 12-June 11

Time: Tuesdays, 5:30-7 p.m. &  Thursdays, 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Age: Placement by Instructor

Price: $137 (13.75 hours, 10 classes)

Instructor: J. Dienger & R. Ryan

Ballet IV

Fast intermediate level of Classical ballet.*

Day/Dates: Tuesdays and Saturdays, May 12-June 13

Times:
Tuesdays- 5:30-7 p.m.

Saturdays, 9-10:30 a.m.

Age: Placement by Instructor

Price: $150 (15 hours/ 10 classes)

Instructor: J. Dienger

ballet dancers

Ballet V & Pointe

Fast intermediate level of classical ballet including pointe technique for female students*

Day/Dates: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, May 13-June 13

Wednesdays: 5:30–7:00 p.m. (R. Ryan)

Thursdays: 4 –6:00 p.m. (T. Schmidt)

Thursdays: 6:15–7:30 p.m. Pointe & Variations (T. Schmidt)

Saturdays:  9:00–10:30 a.m. (J. Dienger)

Pointe class as determined by instructor.

Time: See above

Age: Placement by instructor

Price: Females: $296 (20 classes/ 31.25 hours), Males: $217 (15 classes/ 25 hours, no pointe)

ballet dancers

Ballet VI and VII

Advanced pre-professional level of classical ballet and conditioning, including  the appropriate level of pointe technique for female students.

Day/Dates: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, May 13-June 13

Wednesdays: 5:30–7:00 p.m. (R. Ryan)

Thursdays: 4 –6:00 p.m. (T. Schmidt)

Thursdays: 6:15–7:30 p.m. Pointe & Variations (T. Schmidt)

Saturdays:  9:00–10:30 a.m. (J. Dienger)

Pointe class as determined by instructor.

Time: See above

Age: Placement by instructor

Price: Females: $296 (20 classes/ 31.25 hours), Males: $217 (15 classes/ 25 hours, no pointe)

Progressing Ballet Technique 

This class utilizes exercise balls and bands to develop muscle memory for increasing strength, stability, flexibility and range of motion for all dance genres, but is specifically designed for the demands of ballet technique.  A small class size of only 8-10 ensures that each dancer has the benefit of personal corrections from the instructor.  Dancers aged 12 and up are welcome, no experience necessary for the Beg/Int. class. No discounts may be applied to this class.

Beginning/ Intermediate Level: Wednesdays, May 13-June 10, 7-8 p.m.

Intermediate/Advanced Level: Wednesdays, May 13-June 10, 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Age: 12 years+

Fee: $45

Instructor: T. Schmidt, Licensed and Certified PBT Instructor

Open Ballet

Experience the artistry of ballet while gaining flexibility, placement, strength, and fluidity in this ballet technique and conditioning class. All levels are welcome, no experience necessary. 

Day/Dates:  

Winter (B):  Mondays, March 2–Apr. 27, $96 (No class Apr. 13)

Spring (A):  Mondays, May 11–June 8,, $36 (No class May 25)

Age: Ages 14 & up

Instructor: A. Honecker-Sherman

MCA Punch Card Accepted

Barre

Are you ready for a new challenge?  Make the time in your schedule for this high-energy, low-impact workout taught by a certified instructor. A unique combination of strength work and cardio intervals that will reshape your muscles while elevating your heart rate. You will leave stronger in both body and mind.  Whether you have a limited or extensive background in dance, you will love this fast-moving, fun style of exercise. Attend twice a week for optimal results! 

Day/Dates:

Winter (C): Tuesdays, March 3–Apr. 28, $72 (no class April 14)

Winter (D): Wednesdays, March 4–Apr. 29, $72 (no class April 15)

Spring (B):Thursdays, May 14- June 11, $45 (5 weeks)

Summer (A): Tuesdays, July 7-Aug.11, $72 (8 weeks)

Summer (B): Thursdays, July 9-Aug. 13, $72 (8 weeks)

Age:  Ages 14 & up

Instructor: J. Dienger, M. Peterson, and A. Kline

MCA Punch Card Accepted for all Barre Classes

Stay Strong Classes in May & August 

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: Thursdays, May 7, Aug. 6 & 20

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: Tuesdays, May 5, Aug. 4 & 18

Times: 4:30-6 p.m.

Stay Strong Fees:

3 class punch card- $40

6 classes punch card- $80

Junior Training Program for Dancers (formally known as Mini-Summer Dance Intensive)

Are you ready to dance your day away? Here is your chance! Each day dancers will warm up in a ballet class, build foot and ankle strength in pre-pointe, dabble in different theory classes such as dance history, composition (choreography), and theatre, rounding out their dance experience with a “genre of the day” class, including jazz, modern, musical theatre and hip hop. Each day will end with a rehearsal for a final showcase that will be in our Academy Theatre for friends and family. 

No auditions are required, but it is recommended that dancers have at least 3 years of training.

Dates: June 15-26, M-F

Time: 9am-4pm, Performance- June 26, 6:30pm

Age: 9 years- High School (at least 3 years of ballet training)

Fee: $329 (Early Bird) $375 (after May 1). Fee includes over 60 hours of instruction and camp t-shirt. Students will need to bring a lunch and water bottle daily.

*Intermediate & Advanced Dancers 11 years-22 years please visit our website for details about our audition based 3-week Summer Dance Intensive with a boarding option, July 5-25, 2020.

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Summer Dance Intensive

Experience the nurturing and intimate atmosphere of the 17th annual Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Summer Dance Intensive If you are an intermediate or advanced dancer between the ages of 11 and 22, who is ready for your dance technique to soar to new heights, then this is the intensive for you! You will spend 7 to 9 hours of your day studying dance in technique classes and rehearsals under the direction of seasoned, professional instructors. Auditions are required for acceptance.

Summer Camp Dates: July 5-25, 2020 Daily

Age: 11-22

Auditions: La Crosse, WI– Jan.25, 2020, 9:30am-11:30am at La Crosse Dance Centre, 2716 Commerce St., La Crosse, WI 54603

Cedar Rapids, IA– Feb. 8, 2020, 10am-Noon at Pointe School of Dance, 225 Northland Court NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Winona, MN– March, 29, 2020, 11:30-1:30 at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, 1164 W. 10th St., Winona, MN 5598

Video Auditions also accepted

Learn More!

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
  • Broadway
  • Butler University
  • Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
  • Chicago Human Rhythm Project
  • Colorado Ballet
  • Columbia College
  • Continental Ballet
  • Eastman School of Music – Rochester University
  • Joffery Ballet
  • Juilliard
  • 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.

Ballet:

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.

Accreditation

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: tschmidt@smumn.edu 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.

LOCATION & CONTACT

Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts
1164 West Howard (10th) Street
Winona, MN 55987

Phone: 507-453-5500
Fax: 507-453-5507

E-Mail: mca@smumn.edu

Contact Us

HOURS

All in-person MCA programs and performances are cancelled through May 8, 2020 in a response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Phone calls and emails will be responded to during this time.

 

 

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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