Lower & Upper Division Class Descriptions

At the Scripps Performing Arts Academy we know that it takes commitment, discipline, imagination, and hard work to reach your full potential. Our goal is to instill in our students respect for both themselves and the performing arts they practice. We know that ballet is the essential foundation for success in all aspects of life and the performing arts. Students pursing careers in any style of dance or theatre will benefit from cross training in a variety of styles to broaden their movement vocabulary and equip them with multiple vehicles of self expression.

Each level may have two to three sub levels within it (C, B, A). Unlike academic school, students may spend two or more years in the same level prior to reaching the technical mastery necessary for promotion.

Below is a list of the classes offered for our Lower Division students. Please scroll further down the page to find the descriptions for our Upper Division.

Lower Division

Please scroll down further to see the Upper Division class descriptions

Classical Ballet

Ballet IIIA (8-12 years)
Advanced-Beginning Ballet Class that continues to work on perfecting the basics of Ballet, while introducing new terminology and steps. Children will be introduced to more complex barre work and must show a strong understanding of proper alignment and core strength prior to promotion.

Ballet IVC & IVB (11 years and up)
Beginning-Intermediate Ballet Class that focus on developing classical technique, understanding ballet terminology, correct execution of basic steps as well as a basic understanding and application of placement and alignment. More challenging barre and center work is introduced. Preparation for Pointework begins in IVB.

Contemporary Styles

Jazz 1 (9 years and up)
Beginning level Jazz class. Students work on basic flexibility, coordination and memorization of choreography. Dancers are invited to participate in our annual Jazz and Tap show and may be invited to dance in our Musical Theatre productions.

Jazz 2 (10 years and up)
Beginning-Intermediate level Jazz class. Students continue to work on flexibility, coordination and developing core strength for more difficult choreography. Dancers are invited to participate in our annual Jazz and Tap show, may be invited to dance in our Musical Theatre productions and other performance opportunities.

Jazz 3 (11 years and up)
Intermediate level jazz. Students use strength developed in previous classes to learn more advanced turns, leaps, floor work and choreography. Dancers in Jazz 4 are required to take ballet and may be invited to dance in our Musical Theatre productions. Dancers are invited to participate in our annual Jazz and Tap show.

Teen Jazz (13 and up)
Teen Jazz. This is a beginning level class geared toward Teen aged students. Students learn basic jazz skills that will prepare them to move into upper level classes, and are also invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap Show. It is recommended that these students also enroll in Teen Ballet.

Tap 1 (9 years and up)
Beginning level tap offered as part of a combination class, as well as a more advanced hour long version by itself. Students learn basic tap steps and choreography. Dancers are invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap Show. Dancers are strongly encouraged to take ballet, and may be invited to dance in our Musical Theater Productions.

Tap 2 (10 years and up)
Beginning- Intermediate level tap. Emphasis on clarity of sounds, speed, strength and performance quality. Dancers are strongly encouraged to take ballet, invited to participate in annual Jazz and Tap Show and may be invited to dance in our Musical Theatre Productions.

Tap 3/4 (11 years and up)
Intermediate to Advanced-Intermediate levels of Tap. Students at this level begin to work on rhythm tap, acapella, and improvisation. Choreography is taught at a fast pace, and performed at an equally fast pace. Students work on developing the strength for advanced footwork. Students begin to study the history of tap dance in America. Dancers in this level are invited to participate in the annual Tap Show, often with lead roles.

Teen Tap (13 years and up)
Teen Tap. This is a beginning level tap class geared toward Pre-Teen to Teen aged students. Students learn basic tap skills that will prepare them to move into upper level classes, and are also invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap Show. It is recommended that these students also enroll in Teen Ballet.

Modern 2/3 (9 years and up)
In this class students will learn the basics of modern dance utilizing the techniques of Horton, Cunningham and Limon techniques. Modern is a style of theatrical dance that favors the natural movement of the body derived from the expression of inner feeling. It's technique is based on principles of fall and recovery, contraction and release and also includes elements of chance and improvisation. Modern 2/3 dancers must be enrolled in Ballet III or Jazz 2. Modern is most beneficial when taken with or as a supplement to a ballet class. All foundational dance movements, body alignment, balance, and coordination are built upon in a ballet class.

Hip Hop (13 years and up)
Students will learn the fundamentals of hip hop movement in upbeat and high energy classes. Stretching, isolations, rhythms, musicality, upper body strength and funky footwork will all be incorporated. Students will learn to memorize choreography by working on a combination each class.

Musical Theater

Ages 9-12
Workshops for the middle age focus on developing the performer as a whole through activities which builds skills in singing on key, understanding tempos, acting with full expression and projection, proper breathing and polishing movement as a group. Students have the opportunity to perform in a mini performance and build improv skills through games.

Ages 13-18
Workshops for tweens/teens gives them a safe space to explore and grow as well as building their performance skills in singing, acting, movement, improv, and professionalism. This is ideal for students who want to grow in the arts but do not have the open schedule to commit to a full musical theatre production. It is also ideal for those beginning musical theatre to build skills in a smaller performance before journeying on to our Productions.

Upper Division

Classical Ballet

* by invitation or placement only.

Ballet IVA (12 years and up)
Intermediate Ballet Class that focus on developing classical technique, understanding ballet terminology, correct execution of basic steps as well as a basic understanding and application of placement and alignment. More challenging barre and center work is introduced. Preparation for pointework begins. Pointework may be introduced at this level.

Ballet V* (13 years and up)
Advanced-Intermediate Ballet Classes that focus on building strength, increasing flexibility, coordination, and musicality. New steps are introduced in the center.

Ballet VI* (14 years and up)
Advanced-Intermediate to Advanced Ballet Classes that focus on expression, musicality, building strength, and coordination, while introducing more advanced steps and combinations.

Ballet VII* (16 years and up)
Advanced Ballet Classes that focus on artistry and musicality, strength and coordination, as well as exactness and power while dancing. Students focus on continuing to build strength, while correctly executing more challenging steps and increasing flexibility.

Contemporary Styles

Jazz 4 (12 years and up)
Advanced Intermediate level jazz. Students in this level are already very strong in their technique. Focus is on improving strength, control and flexibility, as well as performance quality and style of movement. Students learn complex choreography at a fast pace. Dancers in this level are required to take ballet and maybe invited to dance in our Musical Theater Productions, as well as other performance opportunities.

Jazz 5 (13 years and up)
Advanced level class. Advanced dancers are challenged to learn complex choreography while performing advanced technique with a higher level of "finesse". Dancers in this level are required to take ballet, are invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap show and maybe invited to dance in our Musical Theater Productions, as well as other performance opportunities.

Lyrical 3/4 & 5
Advanced-Intermediate to Advanced level class. Lyrical dance is a dance style that combines elements of ballet, modern and jazz dance techniques. It’s name is derived from the word “lyrics” because the lyrics of a song or instrumental music is used to inspire the movements or show expression. Lyrical develops the use of gesture, facial expression, and controlled movements to communicate the movements and emotions fully. Lyrical dance typically encourages use of articulation, line, weight, and movement qualities. Dancers must be enrolled in Ballet V or higher or invited by instructor to participate.

Tap 4/5 (13 years and up)
Advanced Tap. Students at this level already have strong technical skills, therefore the focus is on quick pick up of choreography, clarity, speed, rhythm, style, improvisation, and strength. A wide variety of styles are covered including Broadway, rhythm tap, acapella, improvisation and “Hoofin”. Choreography is taught at a fast pace and performed at an equally fast pace. Students develop a greater understanding of the history of tap dance in America. Dancers are invited to participate in the annual Jazz and Tap Show and may be invited to participate in Musical Theatre productions.

Modern 4/5 (13 years and up)
Modern is a style of theatrical dance that favors the natural movement of the body derived from the expression of inner feeling. Its technique is based on principles of fall and recovery, contraction and release and also includes elements of chance and improvisation. Modern is most beneficial when taken with or as a supplement to a ballet class. All foundational dance movements, body alignment, balance, and coordination are built upon in a ballet class. Modern at SPAA will be taught in the techniques of Horton, Cunningham, Limon or Graham.

Hip Hop (13 years and up)
Students will learn the fundamentals of hip hop movement in these upbeat and high energy classes. Stretching, isolations, rhythms, musicality, upper body strength and funky footwork will all be incorporated. Students will learn to memorize choreography by working on a combination each class.

Musical Theater

Ages 13 and Up
Workshops for tweens/teens gives them a safe space to explore and grow as well as building their performance skills in singing, acting, movement, improv, and professionalism. This is ideal for students who want to grow in the arts but do not have the open schedule to commit to a full musical theatre production. It is also ideal for those beginning musical theatre to build skills in a smaller performance before journeying on to our Productions.

Thank you for your interest.

Please contact us to schedule your complimentary placement class.