Irina Gurevich

The offered dance program by Irina Gurevich is tailored to students’ ages, taught in Russian, and has a traditional structure: warming up, working on technique, learning choreography, cooling down. Technique comes from the Greek word meaning “skill”. For a dancer, technique is the ability to use physical movements effectively and Irina pays close attention to how children learn to execute different steps. Children will continue to dance if they are enjoying it - the element of play must be included. Kids are encouraged, motivated and challenged. The learning of dance steps helps in the real live as well. Irina explains why stretching is good for the body although it hurts sometimes; why do people have to walk with the straight back, although in the beginning it feels very strange.

Creative dance is a very important part of the lessons. Kids learn about body, energy, space, force, time and incorporate it into dance compositions. During lessons Irina uses musical pieces written by famous composers. Here are her favorite choices: Camille Saint-Saëns’s “Carnival of animals”, Tchaikovsky “Album for the Young”, Prokofiev ”Peter and the Wolf”. These compositions are image driven and easy to listen to.

Below are class syllabus based on the age and skills: 3 – 4 years old:

  1. Working on flexibility & strength
  2. Hearing & Interaction with Different Rhythms
  3. Taping to the beat (identify body parts)
  4. Sitting and standing like a dancer
  5. Sitting up Straight
  6. Fully straitening legs
  7. Stretches & flexes the feet
  8. Parallel position
  9. Demi- plie (little bends)
  10. Tendu (from parallel to the front)
  11. Battement Pique (fairy taps)
  12. (flamingo) Passe
  13. Weight Shifts (rocking babies)
  14. Saute (jumps)
  15. Echappe (parallel) (jack in the box)
  16. Hop
  17. Ballerina Walks
  18. Tightrope Walks
  19. Contrast walks
  20. Forward/backward walks
  21. Marching
  22. Cat & Mouse Gallops
  23. Kangaroo Jumps
  24. Frog Jumps
5-6 years old:
  1. 1st Position (very little turnout)
  2. 2nd position (very little turnout)
  3. Demi- plie with turnout
  4. Tendu side
  5. Tendu devant/derriere (turnout towards the end of the year)
  6. Degage (parallel/devant)
  7. Weight Shift forward & backward
  8. Temps Lie
  9. Saute (jumps) parallel
  10. Saute in 1st
  11. Echappe (parallel) (jack in the box)
  12. Skips
  13. Polka steps
  14. Skating
  15. Jump vs. hop
  16. Pas de chat (parallel) *jump like a cat
  17. Assemble (parallel) *rabbit hole jumps
7 –9 years old
  1. Demi- plie with eleve
  2. Tendu en croix
  3. Degage (turnout to 2nd)
  4. Demi Rond de jambe en de hors (frontward)
  5. Rond de jambe en de dans (backward)
  6. Fondu (parallel)
  7. Grand Battement (parallel, to the front)
  8. Tombe a la second
  9. Tombe devant (turnout)
  10. Pas de bouree (flat)
  11. Waltz
  12. Run, run leap