(865) 539-2475

1234 Rocky Hill Rd

Knoxville, TN  37919


SAFD's artistic director and faculty has developed a specific curriculum and syllabus for each graded level. Producing over 30 professional dancers since 1990, SAFD's goal is to provide correct and technical instruction in every genre of dance while also nurturing a passion, respect and love for dance as an art form. SAFD's alumni have attended prestigious summer programs including Joffrey Ballet, Bates Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Ballet, New Generations, Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and many others. Many have continued to receive or seek out undergraduate degrees in dance at universities such as NYU Tish, George Mason, Rutgers, Arizona State, Georgia State, Point Park and Cincinnati Conservatory.


While only a few dancers continue into dance as a career, we believe each student deserves the best instruction possible. From pre-school ballet classes to advanced pre-professional pointe and contemporary jazz classes, each student will be exposed to dance at its' best…in a creative, supportive and energetic environment.



Age 3-4


To gently expose students age 3-4 to basic ballet and gross motor skills while developing a love of and excitement for ballet and movement play.  Students will learn classroom etiquette and structure.  Props will be used frequently during class (hoola hoops, ribbons, scarves. Etc.) to give visual aid to dancers and help learning special floor patterns.  Clapping counting and use of tambourines will be used frequently to develop rhythm and musicality.


Age 3-4 dancers will not use ballet barres.  They begin class with floor exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles, and will follow with basic center exercises from parallel and turned out 1st and 2nd position.  Traveling steps are performed on diagonal and in a circle.

Age 3-4 dancers will have an in studio performance in the spring.


Age 5


To expose students age 5 to basic ballet technique and terminology while developing a love of and excitement for ballet.  Students will learn classroom etiquette and structure.  Dancers need to end the year with an understanding of specified steps, although dancers of this age will vary greatly in degrees of execution.  Props will be used frequently including rings with ribbons, tambourines and hoola hoops (to learn circular floor patterns).


Age 5 dancers will not use ballet barres. They begin class with floor exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles. These exercises are followed by basic ballet steps performed in the center.  Traveling steps are performed on diagonal and in a circle.

Age 5 dancers will have a performance opportunity with SAFD annual spring performance in May at the Tennessee Theatre.




Ballet, Tap & Modern

Age 6 & up


Our young classes are designed to inspire our young dancers to love ballet and modern dance. Developing strong motor skills, musicality and movement awareness is key at this age. Appropriate exposure to age specific technique is approached in a creative format with the use of props such as scarves, ribbons, tambourines and hula hoops. Improvisation and creative movement is implemented into every class and short stories are told on famous ballets such as The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.




Ages 8-14 Ballet, Tap, Modern & Jazz (at age 11)


At age 8 dancers begin the level I syllabus in classical ballet, modern and tap. After the completion of level I, each level has a dramatic increase both physically and mentally with increased expectations in technical skills and artistic development. All ballet classes will also begin learning terminology and ballet theory. Dancers may begin taking jazz at age 11.




Ages 15 through Adult


Classes are offered in classical ballet, pointe, variations, contemporary, Horton Technique, Jazz and Tap. All classes level V through advanced attend ballet class three days per week with the option of attending additional classes in modern, tap and jazz. Horton Technique is offered only to dancers attending SAFD's upper level program.





Ballet Barre Fit class, taught by director, Lisa Hall McKee combines ballet barre, yoga, Pilates and fitness into a 75 minute class. No experience in ballet is necessary. This class is designed to build strength, flexibility, coordination and muscular endurance.





SAFDS constantly brings in well renown master teachers in ballet, modern and jazz for it's upper level dancers to increase our dancer's exposure to different teachers, styles and techniques. SAFD has hosted such infamous teachers such as Anna Maria Holmes, Helen Starr, Valery Lantratov, Alicia Mack Graff, Joy Davis, Danah Bella, Dan Joyce, Sergei Chytokov, Joulia Mouiseeva and Daniel Chait.