FSDE’s teachers and staff all share the belief in a complete approach to training students. We realize that the lines of dance styles are becoming blurred and serious minded students must, above all, be versatile if they plan to pursue dance as a career. Florida School for Dance Education also understands the awesome responsibility handed to us with the care of these students. We recognize that only through a safe and nurturing environment will the students be able to explore and develop into confident and dynamic adults, no matter which path they choose to pursue.
Florida School for Dance Education has an open-enrollment program for children ages 2–11 that promotes discipline, creativity and a love for dance while encouraging each child to reach their highest potential. Classes focus on building a solid foundation in technique with an emphasis on proper placement and safe progressions of movement while remaining sensitive to the developmental needs of younger dancers.
Florida School for Dance Education offers a pre-professional training program for students, ages 10–18. Under the direction of Michele Zehner and Maria Konrad, students thrive in an elite atmosphere dedicated to the success of each student. Admission to this program is by audition only. Students follow a structured sequence of training stages designed to increase their technical skills, stamina, and discipline in accordance with their age and physical development. Participants in this division experience techniques designed to cultivate and develop strong, well-trained, dancers who are educated to perform more skillfully and creatively.
With two complete programs taught in FSDE’s expansive facility, pre-professional division students have the option of training in the best of the classical and contemporary realm. Teachers provide a solid technical base for both aspiring professional dancers and those taking classes for the pure joy of dancing. By offering two powerful programs, FSDE enables classical and contemporary dancers to receive high-quality instruction in both artistic forms with teaching consistency that only a single location can provide. These two programs will allow graduates to adapt to meet the demands of any choreographer, any company, any type of movement. For those students whose paths lead to non-dance careers, they gain immeasurably from having studied at the School by developing self-motivation, self-discipline, poise, grace, physical adroitness and an appreciation for the arts, which they will carry with them throughout their lives.
For those interested in recreational dancing, Pilates, fitness training and open classes, Florida School for Dance Education offers a variety of open and exercise classes as well as an on-site fitness room with a full range of Pilates equipment.
The Children’s Division
The Children’s Division includes Dancing with Mommy, Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet 1 and 2 and Level 1
Mommy and Me
Mommy and Me is meant for the 2-3 year old student. This level introduces young students to music and movement. Students, along with a care giver, learn dance etiquette, discipline, and group interaction while developing coordination and musicality. Classes meet for 45 minutes.
Creative Dance is meant for the 3–4 year old student. This level introduces young students to music and movement. Students learn dance etiquette, discipline, and group interaction while developing coordination and musicality. Classes meet for 45 minutes.
Pre-Ballet serves as an introduction to the classroom and body movement for students ages 4–6. Pre-Ballet 1 classes meet for 45 minutes per week. Pre-Ballet II classes meet for one hour per week and includes tap.
When students enter Level 1, they can expect more intensive training. Classes meet once a week for one hour. Level 1 begins to develop a strong foundation for all dance disciplines.
The Student Division
The Student Division consists of Levels 2 through 3X.
Level 2 continues to develop a strong foundation with more repetitive work for the development of strength. In both level 2 and 2X, ballet classes are held once a week for 1.25 hours. Level 2X includes an introduction to longer combinations of steps and more intricate musicality.
Level 3’s syllabus and schedule is more rigorous, Ballet classes focus on strengthening feet and ankles to prepare students for pointe. Level 3 ballet is the Pre-Pointe year, when classes meet two times per week for 1 1/2 hours. Depending on their strength and development, Level 3X ballet students may begin pointe during the late fall or early spring semester.
The Pre-Professional Division
The Pre-Professional Division requires an audition.
In Level 4/4X students are required to attend ballet classes 3 times each week for 5.5 hours per week. Level 4 includes rigorous ballet training technique and an increased amount of pointe work. They also must choose at least one contemporary, jazz or modern class. All level 4 requires ballet training. Level 4 emphasizes core work, quick thinking and attention to detail.
Level 5 and 5X must attend at least 3 ballet classes per week. The focus in this level is on more intricate foot work and dance sequencing, including more rigorous ballet vocabulary and pointe work. They must also choose another 2 elective classes from modern, pilates, contemporary, jazz or more ballet classes depending upon their future goals.
Level 6 continues the rigorous pre-professional training, taking a minimum of 3 ballet classes each week plus at least 3 other classes in modern, pilates, contemporary, jazz or more ballet depending upon the student’s goals.
Each level at Florida School for Dance Education has its own syllabus and students must master the skills in that level before they may advance. The syllabi were developed by the director of FSDE to ensure that the School’s students receive the best training possible. Movement through the Levels is purely up to the discretion of the faculty. The faculty may require a student to repeat a level as necessary to ensure the proper training and development of the student.