About Our Curriculum

Tippy toes and Tumbles is pre-ballet, creative movement class for students ages 3 to 4. Beginning Dance I, II, and III classes are a fun and educational combination of ballet and tap and are offered to students who are 4- to 6-years old. Once a student reaches the Division I level, at 7 years of age, the classes focus on ballet technique and interesting and creative movement begins. If desired, Division I students may register for separate tap classes at their appropriate age level. Students may begin taking jazz when they are eight years old.

VVAD’s ballet curriculum is a Vaganova-based syllabus. This is the decade’s-old Russian Syllabus that is still used worldwide and the VVAD teachers have had syllabus training for the levels they teach.

Once enrolled, students are expected to attend class. As in most serious dance schools, all ballet students are required to wear their specified uniforms and hair must be fastened in a bun. Jazz and tap students must have the specified jazz or tap shoes for the class. All students in tap, jazz or hip-hop should have their hair neatly pulled away from the face. There are no exceptions.

Our instructors determine the placement of the students. Each student is placed on the basis of ability not age. Attitude, discipline, interest and talent directly influence a student’s progress.
If a student has to miss class, she/he is encouraged to attend a makeup class that will be arranged by her/his teacher.

Styles of Dance

VVAD offers beginning dance classes to children beginning at the age of 3. Our philosophy is to introduce each child to the joy of movement through the basics of dance technique. Our teachers encourage each child’s use of imagination and creativity, as they explore the world of dance.

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Jazz dance is a fun, high energy choreographed workout that involves learning basic postures, stretches and fundamental movements. Class begins with warm-ups, stretches and flexibility exercises, floor work, across the floor combinations and choreography. Jazz focuses on body isolations while encouraging individual expression of personal style, funky street moves, leaps, turns and even theatre choreography.

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Lyrical Jazz maintains the percussive rhythmic characteristics that define jazz, but incorporates elements of Ballet and Modern dance to obtain a smooth look and lyrical quality. Lyrical focuses on a direct relationship between the lyrics of the song with specific dance movements, with a strong emphasis on emotional presentation of the choreography.

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Tap Dancing is characterized by using the sound of one’s tap shoes hitting the floor as a percussive instrument, while using the entire body in movement to music and rhythms. For the four year olds, it’s just fun to make noise with our feet! At Vail Valley Academy of Dance, we teach “Broadway Tap” styles as well as “Jazz Style” tap dancing. Tap dancing at VVAD starts at age four with a combination class of ballet and tap. Children will start with the basics of learning the various sounds their tap shoes make, using their heel, toe, side and ball of feet. They will learn combinations of flaps, shuffles, and travel steps across the floor. As they progress into the various Tap Levels of Tap One thru Advanced Tap, they learn more challenging combinations and Choreography to include time steps, syncopation combinations and full on routines. Students will show off their skills at the annual Spring Recital.

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Hip Hop is a high energy, expressive, and fun street movement as seen in music videos by artists like Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, and Usher. Hip hop has a range of styles from breakdancing to pop-’n’-lock to krumping. Vail Valley Academy of Dance offers three terrific hip-hop classes exclusively for boys that really lets them show their stuff. Sorry, no girls allowed!

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Our advanced dancers have worked hard to achieve this level of proficiency. Most dance students at this level have made a choice to dance instead of participating in another sport. The advanced students know that their ballet training makes it possible for them to succeed in all other dance disciplines. In fact, many do study jazz and tap to further enhance their training. Advanced students enjoy studying with various guest teachers and choreographers that visit VVAD. Dancers at our advanced level have the unique opportunity to audition for the Vail Youth Ballet Company as well as compete in various competitions. Our students have been accepted into outstanding summer workshops which have offered them the opportunity to dance in Russia, Scotland, and China, as well as throughout the United States. Many of our students have chosen dance as a career, attending university dance programs on scholarship and are currently working in the dance profession as performers and teachers.

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Customer Testimonials

I have been dancing at Vail Valley Academy of Dance for 13 years. I take ballet, jazz, and tap classes. I fell in love with dance after my first ballet class and I haven’t be able to stop since. At VVAD I have made friendships with girls from all over the Vail Valley that I know will last forever. VVAD has taught me to be organized and how to manage my time. Last year, my dreams came true when I was chosen to be the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. Dancing at Vail Valley Academy of Dance has created memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Katherine Sayre, 16

I have been involved with VVAD over the course of the last 20 years. We are so fortunate in this valley to have such an exceptional caliber of instruction – a program any large city would be delighted to offer. Anne has held to the highest standards year in and year out. She expects only the best and the girls continually rise to that expectation. The Nutcracker and the annual dance recitals showcase a program dedicated to excellence. We are thrilled to be a part of VVAD.

-Michelle Maloney