There will be a Dance audition information session on Dec 1, 2021 at 7:00pm

Go to APPLY NOW to begin then scroll down for Dance Audition Information

Dance Night 2019 promotional video

Dance Night 2020 promotional video

Program Details

The Dance Program focuses on technical development in the disciplines of classical ballet and modern dance. Along with technique classes, the program seeks to develop the students’ creativity through composition, choreography, and performance.

A hallmark of our dance program is the unique opportunity to dance with live accompaniment. Year after year, our students comment on how dancing to live music invigorates them, impassions their performance, and further develops their musicality. Throughout their 4 years, students will have multiple occasions to collaborate with our world-class musicians, a unique opportunity for adolescents.


Dance classes are divided evenly between the disciplines of ballet and modern. In these classes, students work on proper body placement and alignment; flexibility and strength; barre, floor, and centre exercises; and the mastery of technical foundations and stylistic presentation. Recognizing our students come from varied training backgrounds, we instruct our own rigorous syllabi inspired heavily by the Russian Vaganova style and RAD in ballet and by modern dance pioneers such as Martha Graham and José Limón. The technical demands of the program become increasingly challenging, complex and sophisticated throughout the four years.

Working with live musical accompaniment, students develop their musicality in connection with dance. Students also learn the appropriate dance terminology that grounds their technique.


Students build their choreographic abilities through the study of the basic elements of dance; varied composition exercises; and the creation of individual and small group choreographic works. Beginning with the basic elements of dance (i.e. body, space, time, energy, relationship), students learn to combine these elements in original sequences and explore how to develop rich ideas and themes. Through guided discussion, improvisation and performance, students begin to develop an aesthetic consciousness and the ability to express themselves while effectively projecting their ideas to an audience.


A variety of performance opportunities in school and in the community provide students with experience in front of an audience. Dance students perform in class, school assemblies, other schools, community events and evening public performances. Guest artists are brought into the program to lead workshops and deliver novel choreography to expose students to a variety of ideas and dance genres.

At the senior levels, the program offers students the opportunity to work in the grade 12 Canterbury Dance "Company". The Company course is designed to allow students to explore choreography in greater depth and offers multiple opportunities to perform for public audiences, building on their technical abilities and sense of presentation. Students learn how to create a professional dance production, including stage and lighting design; marketing and promotion; as well as backstage and front-of-house organization.


Dance students study ballet and modern history, including the evolution of these dance forms and the terminology associated with them. Students review professional dance performances in a variety of dance styles and develop the ability to critically respond to their experiences.

Other important topics covered in the dance curriculum include safety in dance; physical well-being; musculoskeletal anatomy; balanced dancer lifestyle; transfer of skills beyond the studio; and community outreach.

Audition Information

We welcome candidates for positions in our program for grades 9-12. There are 4 steps to the audition process for each candidate this year.

1) Discuss your interest in applying to CHS Dance with your parent(s)/ guardian(s)

2) Attend the Virtual Dance Audition Info Session Tuesday, Nov 24th at 5:00 pm. If you were unable to attend, be sure to watch the session recording here.

3) Apply online for an audition.

4) Submit all video audition requirements (see below) and all supporting documentation in a single email to by Jan 8 at the latest. Please consider submitting the video earlier than the deadline in case you encounter technical issues.

*Dancers/ parents/ guardians, please note:

We cannot process an incomplete virtual audition. If there are extenuating circumstances, please contact Diane Gillis at and she will forward this information to the audition panel. An example of such a circumstance is that your dancer is recovering from a broken ankle and they are not yet ready to perform petit allegro as directed by a physician.

Video Auditions due Jan 8, 2021

To keep our candidates, their families and our CHS community safe, there will be no in-person auditions this year.

Candidates will have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their skill level and passion for dance by submitting recorded performances according to the following guidelines.

Video 1: Personal introduction & 1-way interview

Video 2: Ballet technique & presentation

Video 3: Stretching & flexibility exercises

Video 4: Improvisational solo performance

Video 5 (optional): Solo performance in any genre


Students auditioning for the Dance Program are asked to wear close fitting clothing such as tights and bodysuits.