The goals of the Dance Department at MacDuffie are to provide students with a college preparatory dance education. Students study contemporary dance, ballet, improvisation, choreography, dance history and Zumba Dance Fitness. Our new dance studio features a professional sprung floor from Stagestep which provides a safe dance surface for our dancers.
For our upper school students we offer a year long course which meets four days a week. This elective not only provides an Art credit for students, but also allows them to be exempt from Physical Education. Most of our dance students begin dance as freshman and continue through senior year.
Students are encouraged to create work for our Winter and Spring concerts. Here they choreograph their own work in dance styles such as hip hop, jazz, lyrical, tap, modern and ballet. Often times they present traditional cultural dances. Auditions are held and mandatory monthly showings provide our young choreographers with critical feedback from faculty and peers. At show time our students are responsible for costuming, lighting and set design as well as creating the program. Students sign up for studio space throughout the week and organize and run their own rehearsals. Students also learn contemporary and ballet choreography from faculty which is rehearsed during the school day.
Our Middle School dance program includes Dance in Culture for grade six and Survey of Dance for grade seven. Students meet four days a week for one quarter of the school year and study choreography, improvisation, dance in mythology and writing for dance. Middle school students are also encouraged to audition for our winter and spring concerts.
Our alumni have studied dance at Vassar College, Hampshire College, Wagner College, UARTS, University of Utah and New York University.
Recent opportunities for our dancers include:
- A five day trip to Miami, Florida to participate in the National High School Dance Festival
- An afternoon trip to Mount Holyoke College to participate in a workshop led by former Mark Morris dancer Marjorie Folkman
- A five day trip to Norfolk, Virginia to participate in the Regional High School Dance Festival
- A field trips to UMASS to see the Jose Limon Company & The Paul Taylor Company
- A five day trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to participate in the National High School Dance Festival
- A long weekend in NYC to take modern dance classes at Dance New Amsterdam, see the Bodies Exhibit and attend a professional modern dance concert
- A field trip to Trinity College to see The Doug Elkins Dance Company in Fraulein Maria
- Performing opportunities with small modern dance companies in the Pioneer Valley
- Annual Winter and Spring concerts
- Periodic performances at our morning assembly
- Guest artists teaching in the genres students are learning about in dance history
- Performing opportunities at local assisted living facilities
- Participation in the Sankofa Dance Project at UMASS
- Scholarships to Jacob’s Pillow to participate in summer program
- For more information on the dance program email firstname.lastname@example.org or please see our Facebook page and our blog, Motion/Dance at MacDuffie.