This year, we launched our new dance program. Now, in addition to to experiencing dance as part of the upper and middle school musicals, students can participate in dance as a stand-alone Afternoon Activity. So, how’s it all going so far? Vlad Derisier – teacher and choreographer – gives us a quick update.
Tell us a little about the first half of the year.
The dance program has been going great! It’s a chance to connect with students at all dance levels – from those who have never taken a formal dance class to those who have years of experience – and bring them awareness of different genres and concepts. As the term winds down, I wish I had more time with the students to create and explore!
What excites you most about the program?
What really drives me with this program is finding students who feel like they aren’t dancers in the traditional sense or who think they aren’t “good enough” dancers – and helping them see how much ability they have and their potential to grow.
My aim is to help all students, regardless of their experience level, find a sense of confidence in their abilities and challenge them to push past what they think they are capable of doing when it comes to dance. It’s the challenge of helping students find their inner spark and getting them to shine.
What’s next for the program?
Over time, I’d love to incorporate more dance outside of the studio – going to see live performances and attending dance workshops. For example, this term, students took a Haitian Folklore class at the Cambridge Dance Complex. I’d love to create more opportunities like that, and I would also like to get them comfortable with the idea of performing in front of an audience.