CONNECTICUT DANCE SCHOOL
42 Halley Court,
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Connecticut Dance School is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, dedicated to providing dance education of the highest standard to the Connecticut community. The school was founded in 1970 by Elizabeth Gaynor, who served for many years as Director and Principal Teacher and continues her involvement as President of the Board of Directors.
Today CDS serves more than 300 students, who range in age from 3 through adult and hail from many communities throughout the state. Alan Woodard, Director of the school since June 1993, heads a distinguished and dedicated faculty of professionals. Mr. Woodard trained in London, England, and danced for six years with London Festival Ballet which today is known as English National Ballet. Following two seasons as soloist with the Chilean Ballet, he became a leading dancer and Ballet Master for Ballet de Santiago. Mr. Woodard holds the Advanced Teacherís Certificate (with honors) from the Royal Academy of Dance, and has studied pedagogical courses for teachers, 6 year syllabus, Kirov method, in St. Petersburg.
New students at CDS, ages 3 through 7, are placed in age-appropriate classes where they enjoy creative movement and exercises consistent with their developmental skills. Older students are placed in levels with respect to age and prior training. Classical ballet training, based on the Kirov syllabus, begins with Ballet 1, usually at age eight, when students attend two classes per week. Ballet Levels 2, 3, 4, 5 an 6 follow, with pointe work introduced and more classes required at each successive level. Ballet Levels 7 through 10 are the most advanced and attend a minimum of seven classes per week. Performance opportunities are offered throughout the year including an annual production of The Nutcracker which includes students from Pre-primary 2 and up, the Spring Benefit in April featuring students in Ballet levels 4 - 10, and the June Concert for Primary level, all Ballet levels, Modern Dance, and Jazz.
In addition to pre-professional ballet training, CDS also offers recreational dance classes for the once a week student in modern dance and jazz. The summer programs offer classes in multiple disciplines including Flamenco, mime, theater dance, choreography, partnering, crafts, Pilates and yoga. Adult classes in ballet and modern dance are ongoing throughout the year.