Programs
Middle School

Select A Department

Dance

Dance Mission Statement

The Middle School Dance program at Dalton approaches dance as an intellectual and creative art form concerned with expressing and communicating ideas in an academic environment.  With the physical body as the means to experiential learning, our program utilizes various classical, post-modern, traditional and contemporary dance forms to support individual learning styles, interests, and abilities.  Our dance faculty encourages developing a unique creative voice, expressive power, perception, collaboration, and physical sophistication in a supportive environment. Class assignments and projects are oriented around the Dalton tradition of community building by inviting, and often incorporating, the entire student body to witness or participate in the joyous powers of dance.

Dance Skills

4TH GRADE DANCE:
Emphasis is placed on the following dance skills...
Dancing in my Kinesphere, Trace Forms, Personal/General Space
Levels, Spoking, Arcing & Carving, Identifying Preferences, Movement Observation, Improvisation, Shape Forms, Active Stillness, Locomotor Movement, Pathways, Relationship, Awareness of Self/Other, Sharing my Kinesphere, Negative/Positive Space, Unity and Contrast, Non-verbal Communication, Physical Listening, Creative Collaboration, Kinesthetic Empathy, and Meaning Making

5TH GRADE DANCE:
Emphasis is placed on the following dance skills...
Reviewing 4th grade skills, Spatial Awareness, Strength Development, Coordination, Partnering, Counter Weight, Timing & Rhythm, Dance Composition, Sharing Dances, Speaking about Dances, and Stage Directions

6TH GRADE DANCE:
Emphasis is placed on the following dance skills...
Beginner Dance Technique, Body Awareness, Rhythm & Timing, Core Strength, Partnering, Weight Sharing, Counter Weight, Inversions, Improvisation, Collaboration, Dynamic Change, Jumping and Leaping, Finding Personal Voice, Collaborative Composition, Discussion of Choreography, Performance Energy, Stage Fundamentals, and Ensemble Work

7TH/8TH GRADE DANCE:
Emphasis is placed on the following dance skills...
Weight Shifting, Initiation & Sequencing, Core Support, Core Accommodation, Patterns of Body Connection, Kinespheric Reach, Eye Tracking, Spatial Intent, Planar Movement in Space, Moving in 3 Dimensions, Dynamics/Effort Qualities, Rhythmic Complexity, Partnering/Weight Sharing, Counter Reach, Improvisation, Solo, Duet, & Group Forms, Learning Phrases, Phrase Manipulation, Elements of Composition, Movement & Style Analysis, Site-Specific Dance Making, Dancing for Film, Performance Intention, Expression/Communication, and Ensemble Work
  • Dance 4

    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. As a result, 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, cultivating kinesthetic empathy, and discovering the joy of movement.

    Journey Dance:

    This course culminates in Journey Dance, an Assignment that integrates with the grade-wide study of immigration. Students synthesize class concepts by creating original movement phrases, gestures, and vignettes, which are infused with intention and meaning. These elements are woven together into a living expression of learning. 

  • Dance 5

    Fifth Grade Dance (One Trimester)

    Each class begins with a warm-up to prepare students for a high-energy and athletic dance class focusing on coordination, rhythm, core strengthening, across-the-floor jumps and basic dance combinations.  Students are given in-class assignments to ignite the imaginative process and stimulate a kinesthetic response. Compositional tools are introduced as students learn to dialogue constructively about the dances made in class. Fifth graders engage in an exploration of individual identity as they celebrate both personal uniqueness and shared connection in the community through dance. 
  • Dance 6

    Sixth grade students expand their movement vocabulary and their ability to express themselves as individuals and as collaborators physically. Creative compositional assignments and improvisational structures are woven into weekly activities to expand creativity and encourage risk-taking. There is a focus on the development of dance techniques through spatial and rhythmic challenges that build strength and coordination. Phrase learning and dance making enable students to synthesize their skills and make interdisciplinary connections. Sixth graders have the opportunity to engage in Greek Festival Dance, which integrates with the grade-wide study of Ancient Greece and culminates in a live performance on the Martin Theater stage.
  • Dance 7/8

    The seventh and eighth grade dance program offers a wide variety of dance techniques and creative experiences to develop students' functional and expressive movement potential. The class is designed to facilitate technical ability by increasing body awareness, balancing mobility with stability, developing coordination and rhythm, and building students' movement vocabulary. A range of dance styles, including Modern, Hip hop, West African, and Dances of the African Diaspora, are introduced and explored in their social, historical, and cultural contexts.  The creative aspect of this class integrates improvisation, composition, and performance. Individual expression takes on a deeper meaning as students begin to grapple with self, identity, and relationship issues, 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 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, 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 together to create a 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.

Faculty

  • Photo of Joanna Brotman
    Joanna Brotman
    MS and HS Dance Teacher and K-12 Dance Department Chair
    Oberlin College - B.A.
    Laban Institute of Movement Studies - C.M.A.
  • Photo of Randi Sloan
    Randi Sloan
    Performing Arts Coordinator & Dance Teacher
    Wayne State University - B.F.A.
    University of Michigan
    New York University - M.A.
  • Photo of Loganne Bond
    Loganne Bond
    Dance Instructor
    Ohio State University - B.A.
  • Photo of Jinah Parker
    Jinah Parker
    Dance Teacher
    State University of New York at Buffalo - B.A.
    New York University - M.A.
  • Photo of Blake Pearson
    Blake Pearson
    Middle and High School Dance Teacher
    Virginia Commonwealth University - B.F.A., Magna Cum Laude
  • Kiana Robinson
    Student Dance Teacher
  • Kristina Walton
    Greek Fest Dance Consultant
    Marymount College - B.A
    New York University - M.A.
  • Madeline Warriner
    MS/HS Dance Substitute and Guest Choreographer
    Rutgers University - B.F.A.
    Rutgers University - M.Ed.
  • Photo of Andre Zachery
    Andre Zachery
    MS/HS Dance Teacher
(Grades K-3) 53 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10128
General: (212) 423-5200 | Admissions: (212) 423-5463
General: info@dalton.org | Admissions: fpadmissions@dalton.org

(Gr. 4 Dalton East & PE Center) 200 East 87th Street
New York, NY 10128
General: (212) 423-5200 | Admissions: (212) 423-5361
General: info@dalton.org | Admissions: admissionsmshs@dalton.org

(Grade 5-12) 108 East 89th Street
New York, NY 10128
General: (212) 423-5200 | Admissions: (212) 423-5262
General: info@dalton.org | Admissions: admissionsmshs@dalton.org