Classes & Programs / DanceTap
Tap 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 and 2019 our advanced tap students were selected to perform in a showcase at the Twin Cities Tap Festival.
MCA Holiday Tap Jam
Calling all tappers! Our Annual Tap Jam is going virtual. Tap students ages 5 and older are invited to participate in this fun-filled Holiday Tap Jam. This jam is open to tappers everywhere. Participants will be given access to a video to learn a short tap warm-up and combination during the week leading up and will receive a little goody bag to enhance the Zoom session (accessible for pick-up in Winona only, a list of items will be given to non-local students). The live Zoom celebration will include games, sharing, and conversation. For the live online session, students will just need a little space (safe to tap, such as a tap board*), tap shoes, and a device enabled with Wi-Fi. We will be using Zoom and will enable cameras so if students wish to be able to interact with the instructor and other students, otherwise families can choose to not share their image.
Day/Date: Video access 1 week prior, Zoom on Friday, Dec. 18 (see time listed below)
Instructors: Carter Full, Nathan Graff, Christine Martin, and Justine Meinke
Cost: Freewill Donations Accepted
*Tap boards available for rental and purchase. Tap shoe rental available for free though tap shoe lending program, contact the MCA office for more information at: email@example.com
These pre-recorded tap classes for Beginning (MCA Tap for Kids/ Beg. Tap/Tap I), Intermediate (MCA Tap II Level), and Advanced (MCA Tap Levels III-V) provide challenging and fun warm-ups, technique instruction and combinations that can be executed at home.*
Dates: On-Demand/ Self-Paced
Instructors: Nathan Graff, Carter Full, Christine Martin, and Justine Meinke
Fees & Levels:
Tap for Kids/ Tap I Unit: $24 (4 classes including warm-ups, tap technique and combos, plus bonus content)- Available around Dec. 1, 2020
Tap II Unit: $24 (4 classes including warm-ups, tap technique and combos, plus bonus content)
Tap III-V Unit: $49 (8 classes including warm-ups, tap technique and combos, plus bonus content)
*MCA has tap shoes and tap boards that can be checked out to local students, as well as both boards and shoes for purchase. Contact the MCA office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
An intermediate level of rhythm tap technique. Students will be introduced to exercises and concepts to increase articulation of sounds, musicality, sequencing abilities, and expand the student’s tap vocabulary. *
Students joining in-person will need to familiarize themselves with MCA's COVID Code of Conduct.
Students joining via Zoom will just need a space with a floor that is safe for tapping on (MCA has tap boards which can be checked out), and a device enabled with Wi-Fi. We will be using Zoom and will enable cameras so if students wish to be able to interact with the instructor and other students, otherwise families can choose to not share their image. We recommend students wear dance apparel and shoes if they have them and have a water bottle near by to set them up for success.
Day/Dates: Tuesdays, Jan. 26-Apr. 20
Time: 4:15-5:15 PM
Age: N/A, placement by instructor
Fee: In-person $91, Online: $104 (13 weeks, 13 hours)
Limited number of tap boards available to use for a deposit. Locally produced tap boards available for purchase through MCA. Tap shoes available in most sizes available through our tap shoe lending program.
A fast intermediate and advanced level of rhythm tap technique including the exploration of improvisation and choreography. Class units will focus on rudiments, canon work, and routines in different tap styles — both historic and contemporary.
Students joining in-person will need to familiarize themselves with MCA's COVID Code of Conduct.
Students will just need a little space, a chair or railing to use as a ballet barre, and a device enabled with Wi-Fi. We will be using Zoom and will enable cameras so if students wish to be able to interact with the instructor and other students, otherwise students can choose to not share their image. We recommend students wear dance apparel and shoes if they have them and have a water bottle near by to set them up for success.
Day/Dates: Mondays and Saturdays, Jan. 25- Apr. 24 (No class Apr. 3rd)
Times: Mondays, 7:00- 8:15 PM; Saturdays, 11:30–12:45 PM
Cost: $300 In-person, $250 Online (13 weeks, 30 hours)
Instructor: J. Dienger & B. Moore
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.
Due to COVID-19 The 2020 Nutcracker has been postponed and tentatively rescheduled to 2021.
2021 PTA Reflections
Since 1969, the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Reflections program has encouraged students across the nation to explore their artistic talents. The PTA Reflections program is designed to promote cultural arts in schools, encouraging students to create works of art in visual arts, photography, literature, music, dance, film and special artist categories. Every March since 2016 the walls of Galleria Valéncia have been adorned with all of the Minnesota state winners visual arts division of the Minnesota State PTA Reflections program. For the third consecutive year MCA is now a registered Northstar Minnesota PTA unit in good standing and any area youth in Preschool-Twelfth Grade is able to submit a work into the Reflections program now- Jan. 15, 2021 through MCA. The program is open to any area youth that has been an MCA student within the past year, as long as the student’s school does not have a PTA unit regardless if they attend a public, private, charter school or are home educated. In 2020 MCA has two students state winners and one national winner.
Submission Deadline: Now through Jan. 15, 2021
Ages: Preschool- 12th grade
Categories: Visual Arts, Photography, Literature, Music, Dance, Film & Special Artist
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.