Vast, open, and bathed in natural light, the Pailey Dance Studio is home to Taft's dance program, one built on a strong foundation in technique, exposure to a wide variety of dance forms, and opportunities to perform and choreograph at every level.
Beginner students learn about and experience different genres of dance. Intermediate and advanced students may nurture their love and passion for all forms of dance while honing their technique, primarily in ballet, modern, and composition courses. At every level, our classes combine teacher-led instruction and student-driven compositional activities, performances, and opportunities to work collaboratively as a class, in small groups or duets, and as solo performers and choreographers. These classes perform twice each year in Bingham Auditorium.
In addition to formal classes, all dancers may continue structured technical and performance training at the appropriate level with the Taft Dance Ensemble. Faculty works spanning genres from ballet to modern and jazz to cultural, along with repertory from celebrated guest choreographers, are showcased each year in fully produced concerts on campus. Taft students may also learn through residencies with professional dance companies, guest artists, master classes, dance festivals, video viewings of master works, and trips to performances in Hartford, New Haven, and New York.
Dance is the hidden language of the soul.—Martha Graham
Technique classes in ballet are taught primarily in the Cecchetti method. Modern dance instruction favors the Limon technique, though other techniques and styles may be incorporated.