What’s Been Happening in Dance?
Year 6: Dance
The Year 6 Dance program has two contrasting parts. In Term 1 the girls physically explored the graphic novel ‘The Arrival’ by Shaun Tan. This program outlines the creative process and develops character and atmosphere. In Term 2 the girls enjoyed learning specific hip hop grooves and then using these to make short dances. The Year 6 dance students have improved their musicality and spatial awareness and have had a lot of fun in the process.
Year 7: Dance
In Year 7 Dance, the students have been working in small groups choreographing a dance performance inspired by the elements of dance. At the start of the term, students participated in various practical workshops that explored the four elements of dance: body, energy, space, and time (BEST). Students were tasked with creating choreography before choosing a song, with a focus on technique and creativity. They then had to find a song to suit their moves. This proved to be a fun part of the process as students tested various songs before they finalised their choice. Some of the choices included songs by Britney Spears, Pitbull, and One Republic. The dancers then extended their choreography and added moves to suit the lyrics of the song. The performance day was filled with a lot of energy, encouragement, and creative moves!
We asked Year 7 student Rutendo Ngoma, how she found the experience:
I really loved working on the BEST performances in Dance this term! My favourite part was working with my peers on our own choreography. Last term we worked on a Bollywood Dance that Miss Hunt taught us, which I loved. But I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with my peers on our own choreography. I also really enjoyed the process of choosing our own music to suit our dance moves.
Year 7: Dance Collective
The Year 7 Dance Collective is a new initiative for 2022. The girls met at 7.00 am every Friday morning in Term 2 to learn a wonderful dance piece choreographed by Year 12 Dance students, Abbey Sullivan and Olivia Taliangis. This co-curricular, which is open to all Year 7s, has allowed girls to make new friends and develop their fitness, dance technique and confidence. We are really looking forward to their first performance on Girls4Girls Day next week!
Year 8: Stimulus Project Light-Dark
Year 8 Dance students have been working in small groups to devise their own choreography based on a range of stimuli. All groups were given the same starting point Light-Dark and explored stimuli including images, text, sound, and props. This task required teamwork and lots of creativity. The finished pieces were incredibly varied with the exploration of nightmares to fantasy forests and even a ticking time bomb. They used a wide variety of music to express their ideas and enjoyed performing for their classmates.
Year 9 Dance technique and performance
One Year 9 Dance class has created a new work titled ‘Tantrum’. This theme has given dancers the opportunity to explore their use of emotion in the performance. Dancers were asked to contribute stories and words about their own connection to the word tantrum. One of the tasks they were given was to move from one side of the room to the other, dancing to the following word cues: shake, explode on the spot, run, jump, turn, splat. As young women in the world, this theme has opened a conversation about distress thresholds, heightened emotion, and deep feelings.
Year 10: The Fusion Project
In this class, we have been exploring how two art forms can merge to create one piece. Many cutting-edge choreographers and companies today are collaborating with artists from other disciplines. These art forms can include art, fashion, robotics, circus, film, martial arts, photography, and wearable art to name a few.
During class, we researched a choreographer that combines dance with one of these art forms, following this we made a presentation to share with our peers. The practical element of this task was creating our very own fusion piece. Many groups used multimedia with projections, narration, and props to enhance their dance.
Rebecca Pavey, Year 10.
Year 11: Group Choreography
The Year 11 dancers have been busy creating group choreography for one part of their ATAR Dance assessment. In each class they improvise, experiment, collaborate and refine their movement to communicate a theme or story. The dancers use advanced choreographic tools and performance skills to bring their ideas to life. After performance the dancers listen to feedback from their peers and teachers and then reflect on their work to further develop it for the next performance.
Year 12: Commercial Dance
Over the last fortnight, our class has had the privilege of working with professional choreographer Janelle Vaccaro, director of The Arthaus Group. With over 30 years of experience in the arts and entertainment industries, Janelle Vaccaro has worked with international artists, elite talent, and many brands.
The opportunity to learn challenging new movements has further extended our skills and has been a welcome break from the pressure of recent exams. We have participated in six commercial dance workshops, creating hip-hop, and Latin fusion pieces, which has allowed us to explore new techniques and performance skills. We are excited to present this dance work at the annual dance showcase in July.
Olivia Taliangis, Performing Arts Captain
IGSSA Dance is a popular co-curricular at Santa Maria College. Dancers audition for either Junior IGSSA, for dancers in Years 8 and 9, or Senior IGSSA, for dancers in Years 10 to 12. A dance piece is created for both groups and performed at the IGSSA Dance Festival. This year the festival occurs on 26 August at St Mary’s and includes items from all IGSSA schools. Currently, our costume designer Louise Arcus is designing and sourcing costumes for the two groups. Here is Year 9 student Margaux Parsons, being fitted for her Junior IGSSA costume.
If your daughter is interested in finding out more about what is on offer at the College in Dance, she can get in touch with Jessica Wynn, Head of Dance & Drama.