Celebrating the Individual and Meaningful Work
Individuals who study the artistic processes in dance become part of the Imagine Nation of the USA. They are catalysts for innovation, engagement, collaboration, respect and tolerance--values that will shape our 21st century society, global economy, and world cultures. (www.ndeo.org)
The Dublin School Contemporary Dance Program offers training centered in classical modern and ballet techniques with exposure to other popular styles and cross-training techniques, including hip hop, jazz, tap and social and world dance forms. Dance is, first and foremost, an expressive art form –mastery of the craft of dancing is achieved through deeply physical work. Dancers will engage in the joy of this work and develop an awareness of how to use movement as a means of communication.
To dance significantly means through the medium of discipline and by means of a sensitive, strong instrument, to bring into focus unhackneyed movement: a human being… In a dancer’s body, we as audience must see ourselves, not the imitated behavior of everyday actions, not the phenomena of nature, not exotic creatures from another planet, but something of the miracle that is a human being, motivated, disciplined, concentrated. (Martha Graham)
Dance in the Curriculum
We offer a series of Dance in Society electives, exploring the roots of dance in cultures throughout the world and in different time periods. In addition, Choreography Lab and studio courses in Tap & Theatre Dance, Hip Hop and Pointe have been offered in recent years. Please see the curriculum guide for more information about these course offerings.
Dance Ensemble provides more serious dancers the opportunity to train year-round, while still having the opportunity to participate in other sports and activities. Technique classes and repertory rehearsals are scheduled two evenings a week and on Saturday mornings. The Ensemble performs several times throughout the year, including the Fall Family Weekend, Open House, the Winter Celebration of Light and Spring Mayfair events, as well as at venues off campus. Ensemble dancers will also participate in special trips to pre-professional dance studios in Boston and New York City, performance events and Festivals. Every other year, the Ensemble will attend the National High School Dance Festival, most recently held at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. Students may sign up to receive arts credit for being a member of the Dublin Dance Ensemble.
Dance is offered in the Fall as an athletics option and is open to all students with no required level of technical proficiency. Students gain familiarity with contemporary dance techniques, build core strength and participate in creating original choreography. We also welcome guest teachers who expose students to other dance styles such as African dance and hip hop. The season culminates with performances at Family Weekend, Open House and in the end of term arts showcase. Participating in dance allows students to simultaneously work toward greater efficiency of movement, improve flexibility, physical fitness and stamina, and develop a sense of artistry and self-expression. Many of the dancers return in the Spring to be a part of the Mayfair dance performance at the culmination of the year.
- Hip Hop Dance Club
- Tap Dance Club
- Mayfair Dance Performance
Dublin School is an institutional member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), sharing its vision and beliefs in dance as central to the human experience and as a catalyst for better understanding self and others.
NDEO a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and promotion of high quality education in the art of dance. NDEO provides the dance artist, educator and administrator a network of resources and support, a base for advocacy, and access to programs that focus on the importance of dance in the human experience. For more information, please visit their website.
Working in the performing arts is both exhilarating and disheartening – the hours and weeks and months dedicated to the creative process culminate in these incredible moments of “aliveness” that will inevitably pass, never to be recreated again – no two performances can be the same. The fleeting nature of live performance reminds us to cherish the moments we have and gives us the opportunity to dig deeper, to create new moments. My goal as a teacher is to urge my students to recognize their own creative and expressive potential – and to make the most of their “moments.”
I love to collaborate; I love to help others arrive at a new place, a more fulfilled place. In my own performance career, I have loved the exchange of energy, thoughts, imaginations between myself and my fellow performers, the audience, the music, and the space. This exchange is the same in teaching; dialogue emerges in the classroom. I cannot simply “teach what I know.” That is a part of it; I have worked and trained and thought long and hard about what performance is to me. I do bring a certain authority to the classroom; yet as with living, one must remain open to change, new perspectives, and the unexpected – this all comes into play when I teach a class or lead a rehearsal.
Cross-disciplinary integration has been essential to my living; I believe it is an important goal for the livelihood of humanity in general. Having the arts as a central part of my childhood and having attended a performing arts high school, I know how special it is to have an environment rich in the arts, from which one can develop imagination, curiosity and sensitivity to the world around them. I believe that the arts are an important aspect of educating the whole person. The creative process is inherently educational – one must engage with possibility, explore and discover deeper parts of oneself. Those who approach their lives artistically are hungry for knowledge, and eager to create new ways of seeing, new ways of relating and contributing to the communities and cultures with which they interact.
Course of Study
Dance and Society Series
This course may be taken for a full year or by trimester; the material is not cumulative and no previous knowledge of dance is required. Our learning will include reading, writing and participating in dancing. Since our subject of study is kinesthetic, some of our modes of interacting with it will be through moving our bodies. Every student, regardless of his or her background or relative talent in dance, is expected to participate fully in discussion and movement experiences.
Dance I – Gods and Demons: The Origins of Dance
This course explores the emergence of dance in society as ritual, cultural expression, and community-building activity. Through exploring dances, both religious and secular, from a variety of cultures and traditions (Asian, European, African, to name a few), we strive to connect how the dances and dancers of the time express IDENTITY through movement, and what that movement reveals as a tool toward knowing the social, political, and cultural contexts from which it has arisen.
Dance II – Fantasy and Folly, Revolt and Revelation: Dance on the Stage
This course explores dance as a performance art and includes the history of Ballet, Theater Dance, and Modern/Contemporary Dance Forms. Influential figures, from choreographers to dancers to designers, will serve as benchmarks for how we discuss the development of concert dance in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Dance III – From Flappers to Rappers: A Social Dance Survey
This course explores social dance in America throughout the decades of the twentieth century to today. We investigate the cultural, political and social factors that influence the way people moved, attitudes toward the body, especially the female body, and the role of dance in social settings over time.
Winter and Spring only, Independent Study proposal required.
For more experienced dancers/performers, this Ensemble has two –three intermediate/advanced technique classes and repertory rehearsals per week. This course meets outside of the academic day schedule and on some weekends, and includes performances and workshops both on and off campus. In most cases, participation in Fall Dance as a sport will serve as the audition for placement in Dance Ensemble.
Learn the basic tools of choreography, create an original dance, and explore the possibilities of movement to various musical genres and styles.
May be proposed based on an individual’s specific areas of interest.