Dance Department

CLASSES AT A GLANCE

The TAFA Dance Department is an inclusive environment open to anyone willing to develop their skills as a dancer, from basic ballet to
pointe classes, there is something for every skill level. We strive to develop versatile dancers that contribute to the body of Christ by
fostering poise, grace and confidence while teaching tempo, rhythm, musical interpretation and spatial awareness in a supportive
Christian atmosphere.

Ballet I, II, III

Introductory classes for young dancers with previous or no ballet experience. These classes focus on learning basic ballet positions, steps, and combinations in a safe and fun Christ centered environment. Dancers will learn a solid foundation of classical ballet with an emphasis on proper alignment, technique and creativity. Young students will grow in self-confidence, build strength and coordination, learn the basics of rhythm, develop spatial awareness, and enhance large motor and cognitive skills.

Ballet IV, V

More extensive classes with a review of previously learned skills and advanced beginner/early intermediate ballet technique. The focus is on instilling a strong classical ballet foundation, such as vocabulary, body alignment and even weight distribution. Students learn proper posture, feet and arm positions in combination with basics at the barre and center geared for their age and maturity level. This class is designed to navigate students towards early intermediate ballet skills, preparing them for
intermediate ballet technique.

Intermediate Ballet I & II

These classes encompass a review of previously learned skills and build intermediate level ballet
technique. Designed for the dancer who has mastered basic ballet technique and is ready to explore more advanced technique. This
class will enable the dancer to refine their skills and to prepare for more advanced dance movement.

Ballet Ensemble

This class is designed for teaching advanced ballet technique and movement. It is open to eligible students by audition only. Several performance pieces will be taught and learned each semester for the purpose of performing at TAFA and out in the community.

Ballet Technique

This class is designed for additional instruction in intermediate/advanced ballet technique and movement. Dancers increase strength and ability while gaining body awareness and longevity in their dance practice. This class is required for participation in Pointe I & II and Ballet Ensemble.

Ballet Pointe I

We begin the year by focusing on pre-pointe training to properly prepare the students for the rigors of pointe-work, such as strong ankles and proper alignment. Before moving into second semester each student will be assessed for their readiness to go on pointe. This beginning level pointe class is eligible to those students in Int. II and Ensemble only. Entrance into this class is by
teacher invitation and/or audition only.

Ballet Pointe II

This course is designed for the more advanced dancer who has mastered basic pointe technique and is ready to progress to more difficult steps as well as begin exploring classical repertoire. This Intermediate level Pointe class is eligible to Intermediate Ballet II and Ballet Ensemble only. Entrance into this class is by teacher invitation only.

Jazz

Broadway-style Jazz dance class will focus on dance technique, developing complex rhythms and patterns, and improving stage performance quality. Proper facial expression, stage presence, and audition preparedness will be explored. Tap technique includes mastery of skills, rhythm, and proper sound execution.

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Our Teachers:

MELINDA RUSSELL

Ballet Department Director
Mrs. Russell has been teaching ballet at TAFA since 1999. She studied classical ballet with Clarice Duffy, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dance. She danced with the University of Evansville Ballet Company and participated in a summer dance intensive with the Ohio Ballet. After studying ballet and modern at TCU, she pursued a degree in elementary and special education, graduating with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in education.

AMANDA STEPHENS

Ballet Instructor
Amanda has been studying dance since she was five years old. She was a student at Amanda's Dance Express in Grand Prairie, TX for twelve years and spent most of those years performing and competing at elite, regional and national levels. She is sought after to for choreography and audition prep and continues to do both for individuals and groups.

CAITLIN ATNIP

Ballet Instructor
Caitlin is a TAFA Alumni. She began dancing at five years old, but really found her love for the art of ballet
around age eight when she began taking lessons at TAFA. She has studied at TAFA and several other dance
studios over the years and was honored to be brought on as a ballet instructor after graduating.

Private Lessons:

MELINDA RUSSELL

Ballet

Amanda Stephens

Ballet

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Designed by Hayden Russell of Revenue Raccoon

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