Both American and International Style curricula are introduced in order to challenge the students, introduce them to a variety of dances, musical styles and technical points, as well as maintain (the often fleeting) interest of elementary schoolers.
A typical class consists of reviewing previously learned steps alone, and then with a partner; having new material demonstrated and explained by the instructors; and practice to music. Over time the students have devised their own favorite practice techniques: “Show and Tell” allows each couple to showcase their skills while the rest of the class counts out loud, and “no-Bumper Cars” is a way of practicing foxtrot in a small classroom with the goal of not bumping into others.
In addition to teaching dance-related skills such as musicality, posture, and footwork, the instructors seek opportunities to foster skills that apply outside of the dancing context. Working with a partner, being committed to a performance group, resolving disagreements in a friendly manner and persevering despite difficulty, are just a few of the lessons that the students learn while dancing.