Opus Performing Arts
Statement of Principles
- We put the emphasis on instruction. We believe that proper technique is the foundation of all dance, and that technique can only be learned through a step-by-step building process that requires patience, self-discipline, and hard work. The beauty of dance can be expressed in the simplest of motions when done correctly.
- Our curriculum is age/maturity level appropriate. The pacing and difficulty level of our classes are designed to be fun, challenging, and technically appropriate. Levels are designed to increase students' technical skills, stamina and discipline in accordance with their age and development.
- Safety is a top priority.
- With Pilates a required class for our upper ballet levels, we make sure students have the strength and flexibility that is crucial to training. Creating the routine of cross-training will continue to benefit dancers through their dance career.
- Teaching students self-care before and after class is something that will help prevent injuries and give them tools to take with them beyond their training at Opus.
- A pointe readiness exam is mandatory for students hoping to transition to pointe work. Core strength, range of motion, balance and foot strength are all included in our exam for going en pointe. We do not simply base this decision on age or moving a whole level en pointe at the same time. Students need to be strong enough to be en pointe and we make sure each individual is ready before the decision is made.
- The quality of our faculty is paramount. Our faculty is comprised of experienced dance teachers, most of whom have degrees in dance from accredited institutions. All of our instructors have many years of experience as dance teachers and professional performers.
- We maintain an atmosphere of respect for each other at all times. We encourage a positive and respectful atmosphere, where students are constantly learning in a constructive manner. We don’t badger or belittle students who learn at a slower pace, or have a “body type” that is not considered the norm for a dancer. Each student has their own set of challenges to master.
- We view performances as part of the learning process, not the goal in themselves. While we view performances as an essential part of dance training, we don’t promote ourselves as a “ballet company” or “dance company”. “Companies” are comprised of adult professional dancers; their primary reason for existence is to create performances. Opus is a dance school; our primary reason for existence is to teach how to dance.
- Performers are Opus students only. In order to truly represent the school, all performers must be registered students with the minimum number of required classes at Opus Performing Arts School to be cast in performances. We do not allow students from other schools to participate in our performances, as we do not believe this practice to be an honest representation of our school.
- We don’t participate in competitions. While there are exceptions, most “dance competitions” are heavy on tricks and light on technique. This results in injuries and the development of bad habits.