Since it was founded more than thirty years ago, The Jeannette Neill Dance Studio has become one of the most respected centers of dance education in the country and is renowned internationally for its preservation and presentation of jazz dance. Likewise, The Jeannette Neill Children’s Dance Program (JNCDP) has provided quality dance training for children aged three to twelve for more than twenty years. Our noncompetitive approach to children’s dance education develops attributes that can serve the child well throughout a lifetime. These include discipline, self-respect and self- confidence; improved learning skills; creativity, self-expression, imagination; and an instilled appreciation for music, dance and other art forms. By emphasizing strong dance technique, JNCDP is designed to take a child from the earliest years of dance training through the pre-teen years. At this point, the confident young dancer will be prepared to segue into Boston Youth Moves, our pre-professional teen dance program where students make dance their primary extracurricular activity, or they can study more recreationally to supplement a sport or other extracurricular activity.
Because our faculty is carefully selected to exemplify our philosophy, our teachers are dance professionals chosen for their knowledge and expertise. We limit class size so that we can provide a low teacher to student ratio. Because we regard dance as an art form, we do not enter our children in dance competitions. At the end of the year, in lieu of traditional high-pressure recitals, our students enjoy an informal demonstration performance highlighting classroom progress and achievement. Thus our students spend the entire year in a process of continuous growth and learning.
Creative Intro to Dance (ages 3-5) is a stimulating, fun and imaginative series of classes that introduce the fundamentals of dance while nurturing a child’s
agility and musicality. Students learn to follow the teacher’s instructions while working in a challenging but supportive environment and interacting with their peers. Class begins with a general warm-up and stretch and introduces ballet vocabulary. By using games, props, toys and rhythm instruments, the class offers creative ways to challenge the child both mentally and physically. Five year olds are further challenged rhythmically by the addition of a fifteen-minute tap segment.
Young Dancers (ages 6-8) is a more structured series of classes that continues to aid the development of the child’s physical coordination and musicality. The ballet barre and age-appropriate exercises are introduced and jazz becomes a component of this level. Certain gifted or more motivated students of this age may find more rapid improvement by adding another day of classes.
Junior Dancers (ages 9-12) is our most structured dance series, offering children at least one ballet, jazz and tap class per week. At this level we feel it is vital to a child’s improvement to dance more than once a week. Therefore we recommend adding another to the child’s weekly schedule class.
Hip Hop Dance Styles offers students the opportunity to explore popular urban dance styles. This class may be taken as a second weekly class for the Junior Dancer or independent of a regular Junior Dance class.