Dance

Our on-campus dance studios allow both beginning and advanced students to learn ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hip-hop and choreography. Fall and spring dance concerts provide a showcase for middle and upper school students.

Course Offerings

5th Grade Dance

Using creative movement, first semester students are introduced to modern dance terminology and basic ballet technique. Cultural diversity in movement is added with students exploring various folk traditions throughout the world. Choreographed dances also incorporate jazz styles and allow the students to begin work with popular forms of movement. The goal of the class is to allow each student to work in a structured, creative environment and gain an understanding of the pleasures and benefits that dance has to offer. Each student develops basic vocabulary and terminology, builds a base of movement, and learn choreographed combinations of different styles and cultures, allowing her to start a foundation for a wide variety of dance styles. 

6th Grade Dance

Using creative movement, modern and ballet technique are reviewed and expanded, covering linking steps, jumps, and turns, with continuing emphasis on vocabulary. Cultural diversity in movement is continued, and jazz is introduced as a technique, focusing on isolations, rhythm, and motor coordination. Basic tap dance is also introduced at this level. The goal of this class is to allow each student to work in a structured, reassuring environment at her own level and to gain an understanding of the value of dance as an exercise and also an art form. Each student will develop more confidence and freedom with a kinesthetic awareness, while building a broader base of movement vocabulary in multiple genres, which will allow her to share this developing talent with her peers or an audience if she so chooses. 

7th Grade Dance

Basic Fundamentals of Tap

Students are introduced to beginning level tap vocabulary. Emphasis is placed on basic sounds and how they work together with weight and rhythm. Students work alone and in groups using center work, movement across the floor, as well as improvisation and collaboration to master choreographed sequences. They are allowed to progress at an individual level while maintaining the basic group structure. They also learn a choreographed combination/dance sequence for performance opportunities. The goal of this class is to allow each student to work in a nurturing environment, to acquire and utilize tap terminology. They develop the rhythmical and kinesthetic awareness that tap supports, with an understanding of its musical heritage and strong rhythmic background, and learn to appreciate and better understand tap dancing as an American concert and entertainment art form. 

8th Grade Dance

Historical Introduction to Jazz and Theatre Dance

Students learn classic jazz movements form theatrical and social dance in a historical and cultural context. Historically, we will cover these dance forms beginning in the late 1800s and continuing up through the 1950s. Emphasis is placed on a movement vocabulary appropriate to particular historical periods with an understanding of the history, economics, and culture and how these all combine to influence our basic styles of dance. Students work individually and in groups on creative solutions in choreography and improvisation using character study, movement, pantomime, abstraction, and analysis. They also learn prepared combinations from each historical period for class performance. The goal of this classes to allow each student to work in a creative, supportive environment, to acquire and develop a basic understanding of combining movements, creating an appropriate style and genre for the movement, and applying their movement to the processes involved to create a performance. 

Extracurriculars

5th and 6th Grade

Fifth and sixth grade students dance twice weekly and work in various genres of dance. Ballet, modern, and jazz are incorporated in the program. The sixth grade girls have the opportunity to take the weekly ballet class and, provided they have prior experience, are welcomed into the tap company. 

7th and 8th Grade

In the seventh and eighth grade program students work in jazz and modern twice weekly. They also have optional offerings in tap, ballet, and hip-hop. The 7/8 group has the opportunity to audition for an extra company and these students are accepted by merit and prior experience. This group has an additional ballet technique class weekly and they perform as a separate group in the concerts. A 7/8 student could be dancing as few as two or as many as five days per week if they so choose.

Upper School

Upper School companies meet once weekly with offerings in ballet, jazz, modern and tap, choreography as well as hip-hop. Upper School girls participate in a minimum of two companies and may include up to six companies. All students are accepted, but they audition for placement (by merit and experience) in levels each fall and spring. We presently have three levels in ballet, modern, and jazz. Each Upper School group has an additional ballet technique class once per week. Level III students have the opportunity to work in a choreography group and present a student choreographed work in each concert

Upcoming Performances

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Meet the Dance Team

Click each person to read their full bio.

Stephanie Hamilton

Stephanie Hamilton

Dance Company Director
Diana LeMense

Diana LeMense

Physical Education and Wellness Teacher
Sarah Englert

Sarah Englert

Dance Teacher

Adjunct Dance Instructors

Amanda Gavigan

Amanda Gavigan

After School Dance Teacher