Fourth Grade Dance (One Trimester)
Fourth grade students discover new aspects of themselves, build strong bodies, and work collaboratively as members of a creative and physically expressive community. They acquire increased body awareness and a stronger sense of self in space, improved gross motor skill and coordination, greater impulse control and more balanced expressive/receptive ability. Emphasis is on full-bodied physicality, working together, and discovering the joy of movement.
Journey Dance: This culminating assignment requires students to synthesize movement concepts and dance vocabulary explored throughout the trimester as they integrate their learning with the grade wide study of immigration. Students create improvisational structures and original dance phrases, which they infuse with intention and meaning as they imagine the immigrant's’ journey to the new land through movement.
Fifth Grade Dance (One Trimester)
Fifth grade dance classes are single sex and meet three times a week for a trimester. Each day begins with a warm up to prepare students for a high energy and athletic dance class with a focus on: coordination, rhythm, cart-wheels, core strengthening, across-the-floor jumps and basic dance combinations. Students are encouraged to build upon fourth grade investigations by integrating poetry, storyboarding and storytelling with movement principles. Students are given in- class assignments to ignite the imaginative process and stimulate a kinesthetic response. Compositional tools are introduced, and students are asked to create dances daily. They are also taught to dialogue constructively about the dances made in class.
Sixth Grade Dance and Greek Festival Dance--Gendered Classes
Sixth grade boy’s dance meets twice a week for a trimester. In this course, boys are challenged to develop a more sophisticated and mature approach to movement, incorporating compositional tools and storytelling while deepening their understanding of classroom etiquette. Each class begins with an energetic collection of coordination exercises followed by dance phrases that moves across the floor. Improvisation games follow the warm up and compliment the daily compositional assignment, executed in either as a solo or with a group. Composition assignments are designed to help students develop a unique creative voice. Additional classroom activities explore physical concepts such as weight-sharing and partnering in an upbeat and joyful environment.
Sixth grade girls dance meets twice a week for a trimester. Students experience a beginner technique and composition class, furthering the skills they have acquired in fourth and fifth grades. The curriculum encourages physical expression, creativity, and cooperation while raising each student’s awareness of their potential as a full-bodied mover. Students learn the progression of a technique class from warm-up, starting on the floor and experiencing grounded centers, weight, and alignment, to floor combinations and larger movement phrases. Students participate in movement games, accumulation structures, and compositional tasks so that they may begin to generate their own dances and find their own dance voice.
Greek Festival Dance
During the winter session of Sixth Grade Dance, in addition to the general dance curriculum, students work towards the creation of the Greek Festival Dance performance. The Greek Festival Dance performance is a collaborative process with the teachers where students learn from start to finish how to prepare, rehearse, and perform a piece of dance choreography. NOTE: Students who express interest in participating in Greek Festival Dance sign up in House in the spring of fifth grade and are entered in the Greek Festival Lottery. Names in the lottery are chosen at random “out-of-the-hat” in the dance office by the dance faculty. Students are notified at the end of fifth grade year.
7/8 Grade - DanceWave Project
The seventh and eighth grade curriculum offers a wide variety of dance techniques and creative experiences to enable the development of students' functional and expressive movement potential. The class is designed to facilitate technical ability by increasing body awareness and organization, strength, flexibility, coordination and rhythm. A range of dance styles, including modern, hip-hop and African dance, are introduced throughout the year, with an emphasis on increasing students’ movement vocabulary. The creative aspect of this class integrates phrasing, improvisation, composition, and performance. Individual expression takes on a deeper meaning as students begin to grapple with issues of self, identity, and relationships, issues often reflected in their dance making. Our curriculum provides opportunities for students to bring their diverse backgrounds and individual movement interests into the studio, in order to share with one another in a safe environment of risk taking and mutual respect.
Assignments include creating original movement phrases, manipulating movement material, discovering dynamics, fusing dance styles, reconstructing a dance master’s choreography, analyzing dance videos, and performing in a Flash Mob. This course features a site-specific dance video project called DanceWAVE (Working Artists Video Ensemble) that culminates the year. Students work collaboratively to create an original dance video set in a wide range of locations in and out of the school. Guest artists and class trips to professional dance performances are an integral part of the curriculum. This course provides an excellent foundation for future participation in the High School Dance program.