• Dance

    Mission Statement

    To teach classical ballet in its purest form as a solid foundation for dancers to excel in the dance field. The dancer then has the ability to adapt to other dance idioms. The dance program at the School for Creative and Performing Arts is a pre-professional training program dedicated to preparing students for careers in dance or in dance-related fields, or to pursue higher education. As in all theatrical dance programs, the basis of training is classical ballet.

    The program’s objectives are:

    • To have a staff of former professional dancers dedicated to instilling a solid foundation in dance as an art form in our students.
    • To challenge our dancers to meet rigorous training standards.
    • To offer ballet technique, pointe, Pas de Deux, variations, Pilates, related seminars and repertoire.
    • To expand the curriculum to include contemporary idioms as dancers progress.
    • To stimulate our dancers to achieve individual bests in a caring and nurturing environment.
    • Admission to the SCPA Dance Department is by audition only.

    Teaching Ballet is an art form that is built on repetition of specific exercises designed to mold and shape a dancer’s muscular system to perform the required movements. This system has proven to be tried and true over the past several centuries. Today, a ballet class is supplemented by cross training in Pilates, Yoga, Bowflex, swimming and specifically designed weight training, but the basic ballet class continues with the same structure from beginners through the advanced and professional levels. A dancer can travel anywhere in the world and visit any ballet school or professional company and take a ballet class. They will know what structure to expect and what expectations will be put upon them. They will even understand the language because all ballet steps are named in French. This is a universal system designed to give a dancer a solid foundation to allow success in the dance world.

    Therefore, our curriculum begins at the beginning level as steps and exercises are introduced. These same steps and exercises are repeated (with a variation in the patterns) throughout a dancer’s life. Each level perfects the movements to develop better placement and line, more flexibility and greater extensions, more intricate jumps and higher elevation, greater degrees of turnout, better articulation of feet, a heightened kinesthetic fluidity, more accurate musicality, better focus and ability to perform the steps accurately.
    We supplement each level with stretching and age appropriate Bowflex, Pilates and Yoga, and theraband work to increase strength and flexibility and to help prevent injury.

    As dancers develop technically, they pass through the following levels:

    • Beginning
    • Fundamentals 1
    • Fundamentals 2
    • Fundamentals 3
    • Technique 1
    • Technique 2
    • Style
    • A dancer may be in the same level for more than one year. Students in Style must be in Dance Ensemble.

    The department is made up of 70% females and 30% males, and usually has a diverse ethnic make-up of approximately 60% ethnic to 40% Caucasian. Students come to SCPA from all socio-economic backgrounds.

    Cultural Heritage and Social Aspects:
    The student is exposed to dance as it relates to dance history: detailing the art of ballet from the courts of King Louis the XIV to Contemporary times. Technical and artistic aspects are addressed as well as dance in the context of ethnic dance, modern dance, jazz and contemporary movement. Classical ballet repertoire is taught, neo-classical Balanchine works are explored, and contemporary movement is taught. Students will identify and learn from community resources, people, books, videos and dance companies. These groups will enrich the dancers’ context of culture and history.

    Career Technical Program
    The high school division of SCPA is a Career Technical school. This program is Arts and Communication and includes career pathways leading to technical careers in Media Arts, Performing Arts and Visual Design and Imaging. It is a collaborative effort of secondary and post-secondary educators along with business professionals to foster the successful development of students to a career choice. This program will provide broad knowledge, insight and understanding of business processes, academic attainment, and workplace readiness within depth of knowledge and expertise in a career specialty. A Career Tech Program will ensure that our students are well prepared for the workforce of tomorrow in a competitive global environment. Today’s marketplace requires specialized skills in a broader context in an ever-changing economy.

    There are additional Practicum requirements for each high school student to comply with the Career Technical Program. The Career Technical teachers will designate these requirements.

    Course Evaluation

    Evaluation of course of study includes: 

    • Intended learning outcomes vs. actual learning outcomes
    • How successful were the students in meeting the objectives put forth in the intended learning outcomes?
    • Were the intended learning outcomes the same as the actual learning outcomes?
    • How can the instructor create meaningful flexibility in the unit lesson plans
    • So that the actual learning outcomes are the same as the intended learning outcomes?
    • Standards for the course and instructor:
    • Has the instructor meet all of the standards?
    • How successful were the students in meeting these standards?
    • How can the instructor meet meaningful flexibility within his/her teaching methodology to insure that all the standards stated are met?
    • Did the course impact a significant change in the psychomotor skills of the student?
    • Did the content and development of the course over the year change the way the instructor presented and prepared the instruction?
    • Did the students’ participation in the course impact their parents’ awareness of the commitment and expectations for their child in the arts?
  • Student Expectations

  • Assessments for Grading

  • Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Psycho-Motor Skills

  • Sources

  • Legacy of the Course's Content

  • Themes

  • Formal Canons of the Arts Area

  • Information Seminars

  • Proficiency Boards

  • Projects, Performances, Certificates, Competitions