Contemporary Dance

What is it?
Contemporary dance is a fluid, relaxed style of movement that is very ‘grounded’ into the floor. Strong emphasis is placed on torso and abdominal strength, as well as breadth and strength through the chest and upper body.

Contemporary dance evolves stylistically as new teachers and choreographers add to its vocabulary. It is an ever changing and expressive dance form.

Why learn Contemporary?
Nearly all classical dancers today have trained in both ballet and contemporary. Many ballets have a contemporary element to them, and classical dancers are expected to have learnt contemporary vocabulary. Contemporary allows dancers to move freely without the confines of turn-out, and also accommodates a variety of physiques. It is a very physical dance form using all parts of the body, and is therefore a wonderful way to get fit!

Do you have exams?
We have annual contemporary exams between August and October each year, run by the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance. All our syllabus work is NZAMD Contemporary, although ‘open’ classes may include other contemporary styles such as Martha Graham technique.

What age do I have to be?
Contemporary is offered at Wanganui Ballet & Dance Academy from age 11+.

What do you wear in Contemporary?
Contemporary is almost always performed in bare feet. Our uniform consists of a hot pink (contemporary styled!) leotard and black convertible or footless tights worn over the top of the leotard. Track pants may be worn at the beginning of class or a tight-fitted top, but a leotard is preferred.

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