The USN Department of Dance nurtures students through movement by fostering their creativity and by igniting their minds. Recognizing that men, women, and children have danced throughout time to reveal the past, to celebrate the future, to instruct, to heal and to communicate, we help students develop and express purposeful and powerful movement and stage presence through dance.
A unique aspect of USN High School Dance is the collaborative nature between students and faculty. All classes consist of both composition based instruction and pure dance technique. Starting in Level I, dancers are taught in the technical styles of ballet, jazz, and modern, in addition to trying their hand at musical theater, hip hop, contemporary, and traditional dances from around the world. Along with learning these technical skills, the students are allowed to explore the world of choreography. This might start as a small composition exercise in class or a work in progress during a showcase and could eventually come to fruition in the USN Spring Dance Concert.
The dance program consists of students who are new to dance entirely, who may have danced in their youths and want to give it a try again, and who are being professionally trained outside of our program. The real magic of the concert is seeing these dancers come together and combine their skill levels through camaraderie and artistic expression. Though the performance is exciting and fun for the students, the real heart of the USN High School Dance Program is in the process.
The program has been lucky enough to have former USN dancers return to guest teach, set choreography, and collaborate with current students. The overwhelming opinion amongst those alumni is that through taking risks both big and small and honing their choreographic skills, they developed a greater appreciation for all of the worth in the choreographic process. Any student with an interest in dance or the arts is welcome to the program.