Contemporary Classes

Our contemporary dance classes provide our dancers and local area with a unique opportunity to learn this expressive dance, which combines part of modern, jazz, lyrical and ballet.


Here are some answers to questions we often get asked about contemporary dance. If you need any further details, please get in touch!


Do I need any previous experience to attend contemporary dance classes?

No. Our classes are open to all abilities and we build on any experience you may (or may not) have had.


What should I wear?

Whatever you feel comfortable in. Our children’s classes do have a set uniform, but this does not need to be purchased.

Contemporary is danced in bare feet, so there are no dance shoes to buy.


What kind of music is used?

A wide range of music is used as there are very few rules for music in contemporary dance. We choose music that inspires our dancers and enjoy working with music that our dancers have requested.


What is the difference between modern and contemporary?

Contemporary dance is expressive and aims to connect body and mind through fluid dance movements. Dancers develop strong technique combining the controlled legwork of ballet with the focus on the torso of modern. Dancers learn contract and release, fall and recovery and to explore floor work and improvisation.

Modern stage dance has a theatrical quality and can be seen in musical theatre productions and wider performance settings. Dancers develop moves including kicks, leaps, turns and travelling steps and apply them in a range of styles to a variety of music.

Modern and contemporary are always evolving to incorporate relevant influences and developing cultures, for example the increasing prevalence of street dance. This means that they both remain fresh and exciting whilst keeping their own distinct benefits.

Both contemporary and modern are dominant genres for professional dancers, meaning they are equally valuable for dance training as well as for a hobby and/or exercise.


What syllabus is taught?

We teach the outstanding NATD syllabus. This is the only Ofqual accredited contemporary dance syllabus, meaning that you can be confident that high standards are maintained and that qualifications are valuable (and indeed eligible for UCAS points).


Do I have to take exams?

No. Our annual contemporary examinations are optional.


How are the classes structured?

Each year is split into two halves:

From March to October we focus on NATD syllabus work, which develops each dancer’s skills and technique.

From October to March we work together for our annual charity dance show, which develops performance and creativity.

Throughout the year we develop dancers’ broader understanding of the discipline, through guest teacher workshops, outings and additional performance opportunities.


What does contemporary dance provide that other dance styles do not?

Contemporary offers a distinctive way to build confidence, through exploring and developing your creativity and communicating feelings, ideas and stories in your movements. We have great links with contemporary dance companies and arts organisations, so our contemporary dancers benefit from a range of performance opportunities, including dancing in productions by the Philippe Saire Company and New Art Club.


Does contemporary compliment other forms of dancing?

Yes. Our contemporary dance syllabus develops strong dance technique and skills that both exist alongside, and enhance other dance forms. Many of our dancers choose to broaden their dance education by learning many types of dancing with us (tap, modern, ballet, contemporary and acro). We often find that our dancers who learn contemporary are more competent in using their whole body to dance, more confident in dancing with expression and purpose and more skilled at connecting their dancing to the music. Equally we have many fabulous dancers who choose to only do contemporary dance and who gain a well-rounded experience from this dance form alone.


What are the benefits for each age group?

4-7 year olds  – A great way to connect play, storytelling, imagery and movement.

7-10 year olds – Fabulous for self-expression, communication and confidence.

10-13 year olds – A valuable addition for both existing dancers and for those who wish to experience performance and movement for the first time.

13-18 year olds – An opportunity to develop creativity and to understand dancing in greater depth.

Adults – A great way to connect mind and body whilst exercising.


Is it suitable for adults?

Yes! Adults join our dance classes for many reasons and we are experienced in meeting these diverse needs. Those with previous dance experience can pick it up again. Those who wish to learn a new skill are supported and often given additional (free) resources to understand more. Our contemporary class provides a lovely, warm social opportunity, both within each class and with optional outings to dance performances. Those wishing to improve their fitness will be delighted by what a fun way contemporary dance is to exercise. We enjoy teaching all ages and abilities.


How much do lessons cost?

£3.75 per class, You can pay as you go for the first week or two, after which we ask you to pay for the remaining weeks of term (and then termly from then on).

Contemporary is danced in bare feet so there are no specialist shoes to be purchased.

There are no additional charges for costumes at our annual charity show.


Where are the classes held?

Cheadle Hulme United Reform Church, 65 Swann Lane, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport SK8 7HU.