​Five Part Lesson Plan
Lakewood Dance Academy instructors follow a five part lesson plan for all creative dance and ballet, tap, and contemporary dance classes.

1. Braindance Warm-up
The Braindance was developed by Anne Green Gilbert of the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, WA. The Braindance is a sequential and holistic exercise based on the developmental movement patterns infants move through during their first year that we continue refining throughout our lives. The BrainDance patterns are: Breath, Tactile, Core- Distal, Head-Tail, Upper-Lower, Body Side, Cross Lateral, Eye-Tracking, and Vestibular. The BrainDance integrates mind and body and may be adapted for all ages and abilities. At Lakewood Dance Academy, the BrainDance is done, in many variations, as a warm-up in every class. The benefits for children and adults cycling through these patterns each week include reorganization of the neurological system, increased blood and oxygen flow to the respiratory system and brain, and enhanced body strength and alignment.

2. Exploring the Concept
Each week a different movement concept is introduced and explored as the focus of the dance class. Examples of dance concepts include:
Levels, Pathways, Place, Directions, Size, Speed, Tempo, Weight (Strong/Light), Energy (Sharp/Smooth)

3. Developing Skills
Skills may include locomotor and nonlocomotor movements in a parent/tot or creative class or positions and combinations of movements in a ballet, jazz, tap, or modern dance class.

4. Creating: Improvisation and/or Choreography
Younger students in Creative or Pre-Ballet classes focus on improvisation or learning simple choreography. Older and more advanced students learn choreographic tools for creating dances and learn instructor choreography.

5. Cooling Down: Reflection and Relaxation
Cool down may include student reflection and feedback and stretching. 

Class Descriptions

Parent Tot Dance Class

Ages 18 months - 3.5 years

Parent Tot class is specially designed for a parent or guardian to accompany his/her 18 month - 3 year old dancer to class!  Parents help toddlers participate in a concept-based movement class where they learn motor skills, musicality, balance and coordination, and a love for music, art, and dance!

Creative Movement

Ages 3-5 years

Creative dance class introduces young students to movement patterns, rhythm, spatial awareness and tumbling!  Each week the dancers will explore new dance concepts, create choreography and practice motor skills.  This is a wonderful experience for both boys and girls who love to play, move, create and dance!

Pre-Ballet / Tap Combination

Ages 4.6-7

An engaging and fun-filled dance technique class for all!  Students will enjoy a full class that begins with a creative dance based warm-up; great for the body and the brain!  Ballet terminology, placement and movement is introduced and dancers will practice and prepare for ballet steps moving across the floor and in prepared combinations.  The tap dance portion of class is always a favorite!  Dancers will learn about rhythm and meter and learn basic tap dance steps and sequences and the fundamentals of tap dance.


Ages 7+

A classical dance form characterized by grace, precision of movement, formal gestures, steps and poses - Ballet is at the heart of concert dance training and performance.  Students in ballet will concentrate on alignment, strength, flexibility and gestures while working at the barre and then progress this material into center work: adagio, petit allergro, grand allegro, port de bras, and epaulement. Emphasizing the importance of form, musicality, and presence makes ballet class both challenging and rewarding.


Ages 8+

Creative, expressive, strong and daring: students in Modern dance class will focus on moving from the inside out, finding balance, strength, and dynamic quality of movement.  Bill Evans based Modern Dance Technique prepares the dancer to better understand and execute internal connections in the body, movement intention, and to clarify elements of space, body, time, and energy.  Dancers will explore improvisation, partnering, and creating choreography.


Ages 6+

Energetic, dynamic and musical: students of Jazz dance are introduced to classical and contemporary jazz, a range of styles in both lyrical and percussive disciplines with a focus on jazz elements such as isolations, swing, and rhythm.  Students will gain strength, flexibility, stamina, focus and performance quality while working on across the floor progressions, leaps and turns and choreography.


Ages 8+

Contemporary dance class provides a personal and engaging environment for dancers to explore a blending of jazz, modern and ballet technique and pedestrian movement qualities.  Students will gain technique from all forms and focus on the fundamental elements of dance while learning fun, challenging and up to date styles of choreography!