Since the dance curriculum was first introduced to the College in 2003, the year the girls first joined the College, interest in the dance programme has continued to grow for both girls and boys; an interest that is reflected in the large number of students who select dance as an examinable course of study and who audition for our Dance productions each year.
As a subject, Dance is one of the four separate Arts disciplines — Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts — that make up the ‘essential learning’ area of The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum. It is a curriculum requirement that all students in Year 7 take courses covering each of the disciplines meaning that both boys and girls at this age have a ‘taste’ of Dance as a future area of study. In Years 8 and 9, students are required to select two of the Arts disciplines for each year of study and thereafter, the Arts become part of a range of optional subjects for selection, leading to formal NZQA qualifications.
From its inception in 2003, there has been a strong growth in the number of both boys and girls selecting to study Dance at NCEA examination level. As part of the assessment for their course work, there is both a performance and a choreographic element at both NCEA Level 2 (Year 12) and Level 3 (Year 13). In the past few years, our dance students have met these objectives with the work they have undertaken preparing Stage Challenge and JRock. More recently, their energies have been poured into the College Dance Showcase that brought 146 Dancers to the stage in a selection of nine original choreographies prepared and presented by the students for their NCEA assessment. In addition, some of our drama (NCEA) and theatre arts (IB Diploma) students were involved with the technical and production aspects of the show.
Our dance students are fortunate to have a dedicated dance studio in which to work and rehearse. Hip hop, ballet, jazz, cultural performances and personal dance styles are all catered for and their shows are a joy to watch.