Submitted by Johansen Olympia Dance Center
Registration is now open for the upcoming school year classes offered at Johansen Olympia Dance Center, including pre-ballet, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, stretch & strengthen, parent/toddler, and Downs’ at Dance.
The studio offers a wide-range of classes for all ages and in a variety of styles of dance, and is also the home of Ballet Northwest, the non-profit company that performs “The Nutcracker” and other productions at the Washington Center.
Many children are introduced to dance as toddler in parent/toddler classes for parents and their small children, and then progress to creative dance for the three, four and five-year-olds. Ballet is first introduced to kids as young as three in the Pre-Ballet classes that teach kids all the way to first grade. From there they transition into Beginner Ballet. Other children go straight into hip hop, jazz or tap or take a combination of classes.
The studio is under the direction of Ken and Josie Johnson, both certified to teach the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum through American Ballet Theatre in New York. The curriculum consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines to provide the highest quality ballet training to dance students of all ages and skill levels.
According to the Johnsons, the American Ballet Theatre curriculum is a healthy technique that enables dancers to dance a variety of styles. The instructors who designed the curriculum traveled all over the world and had the opportunity to see what type of instruction works and what doesn’t, ultimately giving the dancers a strong foundation that will allow them to dance a variety of styles.
“We use this curriculum to give our instructors a road map for what their students need to accomplish at the end of the week, month and year. Yet at the same time, teachers have a lot of flexibility in how they reach those goals,” said Ken. “We know that at the end of each year all our students in each grade level will have received the instruction they need to move on to the next level with outstanding technique and skill.”
The Johnsons work regularly with Master Teachers throughout the Puget Sound region, and have received great feedback from them after they’ve worked with students at the studio. “The instructors that we bring into teach our Master Classes tell us repeatedly how impressed they are with our students. They could teach anywhere, but they return to our studio in Olympia because they enjoy our students’ great attitude and skill,” said Josie. Recent guest teachers have included faculty from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Cornish College of the Arts.
To learn more about the Johansen Olympia Dance Center and to view the class schedule for the 2015-2016 year, visit www.olympiadancecenter.com
Josie Johnson, Co-Director
Josie and her husband Ken are the Directors of Johansen Olympia Dance Center. She trained at Orange County Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where she received a B.F.A. in Dance Pedagogy. Josie danced professionally with Dance Connecticut/Hartford Ballet, Connecticut Opera, Roxey Ballet, and ARC Dance Productions. Guest credits include Eliot Feld’s Mr. XYZ with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Kirk Peterson’s The Nutcracker with the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. Josie has taught and choreographed extensively throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington.