THE SLIGHTLY OFF CENTER PLAYERS

: Act. Dance. Sing.

SOCP Classes: Triple Threat Training

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Traditional academic training trumpets the three “R”s: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (even though, oddly-enough, only one actually starts with the letter “R”). SOCP’s musical theatre classes train students in an equivalent “theatrical top three” regarding the major performance disciplines: ACTING, SINGING and DANCING. Students proficient in this trio of skills are known in the entertainment field as “triple threats,” which is considered one of the highest compliments a stage performer can be given. SOCP is the largest and only triple threat training facility in Southeast Houston to offer cohesive classes in the trio of disciplines, all under one roof. Each discipline complements and strengthens the other: dancers who study acting benefit by emotionally connecting to their choreography, actors who study dance command a more confident and fluid physical presence, and singers who study acting and dancing find more emotional and physical performance freedom. Stage performers who become accomplished in all three disciplines traditionally have more opportunities in the entertainment industry and are afforded a broader range of roles when auditioning due to their more comprehensive skill set.
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ACT

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STUDENTS ARE INSPIRED to minutely observe, discuss, define and create believable, intriguing, expressive behavior onstage. Good performers are good mimics; they are acutely-aware observers of themselves and others, emotionally and physically. Theatre-play safely and effectively encourages and makes participants self-aware while cultivating emotional empathy and understanding. Deeper psychological understanding is cultivated for purposes of building strong ensemble and inter-role relationships, conjuring believable character motivation, and constructing truthful solo performances. Representational and presentational acting methods from differing schools of instruction and thought as well as major theatrical movements and their influence are introduced and analyzed in a relaxed, structured, interactive and stimulating environment. Individual personality and style is cultivated. Emphasis and focus is put on tapping into one’s personal experience and emotional depth in order to bring truth in performance to the stage — in an environment of safety, camaraderie, and self-actuation. Participants are urged to embrace inspiration, improvisation, ensemble goals, memorization and consistency in a supportive environment which paves the way to prowess and freedom of personal and creative expression. Students explore physical, vocal and emotional exercises, studying everything from primal to sociological behavior while developing tools which aid in personal and theatrical growth. Simply: it all means lots of fun ... while we build emotionally and intellectually sharp, eloquent, capable, involved, responsible kids.
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DANCE

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STUDENTS ARE EMPOWERED to develop physical control with the ultimate goal of commanding artistic expression. Just as the other two performance disciplines (acting and singing) benefit from interdisciplinary cross-training, so do dancers who train in multiple dance styles. With ballet terminology and technique as a proper foundation, SOCP students also benefit by exposure to the myriad of other dance styles and various movement forms inherent in pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip hop, contemporary, preschool and cheer. This builds well-rounded, multi-faceted dancers with a wider range of dance skills and approaches. Technique and terminology are paramount in the classroom, as community, responsibility, accountability and socialization are between students, parents and staff. As a result, SOCP’s dance and award-winning Rhapsody Dance Company members have garnered favorable marks not only for choreography and execution but also continually receive praise for their conduct, generosity and ethics, on the dance floor and off.
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SING

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STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED to sing with an emphasis on breath control, articulation, placement, resonance, projection, choral mixing, harmony, focus and emotionally-grounded interpretation. Music theory, music history, lyrics deconstruction and contextual dramatic discussion is included in the curriculum to strike a balance between a practical understanding of charismatic, artful singing and the academic aspects of stage performance including stamina, hydration, musicality, emotion, control, character, proper technique, and more. While group vocal instruction within musical theatre classes addresses all of the above issues, one-on-one vocal privates are available to dedicated students who desire additional personal instruction which allows for deeper examination of the vocal instrument anatomy / physiology, mic technique, music selection, proper auditioning technique, songwriting, lyrics creation and solo performance.

Musical Theatre: Triple Threat Training in Action

Musical theatre students tackle all three performance disciplines (acting, singing and dancing) in one fun-filled mega class. These classes are traditionally packed and continue to be one of SOCP’s most popular offerings as musical theatre instruction comprises movement, singing, stage blocking, stage presence training and consistent high-energy entertainment. Instilling an appreciation and knowledge of the rich history and grand tradition of The Great White Way, aka Broadway, SOCP’s musical theatre classes reveal fun and exciting material to students in the form of the world’s greatest music written for the stage which have included a variety of classics from shows such as Grease, Oliver!, Annie, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Godspell, Hair, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Oklahoma!, with contemporary material from works such as The Lion King, Spring Awakening, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Last Five Years, Seussical: The Musical, Wicked, RENT, High School Musical and Avenue Q, plus revivals such as Hairspray and adaptations like The Wedding Singer and Footloose.
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