Arts / Dance

“Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.” - Maya Angelou

The Art of Dance

Kirby Dance Program

Statement of Philosophy

The Kirby Dance Program engages the student as an embodied mover, an artist and a scholar. The program is oriented towards offering dynamic dance training while fostering creative and critical thinking skills to inspire personal development and community enrichment. Performance opportunities prepare students for pre-professional and university level dance production and also serve as contexts to build confidence and cultivate a sense of belonging and shared accomplishment. At Kirby we believe in dance as a way to engage in cultural literacy, personal expression and community connection.

Program Description

The dance division offers several classes to introduce students to dance techniques as well as dance as a social, historical and critical practice.  An additional elective Dance Company Program is designed to deepen their technical and creative skills. This program is centered around the Spring Student Dance Concert.

Dance faculty members and guest teachers are professional artists who’s experience in their field invigorates and connects the Kirby class room to the wider world of the performing arts.

Efforts are made to collaborate with other Kirby artistic and academic programs in support of integrated learning systems and to honor the possibilities inherent in the cross pollination of ideas.

Middles School Dance Classes

Sixth Grade World Art and Dance ( one semester)

This course complements the sixth grade core curriculum with a focus on the artistic expressions of cultures around the world.  Concepts of line, shape, space, texture, color, and value are explored as students develop imagery from observation and imagination.  Studio projects in drawing, painting, printmaking, and ceramics build artistic skills and techniques while providing opportunities for creative discovery. The dance portion will include both historical understandings of dance in culture as well as the learning of traditional dance forms

7th and 8th grade dance: Creative Composition in Dance  ( one semester)

This course concentrates on dance composition and the creation of original dances.  We will explore how other choreographers communicate through the art of dance by watching video and film. Students will create and produce their own choreographic project including selecting a theme, choosing music and dancers, choreographing movement, and determining costumes, sets, props, and lights. Students explore original ideas for choreography and then develop a plan for implementing their ideas into dance. The course culminates in a performance of original dance works choreographed and performed by the class.

High School Dance Classes

Introduction to Dance

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the physical, cultural and creative world of dance. Gaining movement skills and finding confidence and enjoyment through movement are a focus of this class.

While our primary dance language is contemporary modern dance, students will become acquainted with a range of different movement styles and dance forms including: ballet, improvisation, site specific dance, jazz, hip hop, musical theater, folk dance and various other forms of dance from other countries and cultures. Throughout the term dancers are also regularly engaged in the thoughtful creation and development of several of their own dances.  Introduction to Dance students perform in the Spring Dance Concert.

Kirby Dance Company

The aim of this course is to develop the physical, intellectual and creative skills of students interested in a deeper experience of dance as a performing art and possibly pursuing a career in dance and/or in preparation for their dance education at the university level. While maintaining professional level rigor, the class will foster a nurturing, creative and process-oriented approach to dance. Emphasis is placed on establishing technical proficiency while developing artistry and establishing perspective on the responsibilities of an artist within the local and global community. The Dance Company Program introduces young dancers to the joys and requirements of being a member of a professional level dance company. Kirby Dance Company is an outreach arts program that engages and enriches the greater Kirby and Santa Cruz community.