TAFY

The Arts For Youth

Class Options

Mika Morford

TAFY offers more dance styles than any other studio in Southeast Alaska! With up to nine unique classes in each dance style for ages 4 through adult, you are sure to find a class that is a great fit!

We offer classes in Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop, Ballet, Pointe, Acro, Skills, Yoga,  and Jazz Fusion*:

Levels 1 & 2 for our Primary dancers (ages 4-6)

Levels 1, 2, & 3 for our Junior dancers (ages 7-10)

Levels 1, 2 & 3 for our Senior dancers (ages 11 through Adult)

We also offer Creative Movement for our Tot dancers (ages 2-3)

Dividing our classes by both age group and ability level allows us to provide ideal class offerings to each student. Less experienced dancers can learn at their own pace with people their own age, even if they take their first class as a teen. Students looking for a recreational class or a unique exercise routine can enjoy the upbeat, fun atmosphere of entry level classes. Those students who excel in the technique, passion, and work ethic required for more advanced skills have the opportunity to progress quickly in higher level classes. All dancers can learn in a challenging and fulfilling environment. Whether you start dancing at the tender age of 2 … or pick it up later in life, our variety of classes means more options than ever before!

*The TAFY Dance Teams like to do a bit a every style and combine a variety of skills into their performances. We call their hybrid style of dance Jazz Fusion.

Atmosphere

Mika Morford

We strive to provide an environment where our students are free to become the best versions of themselves (in the studio, on the stage, and in every area of their lives). We are well known for our positivity, fun, and attention to detail. Our students develop strength, flexibility, balance, and strong technique amid laughter and encouragement. We believe that studying and performing dance and other arts provides the ideal "classroom" to internalize important life lessons. A studio culture that is uplifting allows students the emotional freedom to push them selves to be better. They are more willing to try hard, make mistakes, ask questions, and explore creative expression. They can progress quickly when they are not afraid to be themselves because they know that they will be accepted. We are truly a family!

Anatomy Lessons - Knowledge is POWER!

Mika Morford

In classes each week, we teach a 5 minute functional anatomy lesson that focuses on a unique aspect of our skeletal and muscular makeup. This helps dancers understand the way bones, ligaments, joints, and muscles work together to perform skills. Teaching dancers to understand their bodies allows them to appreciate the "why" behind the technique they learn as well as the "how". They gain a deeper understanding of proper alignment which is key to preventing injury as well as creating the beautiful, flowing lines that are every dancers dream. Students memorize the names, relationships, and function of their anatomy and experience first hand how this knowledge enables them to understand and apply corrections.  This unique approach gives them an edge in other sports and activities as well.  We keep a skeleton model in the studio as a visual aid. She is lovingly referred to as "Pheobe"  or "Dr. Bones" and is often used as an example of what to do or what not to do! 

Daily Challenge

Mika Morford

As we often say in the studio: Practice makes permanent! Only PERFECT practice makes perfect! Most people tend to practice what they are already good at. Dancers progress more quickly when given specific, strategic things to work on at home. Each week, we assign a new DAILY CHALLENGE which includes:

  • Conditioning Focus- Targeted exercises to warm up, strengthen muscles and increase power, speed, and balance. 
  • Flexibility Focus- A muscle group or area of the body to concentrate on stretching with an emphasis on alignment and body awareness to increase flexibility safely and effectively. 
  • Technique Focus - Specific skills to develop muscle memory, improve attention to detail, and master technique. 

Every dancer in the studio works on the same challenge each week. We encourage siblings to work together and often include games and contests that dancers can do with family members. Our goal is to provide simple, effective ways for dancers to progress. We truly believe that great athletes and artists are spectacular at doing the fundamentals. Repetition is key. The daily challenge each week coordinates with the current anatomy lesson to allow students a chance to immediately apply what they are learning. 

PJ Practice

Mika Morford

During the weeks leading up to a performance, we encourage students to practice their routines as much as possible. Muscle memory is dependent upon frequent repetition. A truly great performance comes from knowing the choreography, confidently executing the skills, and passionately portraying the message of the music or movement. We have found that our students are most successful when they practice daily. We encourage them to run through each dance 3 times each day once they begin learning choreography:

  1. Without music, taking the time to recall choreography or practice specific skills, if needed.
  2. With music, counting along (out loud) to the beat. A family member can also count for them. It's not easy to count and dance for an entire piece. 
  3. With music, counting along (in their head) to the beat. They should emphasize stage presence, emotion, and energy. 

We call this "PJ Practice" as most families find it convenient to schedule this with their bedtime routine. (i.e. Brush teeth, get in PJs, practice dance, head to bed), although any time of day is fine. We love to see pictures and videos of our students practicing and encourage parents to reward positive practice sessions with lots of praise. Every performer goes through times when they do not feel like practicing. The best thing to do stay positive. We never shame or scold our students for lack of practice. Our studio is a happy place and we want them to associate dance class with joy and excitement. As in all things, you will get out of it what you put into it. Dancers who practice often are much more likely to enjoy their experiences in class and on stage and will move up to intermediate and advanced classes sooner. 

Twice a year, we host a studio wide reward party to celebrate our successes and incentivize dancers to work hard throughout each session of classes. 

Dance Teams

Mika Morford

In addition to a wide variety of classes, TAFY has three dance teams that perform regularly in the community and have the opportunity to take part in dance competitions, community events, exclusive workshops, and bonding experiences. The TAFY Dazzlers are an invitation only team, ages 6-10. Their seasons run from August-December and from January-July. The TAFY Stars are ages 9-14. Their seasons also run from August-December and from January-July.The TAFY Elite are ages 12 and up. Their season is a full year and runs from August - July. The Stars and Elite Teams hold auditions every Fall. TAFY Dance Teams allow young people an opportunity to excel as performers while learning leadership skills. Team members get to participate with countless unique events.

Partnerships

Mika Morford

TAFY is thrilled to partner with leading choreographers, teachers, and artists from around the world to provide unique opportunities in Southeast Alaska. We are dedicated to expanding our connections and creating bridges with other organizations to bring events to our community.

We are proud to partner with the following organizations:

  • Flow 40 Dance Workshops, the nation’s premiere in-house dance workshop, based in Los Angeles, CA
  • Rebecca Davies, Australian dance and conditioning coach and choreographer, specializing in turns, flying and tricks.
  • Creativation Art with Melissa McCormick
  • Kindermusik with Bernie Kirkpatrick

Dancewear Outlet Store & Consignment Shop

Mika Morford

It's hard to find shoes and clothing for dancers in Southeast Alaska! TAFY is now offering dance-wear, logo-wear, equipment, and shoes! Tired of ordering online only to pay a fortune in shipping fees or end up with an item that is the wrong fit or color? We've got your back.

Soon, TAFY will carry a variety of items for dancers (and their fans!) in every size. 

  • Studio/ class wear (Leotards, shorts, skirts, capris, etc)
  • Shoes (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Foot Undeez, etc)
  • Accessories (Hair scrunchies, leg warmers, performance makeup, etc)
  • Costumes (Halloween, dress up play, fashion show, and the occasional dance performance)
  • Logo-wear (Sweatshirts, hats, dance bags, etc)
  • Equipment (Turning boards, portable dance floors, tumbling mats, etc)

We will also be expanding our consignment area to include dance-wear and costumes in good condition. Now, it will be easier than ever to look good while doing what you love!

Traveling Workshops

Mika Morford

We recognize that there are many areas of Southeast Alaska that have limited or no exposure to the joy that is DANCE!. We would like to start a program in connection with other youth and arts programs to travel to these communities and teach workshops. If you would like to know more about this program or are interested in partnering with us, please contact Mika Morford, Artistic Director.