At SAAS, dance is closer to a way of life than a class. In order to graduate, all upper school students are required to try it. Many take Beginning Dance, but for those who choose to audition for higher level classes, dance makes a profound impact on their high school lives.
Those who take Advanced Dance spend a vast amount of time together, perfecting their choreography while bonding as a group. Not only do they attend the class for an entire year, but they also attend after-school choreography sessions. They perform multiple times throughout the year, including at dance competitions, SAAS In The City, and at two different after school productions, the Winter Showcase and Spring Dance Concert.
Although some say that participating in Advanced Dance may reduce the other extracurriculars that students can be a part of, Leah Weld ’17 says, “If you can manage your time really well, it’s possible (for students to be in other after school activities).” She herself has done gymnastics every year of high school, all the while participating in different levels of the dance program. Clearly, dance and other activities are not mutually exclusive.
Intermediate/Advanced and Intermediate Dance involve less time outside of class. Intermediate/Advanced Dance only involves one after-school session per week, and this session is optional. Intermediate, on the other hand, has no after-school session, and only lasts two trimesters. Both of these classes perform at the Winter Dance Showcase, and Intermediate/Advanced Dance also performs at other SAAS events. Despite the potential of dance to interfere with other activities, Sadie Cook ’20 describes her overall experience as “fun,” saying it gave her an opportunity to meet people she otherwise wouldn’t have shared classes with.
The impact of dance at SAAS is not just limited to reducing free time or helping students meet new people. The dance programs also inspire students, like Ben Sievers ’18, to explore dance outside of the classroom. It teaches students to express themselves and to improvise, skills that are invaluable both in school and beyond.
For those who would like to audition for dance for next year, but who missed regular auditions, final auditions will be held today, Wednesday, May 24. Contact Rhonda (email@example.com) for details about the final audition.