Lower and Middle School
The exciting and award-winning dance program at the LMS emphasizes the creative process, personal expression, and performance. Dance and expressive movement are integrated into the curriculum of the Lower and Middle School drama classes. In addition, students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades may choose to take a dance elective for their arts enrichment class. The 6th grade dance curriculum is "The World of Dance," in which students learn a variety of dance styles and rhythms from all around the globe including Samba, Hip-Hop, Tarantella, Improvisation, and Modern Dance. The 7th grade dance curriculum is "The World of Modern Dance," in which students learn and experience, through technique classes and choreography, the history of modern dance in America. And 8th grade dance students experience a more rigorous training in Modern Dance, Choreography, Improvisation, and Performance on their "World of Contemporary and Post-Modern Dance" curriculum. 8th graders also enjoy opportunities to perform with the HS dance troupe, Fata Morgana, and at off-campus performances as well as a regional dance festival.
The Dance program at the HS offers a diverse curriculum ranging from theater dance to ballet to modern dance. In each, students are introduced to choreographers who changed the shape of dance in that particular style. Along with technique, students learn dance history and research the roots of the different styles of dance. Frequent guest artists teach a wide variety of classes and professionals in pilates, floor barre, ballroom, and more, richly enhancing the High School dance students' experience. The student-run dance company, Fata Morgana provides an excellent opportunity for students to use their creativity and training to choreograph and perform.
Master Dance Classes
Each year, GDS brings a guest artist to the High School for a day of dance classes for Middle School and High School dancers, open to the public. Recent artists include Constance Walsh, Jeff Shade, Katherine Duke, Patricia Golden, Derek Mitchell, and Kershel Anthony.
Master Dance Classes at GDS are made possible by the Samuel J. Rosenfeld Family Master Dance Series Grant. Dance workshops are free for GDS students. Other students are welcome to attend for a small fee.
See the event calendar for upcoming Rosenfeld Dance Workshops.
Fata Morgana: High School Dance Troupe
Fata Morgana was founded in 1996 as a student-run and student-choreographed dance company at the GDS High School. The club is one of the largest at the High School, and it produces two concerts a year featuring student choreography and performances in a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, ballroom, belly dance, tap, Classical Indian, and Irish, working with HS dance teacher and choreographer Maria Watson. In addition, concerts have featured the work of notable guest choreographers including Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Patricia Golden, and Paul Gordon Emerson. In addition to producing concerts, Fata Morgana organizes other dance activities for the school including workshops, film events, field trips, and assemblies and represents GDS at the annual Washington Area Independent Schools Dance Education Association Festival.
GDS’s newest dance company, 4200 Dance, provides an outlet for technically-advanced dancers to train with HS director of dance Maria Watson and visiting choreographers in a professional setting. Currently, 4200 Dance members attend one class and one rehearsal each week, and the group performs at Fata Morgana concerts in the fall and spring semesters. The company is open to all grades and auditions are held every September.