The stylistic focus of the Collegiate Dance Program is Modern and Contemporary Dance. Students are trained to be strong, athletic and powerful, yet graceful contemporary dancers.
However, before learning to explore the creative and artistic forms associated with modern and contemporary dance, the faculty start with the fundamentals. Ballet technique begins on the first day of class as that is part of the essential skill set to become successful in any style of dance. As the students learn the basic vocabulary and how to execute the necessary techniques, they are taken through an extremely diverse and creative program. Collegiate dancers are taught how to execute partnering and lifts, and to take risks. Company members are required to analyze and write thoughtful critiques about dance performances they have either seen live or watched on video.
Eventually, the students are given the chance to express their own thoughts and artistry with the opportunity to choreograph their own pieces. Choreography is an essential component of the program as it allows students to learn how to create and then critcally think through challenges. Dancers are placed in groups to work on choreographic projects that are auditioned in front of a panel for acceptance into the spring dance concert.
In an effort to constantly challenge the students, guest artists are brought in each year to choreograph pieces for Middle and Upper School companies. These guest artists have brought different styles such as jazz, African, contemporary and hip-hop to help challenge and educate the students on the various styles of dance.
All of this work culminates as part of the Collegiate Dance Concert which takes place in Oates Theater each spring. Over two hundred and fifty Collegiate dancers, Grades 3-12, perform in two sold-out concerts. In addition to the spring concert, there are many performance opportunities throughout the year. The dance studio transforms into an intimate and less formal performance space to showcase student work.
While performing is a significant part of the program, the true mission of the Collegiate dance faculty is to help cultivate these students into confident, intelligent dancers who are thoughtful and compassionate citizens of the world.