Department Philosophy & Goals
Dance uses movement to communicate meaning. It is the physical expression of values, thoughts, feelings and aspirations of individuals, and is a reflection of the world in which we live.
Education in the art of dance develops the knowledge and skills required to create, perform, and understand movement as a means of communication. Dance education engages the processes of creating, performing and critical analysis developing the student’s ability to interpret symbol systems, use critical thinking skills, communicate and exchange ideas and work collaboratively with others. Dance education is largely kinesthetic in nature, engaging the whole person and allowing a student to immediately demonstrate (and reinforce) their learning and understanding.
At DSHA we embrace dance as a powerful tool for developing life skills in young women which are physical, emotional, cognitive and social in nature. Our goals are to enhance:
Physical Development: Dance students will increase their understanding and awareness of their bodies and of their bodies’ potential; improving their postures and increasing their flexibility, stamina, strength and range of motion.
Emotional Maturity: Dance students will express their ideas and emotions and become aware of themselves and others through creative and structured movement. Students will learn to appreciate their bodies, to treat them with respect and to celebrate their potential.
Cognitive Development: Students engage in activities that require movement memory, problem solving through movement and immediate and fluid mind/body communication. Students learn to analyze, interpret and utilize dance as a symbolic language and are given the opportunity to immediately demonstrate their understanding.
Social Awareness: Dance students move together in space, learning and experiencing movement material as a part of an interacting, collaborating group. Students learn to communicate and work toward a common goal within a group dynamic, developing an understanding of themselves in relation to others.