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Dance Department

The Sayles School of Fine Arts is one of the few schools statewide to offer a comprehensive dance curriculum to our students. Each course is formatted to combine daily physical technique classes while covering a broad range of written curriculum; including choreographic elements, vocabulary, key movement concepts, and historical content. Our course of study provides students the opportunity to satisfy the Fine Arts graduation credit mandated by the New York State Department of Education. In addition to our program offerings, eleventh and twelfth grade students may fulfill their physical education requirements through participation in any of our dance courses.

Daily technique courses offered at the Sayles School of Fine Arts include ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop/world dance, and Afro-Brazilian dance. Students may also take Introduction to Dance, which is a course that combines the studies of ballet, tap, jazz, African dance, as well as dance composition. Dance Connection, our performance ensemble, is open to students who are recommended by a dance teacher and have attended the audition held in the Spring. The course of study includes technique, choreography, performance, anatomy, careers in dance and other topics related to the world of dance.

Each year the Dance department produces two full scale student performances, the Winter Dance Performance in December and Project Dance in May. All students are invited and encouraged participate in our community performances as part of each course requirement. Dancers also annually participate along with our marching band in the Schenectady Gazette’s Holiday parade. Our dancers have also traveled to and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., representing the Schenectady City School District as well as the Sayles School of Fine Arts. The dance program welcomes students of all abilities, students with limited dance experience as well as those that have studied dance extensively. The dance faculty differentiates instruction to challenge the abilities of all students in every class.

Each year the dance department welcomes professional teaching artists into the studio to lead our students in master classes. Past guests include Dance Theatre of Harlem, Rennie Harris PureMovement, American Dance Legacy Initiative, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Ted Levy, Indian Dance and Music school of Latham, and Step Afrika!.

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