Dance Opportunities Focus on Technique and Creativity

Seniors from Long Beach High School’s International Baccalaureate Dance Program and Dance Club presented an awe-inspiring showcase on Dec. 21. The talented students demonstrated the skills they have developed in choreographic devices and structure as well as their knowledge of various dance genres and techniques.

The results of dedication, collaboration and creativity came together on the high school stage as the students performed an assortment of pieces that they choreographed. Each participant introduced their piece and discussed the inspiration behind it.

“It was fun,” said Jackie Gravina regarding her experience as a choreographer. “It took about 10 days to put the piece together.”

“It really pushed me to change it up and explore some other styles,” said Jesse Scott.

This is the first year that the high school has offered the Dance Club, which meets weekly and is open to all students who have an interest in dance. IB Dance is a two-year program that focuses on modern ballet technique and performance in the first year and moves into choreography work in the second.

This past fall, IB Dance students participated in a residency opportunity with the Ailey II Dance Company through the New York City Center’s Education Department. They studied the history of Alvin Ailey, attended a Horton Master Dance Class at the City Center and learned a section of one of the company’s pieces as the first component of the project, then returned a week later to witness a performance by the company.

“The goal of the program is to create an appreciation for dance as an art and the performance, choreography and intention,” said teacher Christianne Vella.