By Anna Braden.
Heritage Academy offers many electives for students to choose from. For example, some scholars try choir, golf, tennis, or pilates. While these may be fun, nothing compares to dance. In dance, students have tons of fun with their friends. They love dancing to good music and learning new things. Dancers are given many exciting opportunities such as performing and seeing fascinating concerts by popular dance groups. Taught by Mrs. May, the dance program allows boys and girls to develop their artistic and technical skills in four levels. As dancers gain experience, they advance to a higher class. Regardless of dance background, all students should take the opportunity to at least try it out.
In seventh grade, many new students take beginning dance, and many continue to attend dance and progress throughout the years. In this class, dancers are introduced to fundamentals of dance and are taught simple performance qualities. Mrs. May teaches basic dance terms and moves; dancers in this level also begin working on their improvisation skills. When dancers improv, they explore their personal feelings and increase their dance vocabulary. Students also love learning a dance piece as a class that they will perform to all of their friends and families at the end of the semester. They get to dress up in fun costumes and perform at the amazing Mesa Arts Center. Once students are more familiar with the curriculum, Mrs. May will suggest they advance to the Intermediate level.
Because boys and girls in Intermediate dance have more experience, they continue to expand their learning by building on what they already know. Not only do they improve their technique, dancers delve deeper into the art of improv. Mrs. May challenges dancers by instructing them to personalize a combination taught to the class using principles of improvisation. Seeing a student is working hard and is progressing, Mrs. May will allow him or her to move up to Advanced.
While scholars continue to strengthen the skills mentioned above, those in the Advanced level have new opportunities unlike Beginning and Intermediate dancers. Students can take what they’ve learned about choreography and create and teach their own work to their classmates. Some pieces are even performed in the semester’s dance concert. Dancers look forward to this experience to be creative. From choreographing to teaching to setting lighting and costumes, the dancers at Heritage have this unique chance to learn and experience what it’s like to be a dance teacher. Those in the Advanced level are hardworking and willing to try new things. All of these experiences prepare them for the class above, Dance Company.
Being the most demanding dance class, Dance Company requires committed students to train their hardest. To be in this class, there is a required audition in which dancers are judged by Mrs. May and two other trusted adult dancers. The judges look for technique, confidence, and a strong work ethic. When dancers are chosen to be in Dance Company, they work in and out of school on many different things. Seniors are able to choreograph a distinction dance to be performed by all Company members. Many dancers look forward to their distinction from the time they are seventh graders. Also, these dancers have the option to attend multiple workshops, performances, and events throughout the school year. Dance Company has performed at football games, a parade, and hosts workshops all year. While these experiences are valuable, the dancers anticipate the Dance Company Tour the most. Traveling out of state, dancers are given the amazing opportunity to work with iconic dance instructors, spend time with their friends, and make memories. They are rewarded for their hard work with the chance to go on this trip.
Although some choose another path in school, those who choose dance learn to work hard and use their creativity in a way that is only learned through dancing. With their friends, scholars enjoy dance class with Mrs. May. There are so many opportunities for the dancers to learn, perform, and have fun. Dance class at Heritage Academy is a blast! Would you like to join?