Class Descriptions

**All classes run for a ten-month period culminating with a professionally staged Spring Concert

Tony Williams Dance Center Ballet Program

First Steps (Ages 3-4)

An introduction to dance that incorporates creative movement with an age-appropriate introduction to ballet. Using basic dance concepts, this program develops motor skills, sociability and gives kids a fun, hands-on introduction to the world of dance.

Pre-Ballet (Ages 5-6)

For the beginner student; class meets once a week. Students will learn some of the basic ballet positions, including some stretching, barre work, and center exercises. They begin to learn ballet terminology and teachers will incorporate creative learning methods into the curriculum.

Ballet (Ages 6 – Adult)

The foundation of all dance forms, ballet takes the student into the world of classical music and teaches discipline, and grace for all dancers. Technique-based training is offered from a young level, teaching correct placement and knowledge of the body as a fine-tuned instrument. We offer a rigorous, graded program beginning with Ballet I. Dancers are advanced through the program by skill attainment and age until level IV when skill becomes the basis for advancement. Additionally we have once weekly classes for beginners of all ages or those wishing to become stronger dancers of other disciplines.

*You may wish to take one or all classes of Ballet offered at your age level.

**Please contact the TWDC office (617-524-4381) for assistance with placement for children 7 and older.  If you are unsure which level to schedule your child in due to age, go for the higher level class that is in accordance with their age.

***Dancers In Ballet IV and higher are required to take (in addition to their ballet classes) either Modern, or Variations in their age category.  Lyrical/ Contemporary is acceptable ONLY if you are unable to take Modern or Variations.

****Placement is solely up to the staff and faculty of TWDC.  If your child is in the wrong ballet level based on technique, they will be asked to move up or down a class so that each class is at the same level.  There are no exceptions.

Tony Williams Dance Center Interdisciplinary Dance Program

Tap (Level A – Adult)

An original American dance form, tap emphasizes the beat by making sounds with metal taps fastened to the shoes. The focus is on strong technique and musicality, with an emphasis on learning the roots of Tap and the work of such greats as Buster Brown, Honi Coles, Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines and more.

Jazz (Level A – Adult)

A stylized form of American dance using many rhythms to coordinate and strengthen the body. Various styles include musical theater, traditional, funky, and hip hop. We strive to incorporate the styles of such greats as Jack Cole, Matt Mattox, Gus Giordano, Luigi and more. Jazz class is for ages 7 and up.

*All students in jazz D or Jazz E must also be enrolled in a ballet class.

Recreational Ballet/Jazz

This class is for teens through pre-professionals who are looking to expand their repertoire.  This class will start from the ground up and move quickly forward.  Some dance experience is necessary, but this is the perfect class for someone in their teens just starting in dance who is ready to work hard.

Lyrical / Contemporary (Levels B/C or D/E)

Contemporary is an artistic form of movement infusing different techniques. These classes will incorporate José Limón Modern technique with Ballet, with combinations set to both popular music as well as percussive tones. With a focus on movements of the core, students will develop a stronger upper body by manipulating their figure from a high level to a low level. Through Contemporary Dance, students will discover unique artistic shapes in choreography as well as quality of movement. Lyrical is a poetic style of dance with a lovely flowing quality blending ballet & contemporary dance concepts. Using popular music, this dance form connects movement to the lyrics to express a message or emotion through the dancers performance.

*Lyrical and contemporary classes may be combined or separate depending on enrollments.  This year they will be combined into one homogeneous blend of dance.

**This is one of three REQUIRED possible supplements in addition to Ballet IV – VII studies. You may choose ONE of: Modern or Variations  or Lyrical/Contemporary (IV and V only) as your additional requirement.

Hip Hop (Levels A – D)

Classes will cross multiple styles of the street form of dancing prevalent in hip hop.  From its roots in African Dance, hip hop is a freedom of physical expression with our without music and includes freestyling (of the moment dance improvisation).

Contemporary Hip Hop (Ages 7 – 13)

This is the softer side of hip hop.  The beginning of class will focus on traditional hip hop movement, while the second half of class will focus on softer, more delicate movement and intricate body work for a smooth hip hop style.  It will also incorporate elements of contemporary dance movement.  This is the perfect additional class for those already in Hip Hop C or D.

Modern (Ballet IV – VII)

This class focuses on forward-focused modern dance.  Most of this class will be taught en pointe.  Those not yet en pointe may take the class on flat. Modern dance stems from a reaction to classical rigid ballet, by dancers in the early 1920s which uses expressive forms of movement often contrary to strict ballet.  While in many ways it is the opposite of ballet, it is also, at the same time, the perfect complement for a well-rounded dancer.  This class will combine levels IV – VII this year based on enrollment.

*This is one of three REQUIRED possible supplements in addition to Ballet IV – VII studies. You may choose ONE of: Modern or Variations  or Lyrical/Contemporary (ballet IV and V only) as your additional requirement.

Variations (Ballet IV / V & Ballet VI / VII)

This class is the subsequent complement to advanced ballet training.  You will be given additional time with floor training and the barre, and most of class will be en pointe if applicable.  Monday VI & VII with Beth will cover classroom training, and additionally will relearn parts of class that were taken off pointe, now en pointe.  This is the perfect addition to this level of training.  Tuesday IV & V with Janelle will cover classroom learning and new technique with a focus on pointe training and endurance.

*This is one of three REQUIRED possible supplements in addition to Ballet IV – VII studies. You may choose ONE of: Modern or Variations  or Lyrical/Contemporary as your additional requirement.


DanceNastics (Ages 7 – 13)

This is a new initiative combining light aerial tumbling, acro-jazz and floor work into the world of ballet, jazz and hip hop.  Through repetitive muscle memory dancers will safely learn tumbling on mats while incorporating a variety of dance styles in addition to light gymnastics offerings.

Dance Mix: So You Think You Can (Ages 7 – 13)

Another new initiative will be this dance medley class. This is perfect for the dancer ready to branch out without the set mind of which direction to go.  12-15 dance styles will be covered over the course of a year: Ballet to Bollywood, Hip Hop to Hula, Jazz to the Jive? The possibilities are endless.  Dancers will learn about the dance style and intricate movements associated with each style.  Our spring concert/recital piece will combine movements from many styles to create a fusion mash-up of dance for all ages.  Styles will be focused for 1-3 week intervals depending on complexity and interest.  Styles will not be revisited after they are initially learned until recital prep.

*This class is in no way affiliated with the television program of a similar name, but offers children who are fans of the reality tv dance world an intro into styles we are currently unable to offer fulltime at TWDC.  Our hope is that this class will spawn new classes due to interest in specific dance styles.

Mexican Folk Dance

Each of the thirty-one states of Mexico has distinct styles of dance and music, such as polkas and chotises from Chihuahua, jarabes and sones from Jalisco, jarochos and huapangos from Veracruz, and danzas and chilenas from Guerrero. The varieties of dances reflect unique combinations of indigenous, European and African influences. The Mexican folkdance class will explore the rich beauty and diversity of dances, history and costumes of Mexico. Students will learn dances from different regions of Mexico and basic zapateados (footwork). Ages 6 and up.

Flamenco: taught by Sabrina Avilés, Artistic Director “Flamenco Dance Project”

Express yourself through this vibrant Spanish dance. Often accompanied by live flamenco guitar music, students will learn the basic elements of flamenco, including body stance, taconeo (footwork), palmas (hand clapping), and brazeo (arm work). There is also a strong emphasis on learning the challenging rhythms of flamenco. Choreographies are taught in all levels except Absolute Beginners. Levels offered: Absolute Beginners, Advanced Beginners and Intermediate/Advanced.

Visit: Flamenco Dance Project for more information.

Adult Offerings

Ballet (Ages 15 +)

Adult Ballet is a multi-level Ballet Technique class, open to those at their first Ballet Class, those who have been dancing for years, and everyone in between.  We will be working on ballet vocabulary and positions, while incorporating work on correct alignment, stretching, and strengthening. The class will utilize work at the barre, in the center, and across the floor.  Learning Ballet has something to offer everyone, no matter your goals.  This is an excellent class for a teen who is just beginning their dance training.  This class is also excellent as a drop in class for adults who would like to take barre with floor training, but who cannot commit to professional company barre time.

Tap (Ages 15 +)

This program is for teen through adult who are looking to hone previous tap experience while starting from scratch and moving quickly forward.  If you’ve had little experience with tap before, jump back in line for this full body conditioning class working your entire body from toe to the finger tips.  This class is suitable for near beginners, but some dance training is helpful.

Tony Williams Ballet

Youth Ensemble (Ages 6 – 16)

This program is a supplementary dance program geared toward all levels of dancers who would like additional rehearsal time, and additional performance time.  These are our shining pupils and are the face of Tony Williams Dance Center.  Youth Ensemble class should seem a way to hone fine dance skills while also developing the ability to adapt to new stages, large audience and a variety of dance venues and dance styles.  Each year a repertoire will be developed for the Youth Ensemble which can fulfill a variety of roles for a variety of performance opportunities.  It is our goal that the Youth Ensemble will perform at LEAST once per month during the school year and at MINIMUM twice per month during the summer.  Youth Ensemble dancers will have priority casting at Urban Nutcracker.  Dancers must be enrolled in at least one additional class at Tony Williams Dance Center to be eligible for Youth Ensemble participation.

* You must audition for placement.  Auditions are late August/ early September each year.

Apprentice Program (Ages 14 +)

This is our pre-professional dance training program.  The apprentice group will dance professionally throughout the city of Boston and in the Urban Nutcracker.  This is perfect for students considering a profession in dance, or those who are ready to dedicate more of their life to dance training.  This is the perfect training platform for eventual company placement at prestigious schools in Boston or across the United States.  Apprentice may reside anywhere in Boston Metro or nearby New England, BUT they must commit to a regular attendance at Monday AND/OR Saturday rehearsals.  You do not have to take dance at TWDC, but TWDC are encouraged to audition.  Apprentice level students will perform at least once per month during the school year and at least twice per month in summer and will have a special section in the Urban Nutcracker.  They will also receive priority casting in the Urban Nutcracker each year. 

* You must audition for placement.  Auditions are late August/ early September each year.