The Waterford Dance Department’s mission is to inspire dance artists and movement thinkers. We foster growth of dance as an artform, through study, practice, improvisation, and performance. We strive to maintain a caring and challenging environment that allows for each student’s learning and individual expression.
The Upper School dance classes offer opportunities for students at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Our Dance and Culture class is open to all students, and is designed as an introduction to dance. This class explores and contextualizes dance in all its forms. This exploration takes dance from the mind to the body, from the studio to the stage, while exploring different styles, cultures and time periods.
The Dance Technique class is for students with some previous dance training. This class continues to build on the primary principles of ballet, jazz, modern dance, and improvisation. Students learn to expand on personal expression by creating their own choreographic work.
The Upper School Performance class is for intermediate/advanced dance student who has previously trained in ballet, pointe, and modern dance technique. This course is rooted in technique, but is a performance-based class, with several performing opportunities throughout the school year.
With 50 Annual Performances each year, Waterford students from our Lower School through Upper School learn the importance of performing live for their families, friends and community.
Middle School dance classes offer an introduction to Ballet, Modern, and Jazz dance techniques, using a variety of training methods to develop proper alignment, strength, flexibility, and coordination. Students learn vocabulary, technical skills, choreography, and dance history. Students have the opportunity to explore their own creative ideas through dance composition. Students are provided opportunities to perform on stage which helps to further their creativity and confidence as they broaden their knowledge of steps.
Students learn to understand their body as an instrument, and dance as a form of communication. Through games, choreography, and improvisations they explore themes of body, energy, space, time, and relationship. They learn the muscles and bones of the body that are important to dance and the alignment of the body. Poetry, creative writing and discussions about verbs, adverbs, and adjectives help deepen their understanding about dance. Noticing deeply, making connections, embodying through art making, and recognizing patterns allow students to work on their own or in groups to create dance compositions. Posture, focus and respect are ongoing foundational values of dance class.