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Upper School Dance


The Waterford Dance Department seeks to foster a creative and open program that invites all students to begin to dance, without regard to previous training or physique. At the earliest levels, we nurture movement and locomotor skills, promoting a healthy sense of body and space. As students progress, they learn elements of dance technique, vocabulary, dance forms, and choreography. At our more advanced levels, students explore more fully the history, vocabulary, and culture of dance as they come to identify themselves as accomplished dancers. As students advance through the dance program, they will focus increasingly on performance to allow them to most fully express themselves as artists on stage. At the most advanced levels dancers focus on ballet technique, pointe and variations from classical ballets. The dance program is interdisciplinary, welcoming non-dance specialists to foster new skills as costume designers, musicians, set designers, choreographers, and other artistic elements, as well as to train the most advanced and skilled dancer(s).

Dance: Fundamentals of Dance Technique
​This course is for the inexperienced dancer who wants to learn ballet, jazz, rhythm and modern technique. It teaches the primary principles of dance and movement using a variety of training methods to develop proper alignment, strength, flexibility, and coordination. Vocabulary of dance is also an important part of the class. Students will learn the body positions, balance, turns, loco motor skills, and jumps. Students will also develop and eye as an audience ember through watching performances and videos of current dance works. Students who complete this course may then participate in Dance Technique. There will be two performance opportunities aligned with this class.

Dance: Dance Technique
​To take this course you must complete 3 terms of Fundamentals of Dance or have permission from the Dance Department Chair to be enrolled. (Age and prior experience will be considered) We will continue to build on the primary principles of ballet, jazz and modern dance using a variety of training methods to develop proper strength, flexibility, rhythm and coordination also expaniding on body positions, balance, turns, locomotor skills, and jumps. Dance Technique will broaden the study of ballet, jazz, modern and expressive modern techniques while exploring even more styles of dance. We will expand on expression and creative choreography so dancers can create their own choreographic works, building their voice through dance. This class will have two performance opportunities throughout the year to build their strength and confidence on stage and off.

Dance: Performance
​This course is for intermediate/advanced student who has previously trained in ballet, pointe and modern technique. This course will be rooted in technique, but provide students with the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker Ballet an the annual Spring Dance Concert, as well as the Arts Week presentation. Students should get approval from the instructor and/or audition before signing up for this class and plan their schedules to accommodate this course for the full year. Master instructors will also be invited to teach this accelerated group. Students will be required to attend a live dance performance and write a critique and discuss dancers who are making an impact in the dance world today. Performing is the natural end result of hard work put into technique, improvisation, and choreography. Dance history exposes the students to the development of dance throughout the centuries as well as the work of individual dancers and choreographers.