Our dancers have gone on to study with Alvin Ailey, Backhausdance, the Kirov Academy, Joffrey New York, Boston Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet), The Rock School, and Nutmeg Conservatory. Many have gone on to perform commercially with Disney, on cruise lines, and Broadway, as well as performing artistically with professional companies such as Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance, MashUp Contemporary Dance, American Repertory Ballet, RhetOracle Dance Company, Colorado Ballet, and Fort Wayne Ballet. Our dancers have competed at Youth America Grand Prix, CADTD, and ASH Dance Convention and regularly perform in and around the community.
Students from our Santa Susana Dance Program have furthered their artistic education by pursuing dance degrees from such colleges and universities as Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, UCLA, AMDA, UCSB, CSULB, Chapman University, CSUN, UCR, and Point Park. Our alumni currently work in the dance industry as performers, dance teachers, choreographers, lighting designers, costumers, and physical therapists specializing in dance rehabilitation.
Certificates are offered to students who complete the coursework for an academy emphasis in Dance. Students who complete the certification program will leave with a comprehensive understanding of the different genres of dance and how they inform the industry. Students will create a comprehensive digital portfolio showcasing their time at Santa Su comprised of photos, resume, headshot, and video clips of choreographed works and performances. The program is currently comprised of eleven different courses consisting of two levels of Ballet, three levels of Jazz, three levels of Tap, Pointe, Modern and Composition, Dance Ensemble and ROP Choreography.
Dance Ensemble (ROP Choreography) (10 Units)
As the Capstone Course, and the most selective performance group at Santa Su, Dance Ensemble places an emphasis in versatility, performance quality, and professionalism. Students perform in a variety of venues throughout the year, consisting of artistic showcases, competitions, and community events. Our dancers are featured in two large performances each winter and spring in our beautiful Performing Arts Center, our high-energy Dancing With The Santa Su Stars fundraiser in January, and an upper level showcase in the Black Box. Our dancers work with four different artists-in-residence each year preparing site specific works for either our Performing Arts Center, our Black Box, or for Competition. They also work with working professionals who set works on them in a single day, enabling them to be exposed to multiple choreographic styles and to leave Santa Su with a deep dance knowledge, a rich resume, and an understanding of dance industry standards. Dance Ensemble/ROP Choreography dancers all complete an internship within the community where they direct and produce small performances at community venues. Our dancers learn leadership, organization, and communication skills as well as real world experience through their internships.
ROP Choreography (Honors) (10 Units)
This is the small select group of dancers within ROP Choreography, consisting of second year ROP Choreography students who have also taken Modern/Composition. In addition to working with artists-in-residence, dancers in this class work on authentic learning projects like resume refinement, a pedagogy unit, exploration into the dance retail industry, the development of personal branding, and a community choreography project. These are projects that enable our artists to leave high school with many tools to augment their digital portfolios to take with them into the real world of college and career.
Modern and Composition (10 Units)
This upper level class requires the dancer to have had at least two technique classes here at Santa Su. Dancers study primarily Humphrey-Limon breath-based release technique, with additional references to Graham and Horton techniques, learning to articulate the spine, release into gravity, suspend, and recover. Second semester we explore composition techniques, focusing on concepts of space, time, energy, direction, level, symmetry/asymmetry, and stage directions through a series of smaller and larger group studies. For a culminating project students choreography their class piece, deciding on a concept, choosing the music on composing it, designing costumes, and creating the movement.
Ballet I (10 Units)
Ballet I introduces the student to the fundamentals of classical ballet technique. Students will gain a basic understanding/awareness of human anatomy, ballet terminology, and proper body alignment. Barre and center work will provide the foundation for proper ballet technique, increased flexibility, strength, coordination, and control. Students will perform in a faculty piece both semesters, and will work in small student choreography groups for second semester.
Ballet II (10 Units)
Ballet II furthers the student’s understanding of ballet technique, focusing on perfecting placement, refining line, cleaning beginning technique, and will introduce more intermediate and advanced ballet technique, steps, concepts, and vocabulary. More emphasis will be placed on integrating individual steps into seamless, more organic phrases with focus on increasing expression and enhancing performance quality. This course will include performance in a faculty piece in the spring as well as small student choreography works both semester.
Pointe (10 Units)
Pointe introduces beginning and intermediate pointe technique and further the student’s understanding of ballet technique, focusing on perfecting placement, refining line, cleaning technique, and will introduce more intermediate and advanced technique, steps, concepts, and vocabulary. More emphasis will be placed on integrating pointe technique with student’s knowledge of ballet technique into seamless, more organic phrases with focus on increasing expression and enhancing performance quality. Pointe students will perform in a faculty piece in the spring as well as small student group choreography pieces both semesters. A detailed discussion of proper pointe shoe fit as well as specific shoes complementing specific body types and feet will occur prior to having students purchase pointe shoes. This will insure cost effectiveness of your pointe shoe purchase.
Jazz I (10 Units)
Jazz I serves as an introduction to the fundamentals of jazz and develops basic skills in modern jazz technique. Emphasis is placed on the basic compositional elements of jazz and principles of choreography. Exercises help to increase flexibility, strengthen muscles and develop motor coordination and control. Style, form, rhythm and movement are explored and developed which leads to an understanding and appreciation of jazz as a visual art form.
Jazz II (10 Units)
Jazz II expands on jazz dance technique, introducing aerodynamic jumps and turns and more complex choreography. It emphasizes the necessary skills to further the development of motor coordination, jazz techniques, intermediate to advanced levels of choreography and more advanced rhythm structures. It promotes freedom of creative expression and further expands historical awareness.
Jazz III (10 Units)
This is a high level dance course that prepares students for productions on campus. This course is for the experienced jazz dance student to focus on enhancing jazz dance technique, performance, and personal style. Students will study and perform various styles within the genre of jazz dance including but not limited to classic jazz, funk, contemporary/lyrical, and musical theatre dance. Students will be exposed to various choreographic elements and methods for use in preparing dance pieces for public performance, and they will utilize them for the creation of their own dance works. Using technical knowledge gained in this and previous courses, students will develop their own aesthetic opinions and be able to critique their own dance works as well as those of their peers and professionals. Emphasis will be placed on dance technique,rhythm, staging, costuming, and technical elements for dance performance.
Tap I (10 Units)
Tap I develops fundamental skills in tap technique. Emphasis is placed on the basic compositional elements of tap and principles of choreography. Knowledge gained from exploring rhythm, rhythmic structures, style and technique leads to an understanding and appreciation of tap as an art form.
Tap II (10 Units)
Tap II expands on tap dancing techniques, introducing irregular and syncopated rhythms. It emphasizes necessary skills to further the development of motor coordination, tap techniques, intermediate to advanced levels of choreography and more advanced rhythm structures. It promotes freedom of creative expression and further expands historical awareness.
Recognition - 40 Units
Honors - 50 Units
High Honors - 60 Units
Must take any ROP Choreography capstone class and complete a senior project.
Courses and Course #’s
Ballet I (10 units)(Y) - #HF2027/#HF2028
Ballet 2 (10 units)(Y) - #HF2029/#HF2030
Pointe (10 units)(Y) - #HF2037/#HF2038
Jazz 1 (10 units)(Y) - #HF2031/#HF2032
Jazz 2 (10 units)(Y) - #HF2033/#HF2034
Jazz 3 (10 units)(Y) -
Tap 1 (10 units)(Y) #HF2039/#HF2040
Tap 2 (10 units)(Y) #HF2041/#HF2042
Dance Collective (10 units)(Y) - #HF2043/#HF2044
Capstone Course (ROP Choreography) Modern & Composition (10 units)(Y) - #HR0167/#HR0168
40 units minimum needed to certify in Dance.
Dance Department website.
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Santa Susana High School
3570 E. Cochran St.
Simi Valley, CA 93063