Solebury School’s Art department, which includes a comprehensive Visual and Performing Arts program, as well as a Music program which is comprised of a chorus, jazz and instrumental ensemble, has expanded to include a Dance program, which is in its third year.
Under the skillful direction of Rebecca Summers, the program offers students the opportunity to explore dance that includes ballet, tap and jazz, musical theatre dance, choreography, and swing dance. In the introductory dance class, Dance Exploration, students learn a variety of dance styles and proper stretching techniques, including yoga and Pilates. Students will receive instruction in ballet, tap, and jazz techniques and review various American dance styles. Choreography class is intended for advanced dancers and gives them the chance to teach beginning dancers while developing dance pieces for both beginners and also intermediate dancers. Master classes are also held with professional artists from New York City.
A more advanced Musical Theatre Dance Styles class focuses on Broadway choreographers, such as Bob Fosse, Gower Champion and Twyla Tharp, as well as some original Broadway choreography. To further expand the dance experience, a Swing Dance class introduces students to the art of dancing with a partner along with ariel tricks to the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. The Swing Dance class is one of the most popular classes at Solebury - for both boys and girls!
The class will also study American History during this era. In addition to regular classes that meet during lab block, (12:55 - 2:15 p.m.), there is now a dance team, which is an afterschool activity. The hip-hop based dance team entertains at half-time during boys and girls basketball games. Team members are encouraged to design their own choreography to perform. Rebecca, a veteran high school and professional theatre director, producer and choreographer, is excited to work with such talented students at Solebury.
There are so many opportunities for them to dance outside of class. These include coffee house, trimester music concerts, the school’s winter musical, basketball games and weekly school assemblies. The program keeps growing with both boys and girls participating and the new dance studio in the John D. Brown Athletic Center is always hopping! Stop by and bring your dancing shoes.
Rebecca also coaches the dance and musical theater students as they get ready for their college auditions and summer program auditions. For the past two summers, she directed the Solebury Summer Musical Theater Camp.