Our Training Programs
The team of
master teachers, led by Margaret Swarthout, have worked together and trained
dancers for over twenty five years. They have designed four unique programs
that carefully guide students of all ages from beginning to advanced level
Introduction to Dance Division
Vicki-Marie Bassing, Assistant School Director, brings over 20 years
experience working with young dancers in the Bay Area. In
collaboration with Lynn Cox, MDT's School Director, a strong program has
been designed for the Introduction to Dance, Pre Ballet Classes and
Elementary Classes. Each of these levels introduces the child to the art of
a gentle, fun and nurturing environment.
Introduction to Ballet
These classes introduce 3-4
year olds to a class room situation in a relaxed way through fun and
challenging work. They learn socialization skills, improve coordination
abilities and develop their imagination. They are introduced to ballet's
basic foot and arm positions.
classes are designed for 4-6 year olds. They are introduced to more of the
basic positions of the feet and arms, as well as beginning preliminary steps plies, tendus,
sautīs, passīs, body placement, polka. Again, their classes include
exercises that develop and encourage musicality and imagination, as well as
their passion for dance.
These classes begin
to expose the dancers to more technique, emphasizing body placement, use of
the foot, coordinating arms and legs in their exercises, building on their
music awareness and challenging them with combinations of steps.
Young Dancer Division Director
Vicki-Marie Bassing brings over 20 years experience working with young
dancers in the Bay Area to Marin Dance Theatre. Again, in collaboration with
Lynn Cox, School Director, an extensive program
has been created for the Junior classes. The classes
are designed to expand the studentī's physical abilities, body awareness, as
well as love and respect for the art of ballet. Socialization skills are
developed through fostering self-discipline and focus.
These classes introduce a more structured classical
ballet curriculum with pre-pointe and pointe classes.
The children also explore musicality through
exposure to classical music. These classes reflect Marin Dance Theatre's
curriculum, giving the students the strong foundation necessary to begin
the more advanced training in Marin Dance Theatre's Senior Levels.
Senior/Career Bound Division
advanced training program is based on an understanding of the kinesthetics
of the body and the physics of movement which allows each student to work
with their body rather than against it. Through the training, students
become aware of their own possibilities and learn to correct and strengthen
their bodies. In addition to learning technique, students receive intensive
training in musicality, rhythm and phrasing which are essential to artistic
The senior teaching faculty of MDT has an impressive background with both national
and international company affiliations. They have trained and placed dancers in both companies, colleges and universities
for more than a decade.
All of these dancers have an opportunity to perform several times during the
year. Many are included in Marin Dance Theatre's major holiday production of
Sophie and the Enchanted Toy Shop performed at the Marin
Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael. CA.
former member of Ballet West, designed a unique training program for adults
and teens. If you are seeking an educational dance atmosphere that is
supportive, demanding, and fun, this program is for you. The MDT Adult/Teen
Division boasts former professional dancers, dance teachers, men, women, and
teens who just love to dance and have discovered the benefits ballet offers
for complete physical fitness