At Ascendance we approach your dance experience with whatever your inner truth is firmly in mind. Dance is fundamentally not a study of error, but an expression of a Truth so raw and elemental that words fall short of telling the whole story. In the words of Martha Graham, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” We ask our students – and seek to help them answer the question – “What does your soul have to say?”
For the youngest student, this may be a simple, pure emotion – joy, compassion, or loneliness. For our older students we encourage them to explore the full expressive range of dance and movement. Through dance we can tell complex stories, weave layered emotions together, celebrate or mourn with palpable exuberance.
Further, we believe such an expression lifts us, simultaneously distinguishing us and connecting us to others. Developing this voice is not inherent to our everyday culture or education. Ascendance is a place where individual voice can be explored, where expression is practiced and honed and celebrated with others.
The Second Annual Spring Performance
Click below to view the galleries for each show. Galleries are password protected – check your email for more information or contact us to gain access.
Note that photos for pieces that ran in both shows appear in Friday’s gallery only.
Our adult offerings operate on a drop-in basis. If you plan to come regularly, we recommend you purchase a $60 class card (only costs $50!). Classes meet weekly but we are always looking to add to the schedule. Click the link below to view a pdf of the current months schedule of adult classes:
Tuition is based on length of class and the number of classes per week. Discounts are applied for additional classes per week and for additional students from the same household. See our Rate Sheet for complete details.
Not sure where to begin?
Choosing the right class can be tricky, so we invite families to come try a class and see what works best! Use this guide to find the right level for your dancer and browse our class descriptions below.
We would love for you to join us!
We are currently welcoming new students into a variety of classes.
Our schedule now includes expanded offerings for children, teens, and adults. Check it out below. You can also sign up to be included added to our contacts and included in future announcements of events and additional offerings as the become available. You can unsubscribe at any time, but we hope to see you dance!
Our classes are focused in four areas: Expressions Technique, Rhythm Nation, Emerging Voices, and Repertory and Yoga.
Ballet technique provides a solid foundation for the study of many different styles of dance. The dancer learns to properly hold the spine, work the appropriate muscle groups and external rotation, and absorb the French terminology associated with dance. Basic fundamentals will be emphasized with focus on correct placement, clarity, detail of movement, and development of musicality and grace. Exercises at the barre, in center, and across the floor explore these movement concepts and train proper placement. Ballet shoes, leotards, and tights/leggings are required.
A fusion of ballet, jazz, and modern techniques makes for a creative exploration of contemporary movement. Dancers will become familiar with the way movement communicates meaning, and how the emotions we experience can inspire connection with others. Goals of the class are to encourage new vocabulary, risk taking, suspension, technical placement, and fulfilling range of motion. Dancers will come to understand the forces that act on the body as well as how to work with those forces as they practice turns, leaps, extensions, and transitions.
Jazz is an upbeat and expressive movement style that emphasizes sharpness and articulation. Dance to a variety of music from broadway to pop hits while studying leaps, kicks, turns, and footwork.
Imaginations is a creative movement and pre-ballet class for our youngest dancers. They will explore movement through imagery, storytelling, and games while being introduced to basic dance terminology.
Born on the streets, hip hop is grounded, unapologetic, precise, and dynamic. Dancers will learn about the energy and effort of specific hip hop vocabulary as well as how to concentrate on the isolation of body parts to create distinct imagery. Popping, locking, and other basic techniques will be introduced. Sneakers are required for this class.
Tap, the study of rhythm, allows us to become the music. In this class, students will be introduced to tap technique and vocabulary, and then be invited to play with rhythm, syncopation, accent, compound steps, and polyrhythms. Make some noise while discovering your inner musician!
Rhythm Stomp, a complement to the hip hop and tap studies, is a one-of-a-kind offering here in Western Mass! Dancers create the soundscape of the dance using drum sticks and parts of their bodies to create the score. Clarity of sound and mastery of the interplay between various “voices” will be emphasized. Clap! Stomp! Groove!
Laurel has been creating dances, sharing her love for music and dance, and performing in concerts for as long as she can remember. She holds a BFA in Dance from UMass Amherst and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College.
Michelle is an event organizer that inserts dance into unexpected places. With a background in ballet, contemporary, Mexican Folklorico and Classical Indian dance, Michelle has an MFA from Smith College and has taught at Hampshire, Smith and Springfield Colleges, and the Williston Northampton School.
He has been on faculty at Smith College, where he taught Jazz, Tap, and Contemporary and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he taught advanced Jazz in the BFA program.
Gabby is a junior at the Williston Northampton School and has been studying dance since the age of three. She is a member of the Hackworth School of Performing Arts competitive tap team.
192 Pine Street, Florence, MA 01060
We’re looking forward to welcoming your young dancer!