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Archive for School Teams

Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment Interview with Jo Rowan

DancersThe Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University is American’s premier musical theatre dance program.   They prepare students for exciting careers in performance, management, teaching dance, and choreography. Everything they do is focused on preparing graduates to work in the entertainment industry.  Established in 1981, they have a strong track record of continued graduate success, because a commitment to the value of professionalism in the entertainment industry.

The Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment is not just about teaching dance steps or management and teaching skills. They are there to instill character that will serve graduates in their professional careers and personal lives. Their staff, faculty, and administration strive to infuse all of the performances, courses, and activities with Responsibility, Reliability, Respect, Motivation, Ethics, Courage, Accountability, Focus, Commitment.

In the opinion of Prof. Jo Rowan, Chairman of the Dance Department, their dance program is different from other dance programs for the following reasons:
(1) Their focus on tap, jazz, and musical theatre dance with ballet as supporting technical base. (Traditionally university dance programs focus on ballet and modern.)
(2) A philosophy of preparing students to work as performers, teachers, and managers in the entertainment industry.  Everything about their (more…)

University of Kansas Interview with Michelle Heffner Hayes, Ph.D.

Cirlce of Women

The University Dance Company performs a dress rehearsal for their spring concert at the Lawrence Arts Center. Natali Diaz, McNair scholar is one of the senior performers, and choreographed the “House of Blues” feature. The entree production was overseen by Dr. Michelle Heffner Hayes, professor and chair of the Department of Dance.

The Department of Dance at the University of Kansas (“KU”) provides conservatory-level technical training in a rich liberal arts environment. They immerse students in professional development experiences from the moment they enter the program, through guest artist residencies and courses in career development or video and website design for dance. Dancers at the University of Kansas receive integrated training in ballet, modern/contemporary and jazz dance, as well as flamenco, classical Indian, African, and musical theatre dance. They encourage each student to find his or her individual way to make a life in dance.

According to Michelle Heffner Hayes, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance, their integrated training model distinguishes KU from other dance programs. Most students come to KU with more training in one area or another; their goal is to prepare dancers to move across genres. Also, their focus on career development is (more…)

Piedmont School of Music & Dance Interview with Daniel and Rebecca Wiley

three ladiesThe Piedmont School of Music & Dance (“PSMD”) has locations in the Kannapolis and Charlotte areas in North Carolina. They offer dance and music instruction under one roof at their two locations. The school’s environment is known for being joyful, positive and professional in all aspects. Dance class offerings include the Mila Ballerina® Dance Academy, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Pointe, Hip-Hop and Musical Theater. Their music instruction includes lessons in Music Theory, Voice, Piano, Preschool Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar, and Drums, and Music Theory. The school boosts a teaching staff with affiliations to companies or major institutions such as: The Juilliard School, American Ballet Theatre, Charlotte Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and others.

Piedmont School of Music & Dance of Charlotte and Kannapolis is the area’s exclusive Mila Ballerina™ Dance Academy! The Mila Ballerina™ program is unique and designed specifically for the beginning dancer. The curriculum provides a healthy balance between structure and fun for their budding ballerinas!

Since 2003, thousands of students have taken dance classes or music lessons at Piedmont School of Music & Dance under the Co-Direction of Daniel and Rebecca Wiley. Piedmont began as a very small one-room studio, but has grown to become a vibrant and successful dance and (more…)

Beyond Dancing Interview with Rachel Uneberg

ballet picBeyond Dancing in Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota, Florida, is a one stop shop for any and all who want to learn how to dance, from children ages three to adults of all ages, beginners and advanced, recreation or competition dancers alike will find just what they are looking for when they walk through their doors. Beyond Dancing offers performance dances (preschool dance, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary), Latin dances (Rumba, Cha Cha, Salsa, Bachatta, et al.) and ballroom (Waltz, Fox Trot, etc.).

Beyond Dancing’s curriculum, music, lyrics, choreography, and costumes are in keeping with good taste, and with their family friendly atmosphere. Beyond Dancing’s progressive teaching styles sets them apart from other studios. They strive to provide an environment rich of quality and competence all lending to a comfortable social atmosphere where learning how to dance is fun and enjoyable. Their dance classes include children’s play dance, ballet, tap, jazz, acro, hip hop, contemporary, Latin and ballroom dance.

Whether it is Ballroom, Latin or Performance Dance, one of the quickest ways to obtaining your dancing goals is through individual instruction. This one-on-one method will help you learn the skill of art of dance in one of the most efficient ways. For (more…)

South River High School Dance Department Interview with Mattie Fenton

Full Dance CompanyMattie Fenton  is the Dance Director of the Dance Department at South River High School (SRHS) in Edgewater, Maryland. Mattie says that Dance in Anne Arundel County Public Schools started with only one or two high schools (South River being one of the first) and then through the vision and hard work of Judi Fey (Dance Consultant for AACPS) the program drastically increased over the years and now the county offers dance education at every grade level. Their program is now part of a nationally recognized K-12 Fine Arts Program.

SRHS has a range of students from 9th to 12th grade that can choose from five different courses: Dance I, Dance II-IV, Dance for Athletes, Junior Dance Company (by audition) and Honors Dance Company (audition only). Their Honors Senior Dance Company class is part of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and the students must maintain a 3.5 GPA and participate in several county and state wide fine arts events. They also have two after school Dance Companies that rehearse three-four days a week.

There are no prerequisites for any of the dance classes except Dance Company. All students  enrolled in Dance are required to perform in a mandatory concert at the (more…)

Mt. Carmel High School Dance Troupe Interview with Laurel Iannuzzi


Frank Anthony Photography

Laurel Iannuzzi is the Dance Troupe Director and Coach of the Mt. Carmel Dance Troupe (MCDT) is the performance and competition team at the high school. They are a group of talented dancers who represent their school year-round through the art of dance. As with any sport on campus, it is an honor to be a member of MCDT and dancers must strive to work their hardest at all times. The troupe will perform at all home football and most basketball games, pep rallies, and community events.

In their 2015 season, Troupe continued to raise the bar for MCHS by qualifying all routines in the Championship division, showcasing high scoring soloists, and taking home 1st places in their divisions. Dancers on Troupe will audition to compete. Those on Troupe are encouraged to never settle with what feels comfortable, as they will continue to push themselves in their training. From the time their dedication begins in May, the team will focus on expanding their knowledge of the dance world by staying committed to their training, taking master classes, working with professional choreographers, and committing to their team mates, all while representing MCHS in a positive manner.

RehearsalLaurel believes (more…)

West Chester University Dance Team Interview

WCUDTWest Chester University Dance Team, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a group of driven and hard working individuals who are committed to success. They push themselves each season to do even better than the last. They are not only teammates, but by the end of the season consider each other as family.

Their program is entirely student-run which means they do not have a coach. The dance team has elections for student officers at the end of each year for the upcoming season in the positions of two Co-Captains, Treasurer and Secretary. It is up to the captains to oversee practices, organize events and appearances throughout the season, and obtain choreographers for their nationals routines. The West Chester University Dance Team is a sports club that performs at the men’s basketball games, homecoming and various other campus events.  It is also up to the team to create their own choreography for certain West Chester Universityperformance opportunities.

Even though their season has just begun, in this short amount of time they have set the standards much higher than years prior. They have accomplished things that they have never done before as a program. This summer they attended UDA dance camp at the University of Scranton alongside (more…)

Berwick College Dance Academy Interview with Melissa Quenette

RehearsalMelissa Quenette, Director of Dance at Berwick College Dance Academy, in Berwick, Victoria, Australia! It is kind of cool to get to hear from a school from “Down Under.”

Melissa describes The Berwick College Dance Academy (BCDA) as a program offered to accelerate dance students within their secondary school. Unlike the colleges in the United States whose students have completed 13 years of school and range in age from approximately 18 to 24 years of age, Berwick College is a co-educational, public school for years 7 to 12. The college has approximately 1500 students and caters to a wide variety of students with its many pathways and programs, including VCE and VCAL. At present, they are running the dance course in Year 7 and Year 8 and will increase that to Year 9 in 2016. The academy allows dance students who have an interest in dance and the performing arts to learn about their passion while concurrently completing their secondary education. BCDA provides a fun, safe learning environment where they encourage their students to work hard and to keep pursuing their dreams and aspirations.

In Melissa’s opinion, is different from other dance schools because the BCDA allows students to add what is often (more…)

The Eudora High School Dance Team Interview with Robyn Kelso and Jessica Vogt

CoachThe Eudora High School Dance Team in Eudora, Kansas is coached by Jessica Vogt and Robyn Kelso. Jessica Vogt has a Bachelors of Arts in dance from the University of Kansas and has been one the dance coach at Eudora High School for eight years. Robyn Kelso has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Animal Science from Kansas State University with teaching hours at Ottawa University and a Masters of Arts from Baker University. She has been a coach for 16 years.

They describe their dance team as a “family” that has each other’s back and that looks out for fellow team members and fights for their dance program. According to them, their older members learn faster and smile more with each performance. Both coaches say that they look out for each other both off and on the field.

In their opinion, their team is separated from other dance teams by their sense of family. Veterans look out for rookies and alumni look out for the program. Their alumni are Happyvery supportive of Eudora’s dance program and often come back to help out in a variety of ways – from judging tryouts to helping run Eudora High School’s festival. The dance team is also very (more…)

Father Gabriel Richard High School Fighting Irish Dance Team Interview with Kimberly Doman

Kimberly Doman is the Head Varsity Coach for the Father Gabriel Richard High School Fighting Irish Dance Team aka RDT (Richard Dance Team). Father Gabriel Richard High School is Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Fighting Irish Dance TeamThe varsity dance team is the only sport at the school that is a two season competitive sport. According to Kimberly, her team is made up of 19 girls including freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors with a love of dance. She says the girls work very hard during their season to prepare for their sidelines, half time performances and competitive routines. The team performs at the Varsity Boy’s Home Football and Basketball games and competes with selected routines against other school dance teams across the state of Michigan. The girls learn and perfect multiple routines in the styles of jazz, hip hop, lyrical/modern and pom Tryouts take place in June and the season runs from July until the beginning of March.

In Kimberly’s opinion, the most unique thing about their team is that they not only support and love each other, but they are able to share in their faith with every accomplishment that they make, which is pretty empowering. Kimberly says the team is the girls’ second family. They push (more…)