• Crossroads

Explore Our Curriculum

US Dance

With a faculty and guest artist roster of professional dancers, teachers, choreographers, and directors, the dance program is premised on guiding students towards developing dance artistry by building a solid technical foundation, adding dimension to performance/choreographic skills,  broadening knowledge of dance history, heritage and culture and creating mature dance artists with deeper connections to the power of dance as a means of self-expression and a vehicle for communicating ideas, inspirations and personal points of view. Students entering the dance program should be prepared to explore dance techniques and styles that may be new to them, and to embrace various ideas and approaches to the technical and performance aspects of dance that will in turn augment, enrich and build upon their previous or concurrent dance training. The program also prepares and motivates those with talent and interest towards university dance majors and/or career directions in dance and related areas including professional performance, education and dance therapy.
 
The curriculum includes a sequential programming of courses (Dance 1-5) with an integrated focus on Jazz Dance and Contemporary Dance. Classes incorporate foundational elements of classical ballet, along with essential technical and stylistic components, history and explorations of jazz dance techniques including: Luigi, Matt Mattox, and Jack Cole; and modern dance techniques including: Graham, Horton, Cunningham, and Release. Performance opportunities include: Student Choreography Showcase, Spring Dance Concert, Holiday Concert, Sports Extravaganza, community outreach events, and others.
 
Dance classes are available to all UpperSchool students, although enrollment in intermediate and advanced levels requires permission of the instructor.  Class size is limited to ensure individual attention.  Students are expected to dress in proper dance attire, including appropriate footwear. As it is a physical discipline and a performing art, credit for a dance class maybe used for either second year of Physical Educations (1-year) or arts (two years). Levels offered each semester will depend upon enrollment, and every class listed may not be offered each semester.
  • Dance 1 and 2

    Dance 1/2, 1-year art credit.
    Introduction to ballet, contemporary dance, jazz and musical theater dance, and the elements of choreography. This dance overview course grounds students in fundamental dance technique, performance and choreographic skills. Class instruction is augmented with the viewing of dance videos and live performances, along with dance literature readings.  Ideal for dancers and actors, this class builds a foundation of basic ballet and advanced beginning to intermediate level jazz dance and contemporary technique, with particular emphasis on: body awareness (correct alignment, placement, and posture), motor skills (walking, running, jumping/leaping, and turning), rhythm and musicality, stage presence, strength building, stretching and muscle development. Barré work, center floor exercises and across the floor movements are covered. Students learn short dance combinations and longer choreography. Students acquire a working knowledge of standard dance terminology and dance class etiquette and are exposed to dance theory and history. Individual creative expression is encouraged and incorporated into class, and master classes with guest teachers and choreographers add to the experience. Students participate in the Choreography Showcase and Spring Dance Concert. May be taken twice.
     
  • Dance 3 and 4

    Dance 3/4, 1-year art credit, prerequisite: Dance 1/2 or consent of instructor.
    Intermediate jazz dance, contemporary dance, performance and choreography, dance history and heritage, and aesthetic valuing. This is an intermediate level course recommended for students interested in furthering their understanding and expertise in dance. With one semester of jazz dance and one semester of contemporary dance, students continue to focus on building technique and developing strength, enhancing performance qualities, discovering individual style and personal sense of creative expression, honing choreographic skills, expanding dance terminology, and developing a physiologically sound approach to movement. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves, and a willingness to take greater risks with their dancing is expected.  Elements of choreography are further explored as students create short dance studies and full choreographies and are mentored through the choreographic process. Dance videos, literature, and viewing live performances augment the class instruction, while master classes with guest teachers and choreographers add to the experience. Students participate in the Choreography Showcase, Spring Dance Concert and other dance events both on and off campus. May be taken twice.
  • Dance 5 and 6

    Dance 5/6, 1-year art credit, prerequisite: Dance 3/4 and consent of instructor.
    Advanced jazz dance, contemporary dance, performance and choreography, dance history and heritage, aesthetic valuing. This is an advanced level course with one semester of jazz dance and one semester of contemporary dance, focusing on dance technique and artistry; the continued incorporation of dance videos, literature and viewing live performances; and the expansion of physiological and kinesiological principles. Students undertake more challenging technical exercises, combinations, and complex phrases. Dancers are expected to create original dances with conscious use of all aspects of the craft and with clear motivation and intent.  Focused discussion of observed dance performances, styles, and the student's own dance experiences, continues the development of performance skills, individual sense of creative expression and personal point of view. Master classes with guest teachers and choreographers add to the experience. Students participate in the Choreography Showcase, Spring Dance Concert and other dance events, both on and off campus. Recommended for those interested in performing with the Dance Company. May be taken more than twice.
  • Dance Company

    Dance Company, 1-year art credit or second year P.E. credit, by audition only. Students must also be concurrently enrolled in a technique dance class at Crossroads or a private studio.
    Intermediate and advanced dancers ready to make a serious commitment to their development as performers and choreographers are encouraged to audition for Dance Company.  Selections are made on the basis of technical skills, experience, performance readiness, and degree of dedication.  Company class/rehearsal is held from 3:15 – 5:00 pm twice weekly.  Focus is placed on ensemble effort, the expansion of choreographic and performance skills, working with a variety of guest choreographers, and the creation of a diverse repertoire.  Dancers also work towards further melding their unique experiences, years of technique building, and personal point of view into a distinctive sense of creative expression. In addition to the Choreography Showcase and Spring Dance Concert, Dance Company performs several times during the school year, both on and off-campus. Minimum attendance requirements must be met to receive course credit.

Our Faculty

Middle and Upper School: 21st Street Campus | 1714 21st St., Santa Monica, CA 90404 | Phone: (310) 829-7391
Elementary School: Norton Campus | 1715 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404 | Phone: (310) 828-1196
Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences provides a unique K-12 program built on a progressive, developmental model of education.