The curriculum for the sixth grade through senior year of high school emphasizes creativity in equal balance with the acquisition of skills and techniques.
Contracted with the New York City Department of Education since 1999, the Company has taught more than 12,000 students from pre-K through high school within the City’s public schools. The curriculum presents dance as an art of self-expression and supreme physical control. The programs are divided into three sections:
Warming the body thoroughly is a necessary daily ritual for all dancers. The warm-up is the meat and potatoes of our dancers’ diets. Or if you are a vegetarian, the tofu and spinach! Through this we introduce a healthy, intelligent way to prepare for the athleticism of dance, prevent injuries, build strength, increase endurance, flexibility, and coordination, and introduce essentials of dance technique. Students gain an awareness of their entire body through the identification and exploration of body parts, shapes, space, directions, levels, rhythms, and time.
Learning set dances, such as folk dances from around the world, or choreography by the Company, allows our students to become aware of the specificity required in dance. When learning a set dance, details such as the number of steps, or which foot to use are paramount. Our classes impart the skills students need to amass movement into phrases, learn patterns, memorize sequences, increase musicality, and dance in time with others. Dance is presented in a social, historical context that also highlights cultural connections.
Creating is the heart of our program. We teach students how to create, not what to create. The focus of this component is on improvisation and exploration. Students create dances based on spatial concepts (positive and negative space; attachments; pathways); movement invention, feelings, actions, images, words, poems, songs, stories and their own life experiences and ideas. Everyone’s abilities are validated in the class. Students learn to create independently, with a partner, and as a part of a group.
All residencies conclude with an Open Class in which parents and invited guests observe the students, and then participate in learning dances alongside them.
The Company has enjoyed residencies at multiple high schools including Manhattan’s Beacon High School, the Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Talent Unlimited, and the School of the Arts (SOTA) in Rochester, New York. At both La Guardia and SOTA students performed the Company’s acclaimed dance Encore. In 2011 the Company works with DanceWave Company ll, a Brooklyn-based dance troupe of teenagers selected by audition from all over New York City.
PROGRAMS FOR TEENS
The Company began a relationship with The Yard, a renown colony for the performing arts on Martha’s Vineyard, in 1998, working with
high school students at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in Oak Bluffs, and during summers directing Explorations, an
intensive workshop for young dancers to immerse themselves into the processes of creating dance. Click here to watch the Yard Video. See our other YARD video here [link to Yard 2001 video on SPECIAL PROJECTS page]
Summer Dance Festival
Please visit our FESTIVALS page to learn more about our summer programming.
Since 2004, DGDC has collaborated with the Center for Arts Education to provide workshops as part of the Center’s Career Development Program, to introduce the art and business of dance to high school students from the City’s five boroughs.
For booking information please CONTACT US.