American Dance Academy
(302) 234-9900
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Class and Level Descriptions


Ages 2-Young 3

WEE Dance
Our WEE Dance is for Mommy (or Daddy/caregiver) and a toddler ages 18 months to 3 years old. It is designed to help aid in the development of skills appropriate for a 2-year-old. For this reason, our class uses a parent or caregiver to help us orient the child into a classroom setting encouraging the development of fine and gross motor skills. These skills are developed through the use of music, dance, and the support of those who love them. Along with assisting in the development of motor skills in the children we incorporate sharing, taking turns, and following directions. These aspects all lead to the development of socialization and additional necessary skills of listening and memory.

We try to schedule multiple 6-8 week sessions throughout the school year. Keep an eye on our social media and emails for announcements of new sessions!

Click here to read more about the WEE Dance program


Ages 3-5

PS1, PS2 (Pre-School) and Kinderdance (Kindergarten)

These classes are fun and exciting intro to ballet and tap dance, that focus on coordination, self-expression, and musicality in creative and imaginative ways. Dancers learn many cute songs with dance steps that they will be singing to you throughout the year. They learn the importance of taking turns and working together in a structured class. We will keep students entertained and help them to acquire a lifelong love of dance.


Ages 5 & up

ADA currently offers weekly classes in Hip Hop, Pom, Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Pointe for ages 5 and up

Level placement is based on both age and experience. As the student progresses through each level, the curriculum will become increasingly more complex and intricate. New and beginning dancers are accepted by age only through level 1, older dancers' placement will be based on a variety of factors. Age/level breakdowns are listed below, and please note that ages and years of experience are only approximate, and all placements are ultimately individualized.

  • Elementary 1 & 2: Ages 6-8, typically 1st and 2nd grade.

These classes are a combination ballet and tap class with an optional jazz class afterwards.

  • Level 1: Ages 8-10 or 11 beginner

These classes are separate ballet, jazz, and tap classes that build upon each other in each level. Dancers will learn ballet barre exercises focusing on technique and flexibility. Leaps, turns, and jumps are introduced. Basic steps begin to be combined for short combinations making this an exciting class for this age group. Ballet class is required to enroll in Jazz class.

  • Level 2-5: Ages 11 and up, with 2+ years of experience. Advanced levels are often repeated for 2 or more years.

Level classes are style-specific technique classes, during which the curriculum becomes increasingly more complex and intricate as the student progresses through the various levels. Focus is on proper technique with combinations becoming more difficult.

See the schedules page for a complete list of times

Hip Hop  Age 5 & up

This commercial style refers to street dancing and has evolved throughout the years. Dancers learn vocabulary and steps that progress through their age levels. This popular style of dance is a favorite way to learn great moves for social events and, as they become older, progress into the commercial dance world.

Pom  Age 10 & up       

This is a great class seen performed by high school dance teams. It is designed to introduce dancers to the basics of proper jazz dance techniques while including the sharp synchronized movements and visual effects of working with pom poms! It is recommended that the dancer has 3 years of experience in ballet, jazz, or lyrical. For those students looking towards trying out for high school or college dance teams, this is a great class full of fun, high-energized Pom routines.


Contemporary Level 2 & up

Contemporary is a dance style that combines ballet, jazz, and contemporary technique. Dancers are trained to use emotion and movement to portray feelings from the lyrics of a song. Combinations are taught and improvisation is highly encouraged. Students in this class are required to have ballet experience and also be enrolled in a ballet class at ADA.

Ballet  Elem 1 & up

Ballet is considered the basis of all dance training. Dancers learn grace, elegance, and discipline while focusing on technique and flexibility. We strongly feel that ballet is the most important dance form that a child can study. We offer Ballet for all ages and abilities. Students will learn classical ballet techniques and terminology. Each class includes barre exercises, center floor work, and across-the-floor combinations. The ballet curriculum is based on a combination of the French, Vaganova, and Cecchetti methods.


Jazz  Elem 1 & up

The jazz style is based on ballet technique and includes sharp and fluid movements as the dancer builds technique and style. For this reason, it must be taken with a ballet class. Popular music is used while dancers work on body isolations, stretching, flexibility, turning, and leaping.


Tap  Elem 1 & up

Tap is one of the oldest dance forms in this country. Students are taught rhythms, timing, and leg/foot coordination done to various types of music. We teach all types of tap from standard basics like “42nd Street” (Broadway Style) to the funky rhythm tap as seen in “Bring In Da Noise” (Hoofing Tap). Students will receive well-rounded knowledge of all types of tap in Elem 1-Elem 3. When they get to Levels classes they are offered Broadway Style and/or Hoofing Tap.


Pointe  Age 11 & up

Pointe dance is for intermediate to advanced ballet dancers with a minimum of 3 years of ballet training. It is a part of the classical ballet technique that requires the dancer to support all of their body weight on the tips of fully extended feet. This work is done wearing a specially fitted pointe shoe
A: This class is for beginner to intermediate students. Dancers must be at least 11 years old with 3 years of ballet training and approved by the instructors to register. Dancers must stay in this class for a minimum of 2-3 years to build strength and endurance for more advanced work. Dancers must take the ballet class time that precedes this class.
B: This class is for dancers in Level 4-5 who are ready for more advanced pointe work. Approval must be given by the instructor to move up to this level and these dancers must take the ballet class that precedes this class.

*We highly suggest that all our pointe dancers take at least 2 ballet classes per week.


Acro Dance  Age 8 & up

Acrobatic dance is a combination of dance technique and acrobatic skills. It focuses on strength and flexibility as the basis for tumbling, balancing, limbering, and partnering techniques. Acro classes are taught by an Acrobatic Arts certified teacher, and progress through specific benchmarks to safely and effectively teach these new skills. Additional dance classes are not required but highly recommended as the dancers will attain skills at a faster pace with the extra focus on technique.


Rhythm Works  Age 7 & up

Rhythm Works Integrative Dance is a specialized, but inclusive, dance program for people with individual learning differences and other special needs. It is a clinically-based hip hop class that utilizes sensory processing, kinesiology, and behavior analysis as a foundation to build customizable classes for the students. Miss Darlene was the first certified Rhythm Works certified instructor in the area and welcomes students of all ability levels to class. Each new student will have a half-hour private lesson set up with Darlene in order to become more comfortable and allow us to have a better understanding of any needs or limitations in order to tailor a class specifically towards each dancer.


Baton  Age 6 & up

Baton Twirling combines dance, agility, coordination, flexibility, and sometimes gymnastics while manipulating one or multiple batons. Students will be taught the basics of handling, manipulating, and twirling the baton, which will progress into larger, more difficult combinations and tosses. Dance steps will be introduced and combinations set to music eventually become complete choreography. Closed-toe shoes are required for protection, and on nice days students will practice tossing outside.



"Darlene and the entire ADA staff! Congrats on yet another wonderful recital! What an amazing job! Jacklyn had the time of her life. She is so sad for her first Monday without dance. Thanks again for all you do to make this such a memorable time!"

Rose Peters


Dance Classes for Ages 2 to 5


















American Dance Academy | 126 Lantana Drive | Hockessin, DE 19707 | (302) 234-9900 |