The Dance Program focuses on technical development in both Ballet and Modern Dance. Along with dance technique classes, the program also seeks to develop the students’ creativity through composition and choreography.
Units of Study
Daily dance classes are divided between the Ballet and Modern styles of dance throughout the week. In these classes, students work on flexibility, proper body placement and alignment, barre and floor exercises, center work, corner work and refinement of technical steps. Working to musical accompaniment, students also develop their musicality in connection with dance. The technique required of students becomes increasingly advanced and complex throughout the course of the program. Students also learn the appropriate dance terminology connected with the technical steps.
Students explore their choreographic abilities through the study of the basic elements of dance, composition exercises and the creation of individual and group choreographic works. Beginning with the basic elements (e.g. flow, space, time, levels), students experiment with combining these elements in sequences. Through improvisation, students use these elements to vary established patterns or to develop an idea or theme. Through performance and creation, students begin to develop an aesthetic consciousness and the ability to express themselves and effectively project 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. At the senior levels, the program offers students the opportunity to work in the Canterbury Dance Company. This Company is designed to allow students to explore choreography in greater depth, as well as offer opportunities to perform for public audiences, building on their technical abilities and sense of presentation. Being a part of The Company also teaches students how to produce a show, including stage and lighting design, marketing, business proposals and backstage organization.
DANCE HISTORY and THEORY
Dance students study various world dance forms and their history, as well as the terminology connected with these forms. Through attendance at professional dance performances, students are exposed to a variety of dance styles and learn how to critique and do reviews of performances.
Guest dancers and choreographers are brought into the program regularly to expose students to a variety of ideas and dance genres.
Other important topics covered in Dance include safety in dance, physical well-being and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Applicants to the Dance Program will attend both a Large Group Dance Class and a Small Group Dance Class/Interview. Students are not required to prepare a dance routine.
Candidates and their parents will be notified by the audition panel of the time for their Small Group Dance Class/Interview at the end of the Large Group Dance Class. It will most likely occur on the two days following the first or Large Group Dance Class (excluding Saturdays and Sundays).
Large Group Dance Class (1 ½ hrs)
Applicants will be led through a series of movements, exercises and barre work by a teacher as the audition panel judges them for ability and potential in dance. In particular, the students will be evaluated on the following criteria:
-kinetic awareness -flexibility
-physicality -physical coordination
-facial and physical expression
Attendance at the first audition class will help to familiarize students with the types of movements which will be used in the second audition class. The audition panel will divide students into smaller groups for the second part of the audition.
The candidate should report to the room indicated for the Large Group Dance class at least 20 minutes before the time indicated and check in with the Dance teacher there.
Small Group Dance Class/Interview (2 hrs)
Applicants will be led through a second class which builds on the movements from the first class. They will be tested for flexibility, physical alignment, and potential.
The candidates will also be asked to improvise a short group movement sequence to provided music. During the improvisation, the panel will be looking for:
- ability to be directed by the music
- changes according to the musical dynamics
- use of physical movements
- openness to free movement
Following the performance portion of the class, individual students will be interviewed privately by the panel. The audition/interview segment will last approximately 10-15 minutes.
Final selection is made after viewing students at both dance classes.
Report to the room indicated for your Small Group Dance class/interview and check in with the Dance teacher there. Give yourself plenty of time before the audition to relax and get mentally prepared.
WHAT TO WEAR
Students auditioning for the Dance Program are asked to wear appropriate clothing:
· Tights and leotards for females;
· Tights and a tank top for males (a T-shirt and shorts are also satisfactory);
· Ballet slippers (if unavailable, socks are acceptable);
· No jewelry;
· Long hair tied back in a bun and off of the face.