Classes & Programs / DanceTap
Tap Dance Classes
December 2019- April 2020
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 Warm-up Winona Holiday Tap Jam
Calling all tappers! Tap students ages 5 and older are invited to participate in this fun-filled Holiday Tap Jam. The workshop will include technique warm-ups, choreography, and improvisation — all to some favorite holiday tunes!
Day: Tuesday, Dec. 10
Times/Ages: Tap for Kids (ages 5–7): 5:15–6 p.m.
Tap I & II: 5–6 p.m.
Tap III, IV & V: 4:30–6 p.m.
Cost: Free, but donations of warm clothing or food to warm bellies will be collected to be donated locally.
Instructors: Jenn Beachle, Nathan Graff, Christine Martin and Justine Meinke
Tap for Kids
An introduction to the fundamentals of tap dance for students ages 5-7. Students will engage in rhythm games and tap exercises through this fun, rhythm filled class. Tap shoes in most sizes are available for loan at no fee.
Day/Dates: Saturdays, Jan. 11 –March 14 (10 wks)
Time: 9–9:45 a.m.
Age: 5–7 years, by Jan. 1
Instructor: J. Meinke
A beginning level of rhythm tap for students ages 8 and up. Students will engage in rhythm games and tap exercises to build a strong foundation of tap technique. (Tap shoes in most sizes are available for loan)
Day/Dates: Saturdays, Jan. 11- March 14
Time: 10:45–11:45 a.m.
Age: 8 and older (by Jan. 1)
Instructor: J. Beachle
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. *
Day/Dates: Saturdays, Jan. 11–March 14
Time: 9:45–10:45 a.m.
Instructor: J. Meinke
Tap III- A
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.
Day/Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 10 –March 13 (No class Feb. 7-8; last/demo class March 13); Fridays, 4:00–5:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 11:45–12:45 p.m.
Cost: $207 (17 classes, 21.50 hours)
Instructor: J. Dienger
Tap IV & V
An advanced level of rhythm tap technique. Classes will include an emphasis on more complex rhythm patterns, syncopation, and musical phrasing, technically and artistically challenging choreography, improvisation, a cappella and canon work, tapping to live music/accompaniment, and opportunities to attend master classes and festivals.*
Day/Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 10 –March 13 (No class Feb 7-8; last/demo class March 13); Fridays, 4:00–5:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 11:45–1:15 p.m.
Cost: $245 (17 classes, 25.5 hours)
Instructor: J. Dienger
Back by popular demand, Christine Martin will lead adults through this fun, rhythm-filled class. No experience necessary. An introduction to tap dance. All levels welcome, no experience necessary. Join us for a toe-tappin’, foot stompin’ good time! (Tap shoes in some sizes are available for loan)
Day/Dates: Wednesdays, April 1-May 27
Age: 14 and older
Instructor: C. Martin
*Punch card eligible, but regular attendance or past tap experience is recommend.
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: Animals on Parade: Performances: Friday, Dec. 6- Sunday, Dec. 8.
DRC Annual Spring Dance Concert: Auditions: Jan. 18, 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.
2020 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 second 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, 2020 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.
Submission Deadline: Now through Jan. 15, 2020
Reflections Art Exhibit at MCA: March 2020
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.