The Dance curriculum seeks to transform and inspire; challenging both the students body and mind.
Along with academic courses, Arts Academy Dance Majors are called daily to "center stage" as our professional studios come alive with music and movement in ballet, Modern Dance and Afro-Caribbean techniques.These techniques draw on the teachings of Katherine Dunham, Jose Limon, Doris Humphrey, and Classical Ballet.
The History of the Arts Academy Dance Department
The Dance Dept. began in September of 1977 as one of five arts programs offered by the newly established Buffalo Academy for Visual & Performing Arts Magnet School. At that time, the Arts Academy was located on the site of the former Clinton Junior High School, which had been renovated with state-of-the-art studios, performance and exhibition spaces, to accommodate the specialized program offerings of: dance, theatre, music, visual art and television & radio.
Repertoire Dance Showcase, December 8, 2017
The early dance curriculum of ballet, modern & creative dance movement, was later expanded to include training in: Afro-Caribbean Dance through the Katherine Dunham Dance Technique, dance production and dance history. The dance departments extensive support of arts education programs for children in the Buffalo Public Schools gave it the distinction of being the first program of its kind in Western New York to offer dance training along with a full academic program for middle and high school-aged students. In addition, the Arts Academy Dance Program was one of the established dance education programs referenced as a training model in the development of the NYS Education Dept. Learning Standards in the Arts for Dance Education. From its inception, it has been the vision of the Dance Dept. to not only develop the student's technical dance training ability, but to also heighten awareness of the many facets of dance as both an art form and a profession. Through that effort over the years, the Dance Department has engaged its students in a variety of learning experiences which have included: guest artists residencies, interdisciplinary arts projects, international cultural exchanges, involvement in national conferences for dance students, summer dance training opportunities, dance internships, college networking and participation in college-level dance classes. In addition, the Dance Dept. has hosted numerous in-school performances and guest artists from a number of professional dance companies including: Dance Theatre of Harlem, Pilobolus, the Alvin Ailey Dance and Ailey II Repertory, Garth Fagan, Jóse Límón, Bill T. Jones, Dancemakers of Toronto, Bat Sheva of Israel, Les Ballet Africaine du Senegal, Forces of Nature, and Ballet Creole of Toronto. The Dance Dept. proudly offers the Alyce C. Beck Dance Scholarship to those students continuing on in dance. This scholarship was established as an endowment from the estate of the late Alyce C. Beck, the founding Supervisor of Dance for the Arts Academy program who help to inspire a number of innovative arts experiences for the dance students which still remain today. Graduates of the Arts Academy Dance Dept. have attended such colleges & universities as: Juilliard, Marymount Manhattan, NYU, Ryerson University of Toronto, Ohio State, Temple University, University of Michigan, New World School of the Arts, SUNY Brockport, Suny Fredonia, AMDA, Pointe Park, University of the Arts and SUNY Buffalo.