Choosing the right school is an important decision. Any kind of education is a valuable investment of time, effort and money. The right teacher and school can produce a physically and emotionally enjoyable experience filled with many positive side effects that will be enjoyed for a lifetime. We understand the significance of what we do. What we impart goes beyond just teaching dance steps: Positive body awareness, coordination, self-confidence, self-esteem, stress reduction and grace are only some of the valuable by-products.
Whether you pursue dance as a career or simply for the joy of the art, HSDA standards will not vary. Students get a sense of accomplishment from each lesson as well as the long-term of the training process. No matter how serious you are about the art it’s always supposed to be an enjoyable experience! Prove it to yourself; Observe any class, speak with any teacher, student, or parent.
The Hirschl School is not in the “dance studio” business. We’re in the “people” business, and teach dance. Since 1972, the HSDA has been run as a place of education. Our success is defined by the accomplishments and satisfaction of our Patrons: HSDA students and parents. Our purpose & goal is to provide development of individual potential in a professional, yet positive environment. Equal emphasis, attention and respect is given to all- regardless of talent, age, level, potential, physique, or reason for taking. We provide the opportunity to have students become the best version of themselves using proper guidance and mentorship with integrity.
Types of Lessons at the Hirschl School: Although we have students as young as 4 years old, a formal dance education begins between 7 and 8 years old. Starting earlier provides valuable preparatory work and a good foundation for their education in the dance arts. In the preparatory levels, students learn to explore their own individual levels of capacity but are not pushed beyond safe or realistic boundaries. Students are brought up to their highest potential dependent upon their level of commitment and are enlightened to the numerous valuable extra benefits of a proper education in the dance arts. After the “preparatory” levels in dance, teaching a “combination lesson” would only serve to skim highlights & not do justice to full curriculum of either form.
JAZZ DANCE designed for ballet and non-ballet dancers, incorporates correct warm-up and dance technique. The HSDA offers a variety of methods & orientations from Fosse to Lyrical to Fusion.
MODERN Contemporary & Lyrical are their own art movement forms, having both a neo-classical & contemporary format, often taught with either a ballet or jazz style base.
TAP levels beginning, intermediate and advanced, featuring both rhythm and show tap.
HIP-HOP in it’s truest form. This relatively new (started in Los Angeles in the early 1970’s) style of dance has it’s beginnings in night club & social dance.
“Nothing truly worthwhile will ever come easily or quickly.
It must be earned to be appreciated.”
Standardized Levels in Ballet: Each level is based upon taking the appropriate amount of lessons per week on a regular, uninterrupted basis. The minimum amount of lessons per week are not mandatory, but taking less than the recommended curriculum will slow mastery of each level, and in turn slow progression to the more advanced levels. Each level has it’s own syllabus, and will take anywhere from 8 to 26 months for completion depending on age, maturity, inherent ability, adherence and aptitude. Students are moved up when they have mastered the curriculum within the level. In the beginning levels, learning basic technique is primary. As the student progresses, more time must be spend on maintenance of strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
Preparatory Dance (4 & 5 year olds) Emphasis placed on: ♥Eye-hand/eye-foot coordination exercises, ♥Loco-motor and non loco-motor exercises, ♥Lengthening attention span, ♥Timing, rhythm and musicality, ♥Basic lesson etiquette, ♥Developing the teacher/student relationship, ♥Working with pier groups & partners in a learning atmosphere and ♥Preparation of basic movement functions for beginning levels of dance. Students get the opportunity to see how fun dance truly is. The enjoyment of the art of dance is started at this level and will last them a lifetime. (2 lessons per week suggested)
Primary Level (6 & 7 year olds) Introduces a basic curriculum to further prepare the student for the beginning levels of dance. Musicality, terminology dance-acting, transitions, and the ability to learn basic choreography are introduced. (2 lessons per week required, 3 suggested)
Ballet levels 1 & 2 start with mastering the placement of body, legs, arms & head, and developing coordination. Musicality & rhythm, “safe & healthy” rotation mechanisms and the proper serious attitude toward the art are introduced. (2 lessons per week required, 3 suggested)
Ballet levels 3 & 4 Demi pointe and basic turns are begun, foundation basic work for “en pointe” is started, and further development of a smooth & integrated connection of arms, head and body. (3 lessons per week required, 4 suggested, plus 1 pointe-preparatory lesson if pointe work is desired.)
Ballet levels 5 & 6 stress technical mastery of beating steps, complex turns and developing the smoothness & suppleness of graceful movements. Harmonious transitions, more complex adagio & allegro, and developing elevation in jumps & development of “balon” quality (bouncing, springiness & elasticity) and the true artistry of dance is highlighted. Execution of all fundamental movements are carried through with finishing touches. (4 lessons per week required)
All classes are taught from a healthy and positive point of view using a systematic 5-point development of movement potential: ♥ Strength, ♥ Flexibility, ♥ Muscular endurance, ♥ Cardio-respiratory endurance, ♥ Neuromuscular coordination. The purposes may be corrective, rehabilitative, or developmental, but the principles remain the same, regardless of the purposes of the program. Students are taught to develop their own specific regimen for optimum and safe performance.
ADULT BALLET (with real adults!) with emphasis on adults wants & needs: To pursue a love of the art, for stress-reduction, exercise, or a personal “escape”.
PRIVATE & semi-private lessons are available for students to get a “jump-start”, help with moving to the next level, working through weak areas, or for choreography.
SUMMER Workshops are held for beginning, intermediate & advanced students of ballet. Dancers can get a great experience with in-depth technique classes, dance history, theory, nutrition and safe dancing methodology.
Reasons to Dance with Us
♦Knowledgable teachers with the right purpose: Our teachers are educators, not glorified demonstrators. We give all students a well-rounded education in dance with equity.
♦Open for lessons year-round: We do not close for the summer months.
♦We use a "build-up" rather than a "tear-down" method (emotionally & physically). We use curriculum and methodology that challenges, yet stays within realistic and individual boundaries. This includes building a positive self-confidence and a healthy self-image.
♦Well organized and well planned recitals and productions to provide a happy and memorable experience to students, parents & audience.
♦All lessons are taught on professionally built floating dance floors made for safe dancing.
♦Innovation: We opened in 1972 and continue to evolve with originality. Many other studios copy our admistration, philosophies and teaching styles. Having them immitate us is flattering and a compliment!
♦Short and long-term goals and obectives are found & worked towards in the process.
♦Lessons that start and end on time: We respect you, and know your time is valuable. We will be punctual with lessons, rehearsals and events.
♦Academics: Pursuing the dance arts is beneficial to academic education. It has been proven that people that pursue dance do better in academics by increasing the ability to think quickly, logically and effectively.
We take dancing “en pointe” very seriously, and with several important factors are taken into consideration. A free information brochure & analysis/evaluation is available to the public at no cost or obligation.
Progression: Students are moved up by individual evaluation & assessment. They get moved up when they have mastered the curriculum of that level according to HSDA standards, rather than by class or age. New students with prior experience are put into classes they will get the most value and challenge, rather than starting anew. This is done with placement evaluation and assessment and is done free of charge or obligation at HSDA.
Dance Recitals are an important part of the process but are non-mandatory at HSDA. Talent is showcased as students are given the opportunity to perform in front of an audience. We spend most of the year teaching students how to become better dancers and performers before teaching a dance routine. Each step is taught before a dance is learned. Even the youngest student will know how to do each step in the dance properly. (This includes proper French names for the ballet dancers). Recital fees and costumes are kept low and realistic, and include a T-shirt and DVD.
Competitions: The HSDA highly competitive; We stimulate our students to strive for self-improvement. We believe anyone who loves to dance and has chosen to do so is already a winner! We do not participate in “competitions”, but we do have students & teachers from competition-based studios that take with us to enhance their abilities in their competition events. We treat dance as a physically demanding art form rather than a competitive athletic event.
“Students want to be appreciated, not impressed. They want to be regarded as human beings, not as sounding boards for a teachers ego, and to be treated as an end in themselves, not as a means toward the gratification of a studio’s vanity.”
At the Hirschl School of Dance Arts, we follow, and meet or exceed the Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools grades Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve and the Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools (Dance Content Standards) as Adopted by the California State Board of Education January 2001.