Dance class is the unique space at Allen-Stevenson where physical activity combines with artistic expression. The curriculum is rigorous, yet enjoyable, incorporating everything from flexibility exercises and core training to dance vocabulary, games and combinations. An Allen-Stevenson gentleman will emerge from the dance program as a well-rounded athlete with a strong knowledge of dance fundamentals.
In the Lower School, dance class focuses mainly on sustaining freedom of movement and finding a sense of rhythm. Throughout First and Second Grade we concentrate on maintaining flexibility through stretching, finding the beat, and learning the '8' count. When the boys enter Third Grade they are ready to start building on the '8' count by learning basic choreographed combinations.
In the Middle School, an A-S boy begins what is considered "formal" dance training. Basic ballet technique is introduced throughout the warm up in an effort to develop hip flexibility and ankle strength. Each student is expected to master across the floor traveling combinations in hopes of increasing balance and coordination. Memorization skills and stamina are put to the test in our weekly combinations, and by Fifth Grade the boys are beginning to choreograph their own dance pieces. If a fifth or sixth grade boy discovers he has a passion for dance and wants to pursue this love further, he can audition for the Allen-Stevenson Dance Company (A.S.D.C.).
The A.S.D.C. was created in 2009 as a way for enthusiastic young artists to pursue additional dance classes outside of the allotted curriculum hours. This humble idea flourished into a dance company that spans across two divisions. Boys are eligible to join the dance company beginning in Fifth Grade. Company members work together throughout the year on choreography that combines the fundamentals of ballet, jazz, modern and hip-hop. As a returning company member transitions to the Upper School an additional technique class is added to their rehearsal schedule. Each seven-week rehearsal process culminates in a fully produced show. In the spring, grades four through eight combine for a large-scale dance concert.