Class Descriptions

There are two phases in the season for our DAS Recreational Program:

Training: Typically occurs from September to December (though this year will run from November to the end of February). Students are taught exercises, steps, vocabulary, and overall technique. Sometimes short combinations are developed and practiced. Material is taught in a progressive fashion, but the commitment required is moderate. Student progress is experienced on an individual level with focus placed on training in a safe and consistent way.

Choreography: Typically occurs from January to May/June (but will likely start in March this season). Each class group is taught choreography for a final performance. The performance is completely optional – students are welcome to participate in group choreography without purchasing a costume or appearing on stage. Progress is experienced on a group level, requiring higher attendance commitment from each student. Skills are developed in spacing, timing, and synchronicity, which requires all members of the team.


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Ballet – Caelia Gardiner & Kersten Samoleski

Ballet provides a good, solid foundation for many of the other dance styles in the DAS Recreational program, and it’s Caelia’s personal favourite! We have three levels of recreational adult ballet: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. These classes each have a unique syllabus created by Caelia to suit the needs of the dancers, which loosely follows the curriculum of the Royal Academy of Dance. During the Training portion of the season (Sep to Dec), students will learn barre, port de bras, turns, adage, and allegro exercises. The Choreography phase (Jan to Jun) places less focus on technical exercises, but draws on the training from the first part of the year. Ballet develops strength, balance, flexibility, stamina, stage presence, memory, and cognitive skills, and promotes emotional and artistic expression. It also creates a solid foundation for any other discipline, which makes it a fantastic starting point for your journey into the world of dance.

Beginner — 0-2 years experience; working on posture & placement, students learn simple isolated steps to build vocabulary (approx. RAD Intermediate Foundation level)

Intermediate — 3-5 years experience; awareness and control of basic posture is required, students must have basic knowledge of ballet vocabulary and be able to combine steps into complex combinations (approx. RAD Intermediate/Advanced Foundation level)

Advanced — 6+ years experience; confident control of posture and alignment in difficult positions (arabesque, body bends, épaulement, etc.), students must have good working knowledge of a wide array of ballet steps and be able to execute complex combinations quickly, reverse enchainements independently, change direction easily, etc. (approx. RAD Advanced 1/2 level)

RAD Exam — Dance Alive offers varying levels of exam training for the Royal Academy of Dance. Check out our Exam Section below for more info. 

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see days and times of our Ballet classes!


Pointe – Caelia Gardiner

Pointe is the only subsection of ballet that is not included in the Recreational Ballet classes. It requires its own course of strength and balance training and can be quite strenuous on the foot and ankle. Adults are welcome to train in pointe class regardless of their experience, but must be patient about progress – pointe shoes may only be purchased and practiced in once the teacher deems it safe. Besides the prospect of dancing on pointe, this class is a great opportunity to strengthen the knees and ankles, activate the core, and improve body alignment. This makes it a great complement to the ballet class, or a fantastic wellness class on its own.

Pre-Pointe/Beginner Pointe — 0-1 years experience; working on demi-pointe & pointe (if already trained), improving posture and alignment, with focus on activation and strengthening, students learn simple repetitive exercises to train muscle memory

Intermediate — 2-4 years experience; ability to comfortably rise, relevé, and couru en pointe is required, students learn more difficult turning steps, posés, and relevés to one foot

Advanced — 5+ years experience; comfortable with balancing and moving off and on pointe, able to execute turning steps such as chainés and posé pirouettes, students learn multiple turns and balances in difficult positions

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see days and times of our Pointe classes!


Tap – Tyneal Knackstedt

Tap is a vigorous and upbeat dance style based on rhythm and sound. It owes its roots to Black America as a way to create music with the body and connect with deities in the ground. Tap requires a unique way of moving when compared to the Ballet-based styles (Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary). Ankle mobility, weight placement, and glute activation are key components. Tyneal approaches Tap from a fundamental movement approach with proper conditioning and biomechanical techniques, while weaving in the history and rhythm of the steps.

Beginner — 0-2 years experience; working on posture & placement, students learn simple isolated steps to build vocabulary 

Experienced — 3+ years experience; knowledge of the basic posture and steps is required, students learn more complicated rhythms and footwork with greater focus on arm and body placement & speed

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see days and times of our Tap classes!


Jazz – Caelia Gardiner

Jazz is a powerful, fast-moving style filled with isolation and drama. It also originated from Black people in America, and has been turned more away from its roots in Canada into the Theatrical Jazz most of us think of from Broadway. Basic Jazz technique – posture control, weight placement, core strength – is very similar to Ballet, so Ballet training is often helpful for the Jazz dancer. Jumps and turns are prominent in Jazz training, and dances are usually performed to upbeat music with style. Not all Jazz is the same, and Caelia works to provide a wider experience of Jazz choreography with strong foundations in technique (based on the ADAPT syllabus).

Beginner — 0-2 years experience; working on posture & placement, students learn simple isolated steps to build vocabulary

Experienced — 3+ years experience; knowledge of the basic posture and technique is required, students learn more difficult elements with greater physical demand

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see day and time of our Jazz/Lyrical class!


Lyrical – Kersten Samoleski & Caelia Gardiner

Lyrical tells a story. It can has movement elements from Jazz, Ballet, Modern, and Contemporary. It is free expression with the body in an attempt to connect with the audience. The technical foundation has a similarity to Ballet, but training in Jazz as well is an asset for strenght and flexibilty. Our Lyrical program focuses on expression and musicality moreso than technique to allow students the opportunity to really feel the music and connect to the audience. Kersten & Caelia are working together to develop a unique Lyrical experience that really fosters the emotional and artistic expression of music through dance.

Beginner — 0-2 years experience; working on some posture & placement, heavy focus on musicality and performance, students learn simple movements that can be performed with feeling to tell a story

Experienced — 3+ years experience; good control of posture and technique is required, students learn more difficult elements with greater physical demand and more complex performance aspects

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see day and time of our Lyrical classes!


Street Dance – Caelia Gardiner

Previously called “Hip Hop”, our classes are now called Street Dance to encourage respect toward Hip Hop culture (includes dance, community, music, clothing, and more). Our new Street Dance program is based out of an online dance studio with BIPOC artists for whom Hip Hop culture is a lived thing. We learn different styles of Street dance, such as Dancehall, House, Krump, and Voguing, as well as the history and culture that is involved with each. The focus on Street dance training is to feel the music and feel your classmates – it is a social dance after all! In Street class we have fun, we groove, we let our bodies move the way THEY want to, and we pay homage to the cultures and people that created these dance styles for us to enjoy.

Beginner — Accessible to Beginners but also challenging enough for Intermediates. The moves are not quick or especially complicated, but greater challenge can come with modifications.

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see days and times of our Hip Hop class!


Acro – Kersten Samoleski

Description coming soon!

Beginner — All levels welcome!

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see days and times of our Acro class!


Embodied Movement – Caelia Gardiner

Description coming soon!

Beginner — 0-1 years experience; learning the basisc of Pilates mat posture and muscle engagement

Experienced — 2+ years experience; understands basic Pilates postures and movements, can be lead through multiple exercises with minimal instruction

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see days and times of our Embodied Movement classes!


Weekly Workouts – Lauren Gardiner

Description coming soon!

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see days and times of our Weekly Workouts!


RAD Ballet Exams – Caelia Gardiner

Description coming soon!

Check out the Weekly Schedule to see days and times of our RAD Exam classes!