Creativity and individuality as well as precise technical skills are the focus of the dance curriculum at CASA. Emphasis is placed on modern dance due to its expressive nature, classical ballet for its discipline and structure, and classical jazz techniques to achieve a well-rounded experience. Cultural forms are also introduced through guest artists. Harrisburg Area Community College partners with the CASA dance program by providing master classes, workshops, and mentoring opportunities through the Performing Artists Series of the college. The academic thrust of the program is based on the study of dance history, technique theory, and health awareness. Choreography and performance production is explored both through academic study and active participation in the creation of original dance compositions and formal performance. Resume, portfolio development, and audition preparation focus on each student’s future aspirations.
Upperclassmen Dance students begin the process of assisting with the development of the End of Year Performance titled, CASALive!, starting the first week of school. Every Wednesday, students from all programs work together in the Integrated Arts curriculum. Six various art disciplines: dance, theatre, music, film and video, visual art and creative writing, collaborate to discover a theme, and develop the end of year program while cultivating an appreciation for the various art disciplines. During the course of a 9-month period, students break into small groups consisting of various arts disciplines to discuss and create scenes that later develop into fully realized components of the performance. Each class is asked to embellish scenes, using dialogue, music, prop suggestions, movement, and film interpretation as related to the chosen theme and thesis. The result? An artistic rendering of a theme more closely related to performance art than a high school musical or narrative play. More importantly, students learn the art of working together ---all the highs and lows of collaboration that accumulates into an original, crowd-pleasing performance for the community to enjoy.
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