Every student studies dance in the lower school and again in eighth grade. In the lower school, dance is taught through a system developed by Rudolph Laban. Instead of only learning steps, students learn to move through exploring the different elements of movement: space, timing and rhythm, effort, and flow. These are taught in grades K-3 through improvisational exercises and dramatic play. As students grow older, they participate in more involved choreography. In eighth grade, the dance program culminates in a performance in which all students perform individual or small group pieces that they have choreographed, and a large group piece which is choreographed for them.
Glen Urquhart’s 6th grade drama program is unique is that it links the elements of dance and drama. It allows students to initially see the commonality between the two art forms and use what they have learned in dance to develop their drama skills, which include characterization, projection, and diction. Developing confidence, keeping the imagination alive, and helping students to take risks in a safe, non-performance oriented environment are all vital parts of the curriculum. In addition, students are given the benefit of learning how to direct their own work when working on scripts. Shakespeare and poetry are often included and coordinated with the language arts department.
At the present time the 8th graders are rehearsing for their dance presentation in late January. Here are some pictures taken at one of their recent rehearsals.