The Performing Arts
Our process oriented curriculum is rooted in the belief that learning through the arts not only educates students, but elevates them to a deeper, richer, understanding of themselves and the world around them. Classes in dance, drama, and music give children the opportunity to gain appreciation for the importance, beauty, and wonder of the arts. Participation in these classes and the performance work builds confidence, fosters a sense of community amongst students, and encourages them to strive toward a personal best. Student involvement in the creative process guides them toward an awareness of their own limitless potential.
Our stage program at Sundance is specifically formatted to emphasize and reinforce what children are learning in other centers throughout the school. Lessons, adapted for each age group and stage of development, are linked to school wide topics and themes that children are studying, exploring, and/or learning (in some cases for the very first time!). By using creative movement and creative dramatics as the vehicle with which to express, explore, collaborate, and communicate children naturally become an involved, integral, creative force in their own learning experience.
The Lower School
Our Lower School Creative Movement Program is rooted in the belief that learning through the arts not only educates students by elevates them to a deeper awareness of themselves and of the world around them. Children work together during each stage class dancing, pretending, singing, sharing, and learning the value of teamwork!
Lower School Stage classes are formatted to help students explore the basic four elements of dance. Whenever a person moves, the body uses space, force, and time. The children enjoy participating in the different lessons designed to help them discover the exciting possibilities inherent in the combination of these elements.
Each week the stage becomes an indoor playground for your child's imagination. Our students dramatize, pretend, and 'become' everything from shy sea creatures silently watching the sunlight glitter on the waves as they glide gracefully through water, to determined ducklings braving navigating their way out from inside their shells, eager to see the world for the first time! We dance through the seasons, paint our favorite colors on the surface of the moon, help frowning frogs find friends, and even drive our cars (with caution of course!) to some delightfully dear destinations.
What a rewarding and awesome experience I have been given to partake in this aspect of your child's learning experience at Sundance! Seeing children dance with glee and smile with pride as they grow in confidence makes my heart dance with joy. Sundance kids truly enjoy the time they are given on stage to freely express the wonder creativity inside them. Joann Merrigan
Primary & Upper School
The Primary and Upper School Theatre Workshop at Sundance provides our students with an opportunity to develop skills necessary for success in the 21st century. We appreciate the parental support and enthusiasm for the Theatre Workshop model and show time experience that is a vital component of a Sundance education.
- Ensemble Building: By its nature, theatre requires the creative input of all its participants. Students work together to rehearse, perform and promote their show.
- Self Confidence: Young performers discover how to make creative and emotional risks and learn to trust their abilities throughout the rehearsal and performance process.
- Reading & Literacy Skills: From constantly reading their scripts, immersing themselves in the story, at rehearsal, memorizing their lines, and taking notes at rehearsal, putting on a show is an active and engaging approach to improving literacy at an individualized pace.
- Public Speaking Skills: Young performers become comfortable speaking in front of a group. Whether performing for their peers during rehearsal or for their school and local community during a performance, students gain expertise and confidence with this valuable life skill.
- Self Discipline: Students learn the importance of being reliable and trustworthy members of an ensemble. Through learning their choreography and lines and actively participating throughout the process, students acquire valuable self-discipline techniques.
- Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills: Due to the show’s collaborative nature, all students have become valuable in trouble shooting elements of their production. Working out the nuances of a character or a tricky scene change allows participants an opportunity to creatively tackle challenges.
- Engaged Imaginations: Theatre is most dynamic when the imaginations of its creators are fully engaged. Throughout the process, students create another world through acting, dance and music.
- Communication Skills: Young performers discover how to clearly articulate their thoughts and questions throughout the rehearsal process.
- Creative and Emotional Outlet: Having a creative outlet on a regular basis is not only part of the well rounded education, but also vital to a child’s well being and emotional health. Producing a show provides growth opportunities for all varieties of learners: kinesthetic learner explore dance with their bodies in physical space, linguistic learners dive into spoken and written word, spatial learners enjoy the excitement of working with our inventive sets and the arrangement of objects in space.
The Shakespeare Experience
We recognize that students, properly guided, will take Shakespeare’s characters and stories out of the past and into the present. In the process, they find their inner voices, they collaborate, they improvise and they communicate. They will also explore the frontiers of their character’s lives and of their company members while building the play. Our belief is that on this journey of discovery our students will be led to an understanding of the origins of theatre. They will healthily engage their imaginations and experience the many benefits which arise from group participation in a creative act.
Our dance education program gives children exposure to classical ballet, jazz, modern, and multi-cultural dance. Class work in each dance form emphasizes proper alignment, promotes self- discipline, and builds core strength and flexibility.
- Children identify and demonstrate movement elements and skills in performing dance.
- Understanding choreographic principals, processes, and structures.
Sundance Theatre Camps, or as our campers call it; STC is a full day theatre camp for children ages 5- 15!
Each Day the campers work at the own pace in a nurturing environment, while embracing and celebrating their individual talents. The STC model is specifically designed to help children understand the importance of ensemble work and cultivate respect for the process of building a production. Each session will conclude in an unforgettable Sundance musical theatre stage production!