By Emily Roy ’20
Dance is one of seven Fine Arts offerings at Pine Crest School. From pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, students are exposed to different forms of dance that increase in difficulty over time.
Fine Arts at Pine Crest offer students a greater range of ability in their academics, as well as a platform for self-expression. The arts increase a student’s self-esteem while teaching them discipline and collaboration; dance is no exception.
Where to start?
Beginning in pre-kindergarten, students take a movement class to further develop their gross motor skills. The young dancers work on balance, coordination, and agility — skills that are beneficial whether or not the student chooses to continue dancing in the future. After-school programs are also available for students who are eager to move and learn more about dance.
In Middle School, students have more control over their schedule and are able to choose ballet as an elective. These dedicated students work on more than just technique; they learn about anatomy and perform self-choreographed dances as a project. The after-school offerings become accordingly more challenging and include pointe.
Moving to the Upper School, students have more chances to expand their horizons in dance. Ballet dancers taking take advanced classes twice a week, learn about how the body moves, and complete projects of increased rigor, for example, learning a full ballet variation from an online video and performing it in front of their peers. Another course available to Upper School students is contemporary dance, which explores different styles of dance, drawing the interest of long-time “bunheads” and novice movers.
Student-dancers are as creative and agile as they are intelligent, and the dance program at Pine Crest gives them the opportunities to challenge themselves in the studio and on stage.
Performance opportunities come in all shapes and sizes for Pine Crest dancers.
Kindergarten through grade five students may participate in the annual Lower School Ballet performance. Beginning in fourth grade, students may audition for Dance Etc, a group that performs twice a year — once in the fall and once in the spring.
Dancers in the Upper School have several performance opportunities throughout the year, from smaller performances that feature solo variations to the full scale production of the an original ballet choreographed by dance faculty.
Students who participate learn how to overcome any fear of performing while showcasing their talents for the School community, giving them the confidence to present in front of an audience.