Dance Sun Country

Dance Sun Country is committed to giving each student a solid dance education focusing on technique, musicality, and showmanship. We strive to create a positive atmosphere for our students, nurturing the mind and body to act as one in order to develop grace, poise, and personal confidence that will benefit them throughout their entire lives in any career they choose.

With over 70 years of combined teaching experience, our highly qualified instructors bring a wealth of knowledge and diversity from a wide variety of professional and academic settings. Our instructors have extensive training and teaching experience with dance studios, companies, and universities throughout the U.S., as well as professional experience with the likes of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Moscow Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Disney World, and both Disney and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Our staff lead structured, challenging classes that are full of creativity and enthusiasm.

In addition to their weekly classes, as students advance in our programs they also have the opportunity to attend numerous dance workshops and summer intensives held throughout Florida and the U.S. each year. We are proud that many of our dancers continue to receive scholarships and acceptance into both full-year programs and intensives with some of our nation’s most prestigious companies and schools, including the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, Broadway Dance Center NYC, Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, Marymount Manhattan College NYC, and Florida State University.


Coed – Ages 2yr 6mo – 3yr 11mo / must be potty trained
Children will explore creative dance, music, rhythm, and movement, while nurturing their energy, vitality, and imagination. These first dance classes help young students to develop mental, physical, and social skills through a fun, age-appropriate dance curriculum.


Our Fairytale Ballet classes are designed for boys and girls ages 3-5. Students will be introduced to the wonderful world of dance, exploring the music and characters of many beloved fairytales, such as Cinderella, Nutcracker, Peter Pan and more!


Coed – Ages 4 through Kindergarten
This class is designed for dancers who are ready for more ballet technique but still want to have a class full of imagination and fun. This class introduces the young dancer to simple ballet technique, French terminology, and proper ballet classroom procedures, while continuing to nurture and develop the same skills/goals as introduced in the Dance Tots. Ballet barre, center work, and across the floor steps will be introduced.


Coed – Ages 4 through Kindergarten
This class is perfect for young children who are full of energy! Students will be introduced to simple tap technique, steps, and combinations; as well as fun age-appropriate hip-hop/dance movements and routines. Students will do tap for the first half of class and then will change shoes for hip-hop. These young children will improve their coordination and rhythm, and increase their memory and retention skills – all while getting a great workout and having fun!


Coed – Ages 6 & up (Must be entering 1st Grade)
Ballet is the foundation of all dance. Students will learn fundamental concepts of classical ballet, learn ballet terminology and proper ballet technique, and will study exercises both at the barre and in the center. Repetition will be used to increase strength, flexibility, and coordination. Students will also gain an appreciation for ballet as an art form and will learn to express themselves through movement to classical music. Multiple levels of ballet training (beginner – advanced) are offered through our program.


Placement in pointe class is at the discretion/approval of the Director only. Pointe work is not a consideration until students are at least 12 years of age and have had sufficient ballet training to strengthen their feet, ankles, legs, hips, & upper body, and must display significant strength and understanding of both ballet technique and body placement.


Coed – Available for ages 6 years and up (Must be entering 1st Grade)
Tap is a rhythmic form of dance that is performed in special “tap shoes”. Beats and rhythms are executed through the feet. Students will learn to tap in an energetic and music-filled atmosphere, improving their memory, coordination, musicality, and stamina. Tap is offered as a Tap/Jazz combination class for ages 6-10. Beginner to Advanced levels are offered through our program.


Coed – Available for ages 9 years and up
Various levels (beginner through advanced) are offered. Jazz is an upbeat and energetic form of dance. Classes will incorporate various jazz styles including classic jazz & funky jazz – to lyrical jazz and musical theatre.

Contemporary dance encourages dancers to be versatile in their expressions and to be able to portray a wide array of movement styles and emotions. Focus is on spacial and body awareness, use of body weight, floor work, technique, efficiency of muscle usage, musicality, safe body alignment, and building the dancer’s ability to execute and perform a variety of movements and combinations. Dance warm-ups include strength-conditioning exercises for flexibility, balance and endurance. Appropriate popular music is used combined with fun, energetic dance moves and routines that are artistically expressive and fun.


Coed – Ages 6-10 (must be entering 1st grade)
Students will be introduced to fun, energetic, age-appropriate dance classes that focus on fundamental Hip-Hop moves including basic body isolation, precision, performance quality and choreography – as well as helping to develop rhythm, coordination, body awareness, build self esteem and promote confidence. Dance warm-ups will include exercises for strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. Appropriate popular music will be used to create fun dance moves and routines that will be expressive with an explosion of energy.


Coed – Available for ages 6 years – 12 years (Must be entering 1st Grade)
Students will learn the fundamentals of clogging basics, including a variety of traditional and contemporary steps. We will dance to many types of music including country, pop, hip-hop, and more! Traditional tap shoes are fine for the introductory class. As students progress into higher levels, traditional clogging shoes will be required. The teacher will make this recommendation when applicable.


Coed – Available for ages 9 years and up
Beginning through advanced levels are offered. Classes will focus on an eclectic blend of different styles of modern dance technique. Modern dance itself was first created as a rebellion against ballet and later became a fusion of new expressive ways of moving incorporating technical dance forms. Classes will incorporate technique with a more athletic style of movement including contract and release, fall and recovery, prances, partner work and improvisation. Expression and exploration are key elements that will be included.


Coed – Available for ages 3 years and up
Our program also offers a variety of non-recital specialty classes and camps held in various mini-sessions throughout the year, and may include “Fairytale Ballerinas”, “Prince & Princess Workshops”, “Winter Wonderland Workshop”, “Daddy Daughter Dance Class”, “DanceMania”, “Hip-Hop Explosion!”, and “Boys Only”, to name a few. Our themes may change from year-to-year so that we can continue to provide a variety of dance styles for our students to explore. Our popular “drop-in” classes include “Broadway Babies” and “Dance Jam”.


Parent Observation Weeks provide the opportunity for parents to observe the growth of the dancers, and to experience the class from the “inside”. To minimize distraction for our students and to allow our faculty to do the best job possible in the training of your child, Parent Observation Weeks are only offered at certain times during the year.

Our goal is to keep your child focuses so that they can maximize their class experience and continue to progress effectively throughout the year.

Specific dates for observation weeks are posted in advance.


Dance Sun Country will have its annual Recital at the end of each dance season (May). Participation in the Recital not only helps to build self-confidence, but also develops theatrical presence, expressiveness, style, and teamwork, which are essential to the performing arts. We do encourage all our students to share in this rewarding experience. It is a wonderful way for students to showcase the results of their hard work, and for family and friends to join in their pride of achievement.

Participation in the recital does require additional costs. Details regarding dates, fees, etc. are distributed in the fall of each year.


Sun Country Dance Theatre

Sun Country Dance Theatre (SCDT), celebrating its 15th Anniversary Season, is the resident non-profit, ballet-based, pre-professional performing company of Dance Sun Country. Since its founding in 2008, SCDT has endeavored to develop and nurture the artistic talent of our youth by providing performance opportunities for the talented young dancers of our community. Through the discipline of rehearsals and the joy of performance, dancers learn important life lessons while taking their dance skills to the next level.

Open auditions for dancers are held in August of each year. Company dancers have the opportunity to participate in numerous performances throughout our community annually, including performances at numerous arts festivals, community and charitable events, area nursing and retirement homes and local public schools.

SCDT’s educational outreach program, “Reach Out and Dance” (R.O.A.D.), incorporates several programs, including “Dance Talks”, offering dance education to hundreds of Title I elementary school students each year, “Head Start Dance Day”, an interactive dance workshop and performance for Alachua County Head Start students, and “R.O.A.D. Summer”, which hosts a week-long dance camp for head start children through a collaboration with Head Start and Episcopal Children’s Services.

The company’s formal productions include a fully staged spring concert as the culmination of each Season. Since the 2013 season, the company has created and produced four original story ballets, including “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Hansel & Gretel”, “Alice’s Adventures”, and “The Dancing Princesses”. SCDT also provides opportunities for our dancers to work with Guest Choreographers from around the U.S. and has commissioned numerous original works of choreography in highly diverse styles of dance. In 2015, SCDT was invited to appear as Guest Artists at the “Merging Forces” Dance Concert in Houston, Texas. SCDT has also been accepted and invited to perform as Guests Artists in numerous other productions, including the Florida Dance Association Showcase Performance, the Young Dancer Workshop of North Central Florida Showcase Performance, Spotlight on Youth, the Showcase Performance at the Pensacola State College Summer Workshop, and “The Magical Nutcracker” and “Dancing For Diabetes Showcase Fundraiser” – both in Orlando, Florida.

SCDT believes students should dream big – and that all children deserve high quality arts-in-education experiences that support their academic, social, emotional and creative development. SCDT strives to spread the joy of dance to as many children, teens, and adults as possible to inspire, educate and entertain.

SCDT programs are funded in part by the City of Gainesville, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.


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Begin classes any time. We will prorate your tuition based on your start date.



Dance Sun Country’s mission is to inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance and the arts by providing quality training that promotes discipline, creativity and self-esteem.

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