Movin’ and Groovin’
Express yourself more freely, build confidence, and stimulate your mind while strengthening your body and exploring a mix of movement styles and choreography.
Dance I: Just Dance
Designed for any level dancer, students will gain a solid foundation and appreciation for the love of dance! Throughout the year we will study multiple styles including jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, hip hop, and even TikTok dances. The focus of the course will be on the development of a technical foundation, understanding rhythm and musicality, strength and flexibility, choreography retention, and most importantly how to have FUN while moving your body! Class structure will include a warm-up designed around proper body alignment, across the floor movement, and choreography sequences focusing on applying proper technique and artistry. Students will collaborate with others and create their own choreography. Enrolled students will be expected to perform and participate in the Dance Concert.
Dance II: Advanced Dance Technique and Performance
Building upon the foundations of Dance I, students will further develop their technique and dive deeper into dance as an art form. Styles of dance that will be studied include jazz, contemporary, world styles, musical theatre, ballet, and hip hop. Classes will include warming-up, stretching, movement sequences across the floor, and learning choreography. Students will build skills to develop their artistic expression through improvisation and creating and analyzing choreography. Enrolled students will be expected to perform and participate in the Dance Concert.
Prerequisites for this course include Dance I or permission from the teacher.
Dance III: Composition, Production, and Contemporary Forms
This year-long course is designed for students who have demonstrated an advanced level of dancing and are passionate about growing as an artist. Students will focus on furthering their technical abilities through multiple styles including, but not limited to, contemporary, jazz, ballet, modern, and hip hop. This course will also challenge students through complex movement sequences, varied performance qualities, dynamic energy shifts, and exposure to improvisational techniques. Choreography and learning how to compose an original piece of work will be a focus of the course, including how to properly stage, light, costume, and design a performance. Enrolled students will be expected to perform and participate in the Dance Concert.
Prerequisites for this course include Dance I or Dance II, and a placement application, which may include a video submission showcasing the student’s abilities as a dancer. This is only offered as a year-long course.
Hip Hop: Foundations History and Cultural History (FAX) (1S or 2S)
THIS IS PRIMARILY A 9TH GRADE CLASS AS IT IS PART OF THE A BLOCK FRESHMAN ARTS OPTION (FAX)
All levels welcome! In this semester-long course, students will learn different elements of hip hop including technique, movement, musical rhythm, tempo, and phrasing. The course will focus on the historical context required to develop the skills needed to practice and perform this popular dance form. Class structure will include warming-up, stretching, and learning choreography, with a focus on developing performance qualities. Students will be introduced to terminology, important historical events, people who contributed to hip hop, and its lasting impact on pop culture. Second-semester students will be given the opportunity to perform and/or participate in the Dance Concert.
There are three performing groups at Menlo: Knight Dancers (varsity), MidKnights (JV) and Knight Life (hip hop). All have auditions in early September and, except for Knight Life, dancers must be registered in Menlo dance classes. Knight Life performs at the Pep Rally, Valpo Bowl, and home football and basketball games. In the past, Knight Dancers have performed in San Francisco and at various corporate parties and events. All dancers perform in the annual Spring Dance Concert.
Jan Chandler began dancing at the age of three and has danced professionally throughout California. She attended Stanford and completed her education with a BS in design at San Jose State University. She has taught at Menlo School since 1982, starting the dance program with a handful of students; it has since grown into a thriving department. Jan has also choreographed the Menlo Benefit and the Drama Department’s musical productions each year. She encourages dance for the athlete as well as the beginning dancer.