Mt. Hebron Dance started as a small program with only a couple of dance classes held in the back gym. There were no barres, no mirrors, no studio and only two boxes of costumes. Eventually portable barres were purchased and our supervisor, at the time, equipped us with portable mirrors. As the program grew, two classrooms were converted into a dance studio/wrestling room space. The space (seen above) had a raised wood floor and marley floor which was purchased by our new Supervisor. During this time we began to expand our programming and implemented the Student Choreographers' Showcase which featured the Dance Company and Jr. Company choreographic works. The studio provided an intimate space for this performance and quickly became one of our signature events.
In addition to the studio space and performances, the dance companies began to tour as a result of an acceptance by audition to perform in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Disney World continues to be an amazing venue for students to experience and perform. The Disney Dancin' Workshop, which is nationally recognized and corresponds with the National Arts Standards, is another example of an arts extension opportunity. The tour continued to develop on a rotating basis between Disney World, New York City and Hawaii providing once in a lifetime experiences in performances and workshops.
The Artist-in-Residence program quickly became a favorite of students with opportunities to take master classes and learn choreographic works by professional dance artists that work in the industry. Guest artists have traveled from all over the United States to work with Mt. Hebron students including New York City, Los Angeles and Honolulu. Our master teachers are from universities, arts organizations, well-known professional dance companies, Hollywood entertainment industry, and Cirque du Soleil.
In 2009, Mt. Hebron High School went under another renovation which relocated the dance studio to the Fine Arts wing and in closer proximity to the auditorium. The new studio was built with boys and girls dressing areas, a raised wood floor, installed mirrors and barres. The location of the studio has provided more opportunities to access the performance space in the auditorium and work cross-curricular with other fine arts disciplines. Today the Mt. Hebron Dance Program is full time and is comprised of six levels of dance including the performing companies, an internship program and G/T level courses.
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