Dance is an integral part of the performing arts and physical education curriculum. Students learn to appreciate dance as a vibrant art form and a medium for developing physical fitness. They explore creative movement, dance technique, improvisation and choreography. They work towards building a solid foundation in dance technique, while also having the opportunity to find their creative voice, work collaboratively on composing dances, and building confidence around expressing themselves artistically in a variety of settings.
Dance begins in third grade and continues through twelfth grade as part of the performing arts and physical education programs. Every student participates in dance in the Lower School. In the Middle and Upper School, there are a variety of dance classes students may select to take. For seventh and eighth grade students the opportunities include Dance Workshop, a one-trimester elective (offered twice a year) and the Middle School Junior Orchesis Dance Company, a two-season commitment. In the Upper School, we offer Dance Composition and Choreography, Dance Technique (beginner through intermediate level), Intermediate/Advanced Dance Technique, and the auditioned Upper School Orchesis Dance Company (a two-season commitment).
Students are encouraged to draw on their creativity to build and expand a movement vocabulary, to share their work with peers, and to present their movements with confidence and pride. Even the most apprehensive mover can flourish in this supportive, positive learning environment. Students spend time in class building a foundation in modern, ballet, jazz and contemporary dance technique, as well as fundamental choreographic skills. The hallmark of the Junior Orchesis and Orchesis Program in Middle and Upper School is its commitment to developing student choreographers with a strong technical foundation in a variety of dance styles.