This time of year – if you are a student of SCCDT, you are getting ready for the annual “check up” in dance. Just like in school, we give a dance test on technique, musicality and performance quality for our dancers, teachers and the studio as a whole. Our yearly assessments help us to raise technique levels, and make us aware of things we are doing well, and things we need to work on. This year, we are going to be assessing all of our dancers in all genres – ballet, jazz and tap. We are using set routines and exercises from the International Dance Acclaim and the Adapt syllabus. Both of these organizations have international standards and allow us to provide a wonderful “stepping stone” approach to technique. Allowing dancers to work on perfecting steps and patterns which are age and level appropriate.
Since the first day of classes the faculty have been keeping our assessments in mind as they plan their lessons and choreography. Each level in our school has a specific set of exercises that need to be mastered before a student progresses to the next level. Each level has at least 2 exercises that they will be asked to dance in duets or trios, and 1 dance that is presented as a solo. Even our dancers who are 5 and 6 years old have a solo dance to perform for us, giving all of our dancers a sense of accomplishment. There is an awareness that comes when a dancer realizes that they need to learn a dance to do alone, rather than as a group. It helps them to take ownership of their dancing, and work toward improvement.
This is the time of year, that planning for summer, and next school year begins. So, we have some parents asking… “What level will my dancer be in next year?” That is exactly the question we begin to ask after we see our students in their assessments. So, we don’t know the answer to the question of levels for 2017-2018 yet, but we will make our recommendations known at the end of this school year.
Dance is a performing art – it isn’t just about technique. Not only do we remember steps, execute them with the correct musicality and technique, we are also asked to show emotion through our movement. A dancer who can dance from their heart, is so beautiful to watch!! And, as Christians, we definitely have something to dance about!!
Here’s a video of the wonderful International Dance Acclaim program. This year we will not have a visiting judge come to see our work, as our calendar year is too packed with an earlier Spring performance this year. But, we are still teaching this great material in our classrooms. We love IDA! The program has really been a boost to increasing the quality of our dancing.
And this year we are beginning to use the Adapt syllabus in our Jazz and Tap classes. Another great program to push our dancers to even more than just great dancing.