Michelle Mathesius, Assistant Principal
For additional information from the Dance Department, please visit http://www.danceatlaguardiahs.org/
The Dance Department utilizes a rigorous conservatory approach. In keeping with this approach, professional musicians accompany all classes.
All full-time instructors have danced professionally with major companies including: American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, Royal Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Ballet Theater, Martha Graham Dance Company, Erick Hawkins, Merce Cunningham, Lar Lubovitch, and Twyla Tharp.
|Term 1||Term 2|
|Ballet 1||Ballet 2|
|Modern 1||Modern 2|
|Survival Skills\Health||Survival Skills\Health|
|Ballet 3||Ballet 4|
|Modern 3||Modern 4|
|Dance History||Dance History|
|Ballet 5||Ballet 6|
|Modern 5||Modern 6|
|Theater Dance – Tap||Choreography Workshop|
|Theater Dance – Jazz|
|Ballet 7||Ballet 8|
|Modern 7||Modern 8|
|Career Management\ Health||Repertory|
Ballet 1 - The study of classical ballet for the entering student with little or limited previous study and experience. Emphasis is placed on the fundamental basics of technique. Ballet 1 students are expected to achieve correct body placement and alignment. They will have built muscle strength and flexibility as well as increasing self-discipline and artistic expression.
Ballet 2 – The study of classical ballet for the entering student with extensive previous study and experience. Ballet 2 students are expected to work with emphasis on turnout, correct placement, and strong pointe work at the barre, in the center, and moving across the floor with jumps and turns.
Modern 1 and 2 – An introduction to the concept of modern dance through the technique developed by Martha Graham.
Survival Skills – The study of dance-related areas including nutrition, anatomy, and the care of dance-related injuries.
Ballet 3 and 4 – The application of the technical foundation while increasing the physical and technical demands of classical ballet. Ballet vocabulary and knowledge of terminology are also enlarged.
Modern 3 and 4 – The further development of the Graham technique of modern dance. Emphasis is placed on increased technical strength and vocabulary.
Dance History – An exploration of the history of both ballet and modern dance with an emphasis on guest-artist teachers, who not only introduce various techniques, including Taylor, Cunningham, Limon, Hawkins, and Tharp — but also teach repertory from these masters.
Ballet 5 and 6 – The extension of classical ballet technique with an emphasis on virtuosity and preparation for the stage. Ballet 5 and 6 students are expected to know all terminiology and maintain an intermediate to advanced level class.
Modern 5 and 6 – The study of intermediate-advanced work added to previous work learned in Graham technique in the freshman and sophomore years. Also expected is the stage ability to execute complex technical and musical combinations with knowledge of stage and musical terms.
Theater Dance, Jazz - Jazz and musical theater techniques. The study of American jazz techniques as used in commercial theater, film, and television.
Theater Dance, Tap – The study of the basics of this vernacular dance form. Students will be expected to master tap vocabulary, techniques of rhythmic clarity and use of weight shift, traditional steps such as the Shim Sham, Waltz Clog, Soft Shoe, and Time Steps, as well as learn different stylistic approaches from musical theater tap to rhythm tap. Students with more experience will be placed in a more advanced class.
Choreography Workshop – The study of basic rhythmic, spatial, and dynamic materials used in the designing of dance. From short, simple works, the student choreographer will progress to larger pieces and produce a complete work for evaluation by the dance faculty and formal preparation during the senior year at the annual Dance Showcase.
Ballet 7 and 8 – The advanced study of classical ballet with an emphasis on stage technique and performance.
Modern 7 and 8 – The advanced study of Graham technique of modern dance with an emphasis on stage technique and performance.
Career Management – The examination of the nuts-and-bolts of the dancer’s professional career including contracts, unions, auditions, resumes, head shots, and self-produced concerts. In addition, alternative careers within the field of dance are explored through the use of guest speakers.
Repertory - The Senior Dance Ensemble works with eminent guest artists from a variety of disciplines. In recent years, the SDE’s collaborators have included choreographers Camille Brown, Brunilda Ruiz, Paul Taylor, and Septine Weber, conductors Justin DiCioccio and Bob Stewart, costume designer George Hudacko, lighting designer Farley Whitfield, and laser artist Norman Ballard.