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Helsingin tanssiopisto provides a versatile and target-oriented dance education both in its short as well as long curriculum. The education progresses on yearly basis and different levels are clearly stated in the curriculum.
All children and the youth under 11 years old studying children’s dance, classical ballet or modern dance follow the long curriculum. It is comprised of Helsingin tanssiopisto’s early childhood and preparatory studies, basic studies and advanced studies.
Early childhood studies are for 5-year-old students and include Danceplay, Pre-Ballet and Creative Dance. Preparatory studies for 6−7-year-old students offer classical ballet and modern dance classes. Both studies have 1−2 classes of 45−60 min per week.
After preparatory studies, the student chooses either classical ballet or contemporary/jazz dance as a major and starts basic studies’ part 1 that last approx. three years. After this, the student can move on to the part 2 of the basic studies or transfer to the short curriculum. Basic studies have usually 1–2 classes of 60–75 min per week.
Basic studies’ part 2 lasts for approx. 2−3 years and has min. of 2 classes of 75-90 min per week. It includes classical ballet and/or modern dance studies, where the student practises persistently and familiarises in the dance style in more depth. At the end of the basic studies, the student receives a basic education certificate and can move on to the advanced studies or tranfer to the short curriculum.
Advanced studies offer a wide list of minors, such as other dance styles, body maintenance as well as special courses including courses about dance theory and history, and nutrition. Advanced studies are completed in approx. between ages of 14 and 19 or 20 and entail 2−4 classes of 75-90 min per week. During the advanced studies, the student will prepare a diploma work which can be a solo dance, a group dance or a choreography. During advanced studies, the student develops his/her dance technique and understanding further and increases the level of difficulty continuously. At the end of the advanced studies, the student receives an advanced education certificate which is also the certificate of graduation.
In 1974 Helsingin tanssiopisto started a special dance training program of gifted young dance enthusiasts. Many of these students have continued their dance studies at institutes of higher education or now work in the field.
The special training program is class-oriented meeting 3−6 times a week and it follows the widest curriculum of basic education, giving the student the needed skills for vocational post-graduate studies. During the first 6 years the major is classical ballet and the supplementary major is contemporary dance. Later on, the student can choose a contemporary dance-oriented program. In addition, the program includes other dance styles, such as Character Dance, Tap Dance, Afro as well as performance studies. Program offers also summer camps, guest teachers from home and abroad, as well as many trips to different dance events in the country.