Northwood School’s dance program is offered through our partnership with The Dance Sanctuary and provides options and opportunities for students of all abilities. Whether you join our community as an experienced dancer with multiple years of advanced training or you start your dance journey at Northwood, our program can support your interest, passion, growth, and development as a dancer.
Our co-curricular dance program features performance-based offerings for students of all abilities, and we also offer multiple dance-focused courses as part of our academic curriculum. Courses vary each semester but typically delve into topics such as The History of Dance, Dance Technique and Improvisation, The Art of Dance, Ballet and Jazz Technique, Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology, Social Dance Through the Decades, The Choreographic Process, Modern, Tap, Dance Theater, and more.
Co-Curricular Dance Offerings
Dance companies' repertoires have become increasingly varied through the years, and student-dancers who aspire to pursue dancing at the collegiate or professional level need to study as many different forms of dance as possible. To prepare these students for the future, we offer the following co-curricular dance opportunities:
- Ballet (Beginner to Advanced)
- Jazz (Beginner to Advanced)
- Contemporary (Beginner to Advanced)
- Tap (Beginner to Advanced)
- Hip-Hop (Beginner to Advanced)
- Dance for Athletes
We also encourage students who dance for fun to explore our co-curricular dance offerings. Participating in co-curricular activities helps students hone their time management skills, improve social skills, and learn how to work through commitments. Our dance courses also help students build resilience, foster physical fitness, and develop their self-esteem.
The Dance Sanctuary
Located 15 minutes from the Northwood School campus, the Dance Sanctuary in Saranac Lake offers our students access to dance classes and workshops and the chance to participate in performances. Our relationship with the Dance Sanctuary provides the dancers in our student body with experiences they traditionally would not be able to get from a boarding school of this size.
The Dance Sanctuary hosts courses for our students as well as for people of all ages from the community, and they include ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and more. The instructors leverage an uplifting motivational pedagogical style to train students in critical dance techniques as well as choreography and kinesiology. They focus on helping students learn the proper dance techniques, while also keeping their love for dance intact through the training.
At Northwood School, we see the Adirondack region as an extension of our school's campus, and the Dance Sanctuary along with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts allows us to offer an enhanced visual and performing arts experience to all of our students. The founders of the Dance Sanctuary, Mandi Maiore and Vanessa Pillen, are committed to instilling the skills and technique of dance as an art form in their students, and they have been offering courses to the community since 2016.
The Dance Company
The Dance Company is an audition-entry program designed for students seeking an intensive, multi-discipline dance experience. Students in the Dance Company enjoy our full menu of performance-based co-curricular offerings in the fall and spring, and they also receive extended rehearsal and training throughout the course of the year.
During the winter academic term following Thanksgiving and running to spring vacation, our Company has two to three hours of additional rehearsal/training time with our program directors four times a week. In addition to providing students the opportunity to gain experience in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop and other disciplines, the Dance Company provides students an opportunity to gain a better understanding of more advanced dance components such as choreography and strength training for dance.
Students of the Company may also be required to take one or more of the dance-focused courses as part of their academic course load. The Dance Company is designed for those students seeking a high-level dance experience while at Northwood and/or for those who have the desire and ability to pursue dance at the collegiate level or beyond.
Academic Dance Offerings
Dance-based courses are offered each term as part of an academic program. These courses meet with the same frequency and are graded in the same manner as all other academic courses, and they are open to all students, whether or not they are part of one of the performance-based dance offerings. The academic department overseeing each course is determined by the area of study and curriculum for each course.
Benefits of Dance for Student Athletes
At Northwood School, we are committed to helping our students pursue their passions, regardless of whether they are in the science lab or on the ski slopes, in business or in the arts, at home or around the world, or in any other arena. We want our students to thrive in their chosen niche, while also having the opportunity to explore other areas.
With this in mind, our dance program is designed to support our dance-focused students, but it also offers a host of benefits to student-athletes from other sports. The agility training in our dance programming benefits ski racers, hockey players, soccer players, and the rest of our student-athletes. By exploring fundamental dance concepts, student-athletes improve their flexibility, agility, and core strength.
Dance Program at a New England Boarding School
We have infused dance into our school schedule, and we allow our students to simultaneously layer dance and academics as they push themselves to higher limits in both areas. At Northwood School, we provide our students with the opportunities they need to thrive in the future, but we also help them engage and enjoy their lives in the present.
Our dance program is designed to foster a love and appreciation of dance for both students who are serious dancers and those who are just experimenting with the discipline. We would love to talk more with you about the benefits of dance at our New England boarding school. To learn more or to set up a virtual or in-person tour of the Northwood School campus, contact us today.