What is modern dance?

Modern and Contemporary Dance are terms often used interchangeably, and it can be confusing! Modern/contemporary dance, like modern/contemporary art, can be anything that a choreographer can create.
There are a few early western modern dance pioneers who established styles that remain in almost every modern dance class. These pioneers included Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), Martha Graham (1894-1991), Ted Shawn (1891-1972), Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968), Doris Humphrey (1895-1958), and many more. These choreographers, in a rebellion from ballet, removed the pointe shoes and tutus, challenged traditional gender roles in dance, explored the human experience giving into gravity, and told stories of modern day political issues. Modern dance today carries on that legacy and is rapidly growing.

In modern dance class at Park Hill Dance Academy, we practice technique, improvisational, and choreographic skills in every class. We explore elements such as Level, Time, Shape, Size, Quality, Weight, Emotion, and Pathways.

Today, all professional ballet dancers train in modern dance in order to be able to adapt to any choreographer’s aesthetic. This is the reason that we at Park Hill Dance Academy require any student who is a part of youth/junior company to take modern class. Why not start now? We have spots available in modern levels 1(ages 5-7) and Level 2 (Ages 7-11). We create an annual modern dance show in March, and we would love you to be a part of it.

I look forward to dancing with you!
Rowan Salem, Modern Dance Director

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