Arts
Dance

Dance Program FAQs

List of 17 items.

  • Where can I find more information about the SPS Dance Program and SPS Ballet Company (SPSBC)?

  • I am interested in the SPS Ballet Company. What do I do now?

    First, explore the website page, photo gallery, Instagram account, and watch the videos. Then fill out the Dance Inquiry For. Kate Lydon, the Director of Dance, will follow up with you via email. If you have additional questions, please email Ms. Lydon at klydon@sps.edu.
  • Can I participate in the Dance Program and not be in the SPS Ballet Company?

    Yes, you can! The Dance Department has a variety of classes you can take during the academic day. Taking a full year of dance class will fulfill your arts credit requirement for graduation. Beginners can take Dance I, and those with dance experience can take Ballet II, III, IV, or V. Approval of the Director of Dance is needed to take Ballet II, III, IV, or V.
  • What is the process of applying with dance in mind (i.e. you would like to be a part of the SPS Ballet Company)?

    Each interested student should be in touch with the SPS Admission Office where you can find out more about the School. Traditionally, you would consider visiting the School for a tour and interview. Please contact the Admission Office at admission@sps.edu or 603-229-4700 to find out the process during COVID-19. In terms of dance, please fill out the Dance Inquiry Form and submit the necessary videos of you dancing (see next question for details).
  • What are the video requirements for the SPS Ballet Company?

    Your video must be 15 minutes or less in length. Only perform one side of each exercise.
    • Barre Work: Pliés (in first, second and fifth positions), Tendu/Dégagé, Fondu, Adagio, Grand Battement
    • Center Work: Adagio, Pirouettes, Petit Allegro, Grand Allegro
    • Pointe Work: Relevé, Passé, Échappé, Pique Turns
    • Men’s Work: Preparation for Tour en l’air
     
    NOTE: If you have additional video footage of a solo, variation, and/or performance that you would like to include, please do so at the end and indicate in what year the footage was recorded. If you are not the only person in the performance footage, please indicate who you are.
     
    NOTE: If you are unable to film these video requirements, please contact Kate Lydon at klydon@sps.edu.
  • I’d like to take a ballet class when I visit SPS. How do I schedule this?

    We are not scheduling live classes during the 2020-21 School Year due to COVID-19. Please see “video requirements” question above for details on what to submit when applying to SPS. Please check out our Instagram page for ongoing updates about our dancers, guest artists, and program. Also, if you would like to speak with Ms. Lydon about the program, please email klydon@sps.edu to set up a time.
  • If I cannot take a class, can I send a video?

    Yes! Please see above.
  • If I want to be an SPS Ballet Company member, do I have to audition?

    Yes. Every dancer auditions and re-auditions every year just like our varsity sports teams. Note that the SPSBC is a varsity sport, and the dancers are proficient in ballet and pointe.
  • If I want to be a SPS Ballet Company member, can I take a term off and do another sport, or do I have to commit for the three terms?

    You cannot take a term off and do another sport. The SPSBC is a three-term, full year commitment. We meet six days a week all year for classes, rehearsals, working with guest artists, choreography, and preparing for performances.
  • The SPSBC is a “varsity sport,” does the BC have a “JV” team?

    There is no “JV” team. If you would like to participate in dance without being in the SPSBC, you can take a Dance I class, or a Ballet II class during the academic day. There is also a student run dance group called Funkdefied that students can audition for.
  • How many hours does an SPSBC dancer dance each week?

    Approximately 18 hours
  • What does the SPSBC commitment/schedule look like?

    The SPS Ballet Company meets six days a week throughout the academic year. This is a three-term commitment. Students must audition and be accepted (based on their level of technique) into the Ballet Company. Dancers must take a ballet “block class” (they will be placed in Ballet III, IV, or V) that meets during the academic day as well as attend the afternoon “athlete block” rehearsal time. The ballet block class meets four times a week and the afternoon rehearsals are Monday-Saturday. Dancers will rehearse for four performances that occur throughout the year: Family Weekend, The Nutcracker, Winter Performance, and Spring Performance. Dancers also perform in Chapel once a year, and in an informal showing at the start of Anniversary Weekend (graduation weekend).
     
    Dancers dance about 18 hours a week:
    • Block classes: Three 35-minute classes / One 1 hour and 10 minute class
    • Athletic block: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 3:30-5:15pm / Wednesday, Saturday 1:30-5:30pm (here dancers take additional classes and rehearse).
     
    Dancers also have the opportunity to work with guest artists throughout the year. These guest artists teach class, choreograph original pieces, and coach classical repertory. Recent guests include Ethan Stiefel, Carlos Lopez, Rosalynde LeBlanc, Yan Chen, and Duncan Cooper.
  • What is the Visiting Artists Program (VAP)?

    The SPS Visiting Artist Program (VAP) is designed to expose our students and the greater community to prominent styles of choreography. The VAP brings professional dancers, choreographers, and master teachers to campus to work one-on-one with SPS students, teaching classes and repertory in their various styles, and setting choreography on the St. Paul’s School Ballet Company for the Winter and Spring Performances. Guests work extensively with the Ballet Company dancers both in rehearsal and teaching classes during their stay at SPS.
     
    Since its inception in 2012, the VAP has hosted guests from American Ballet Theatre, Merce Cunningham Trust, Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Batsheva Dance Company, New York City Ballet, Big Dance Theater, Ballet X, Chamber Dance Project, Harvard University, Brown University, New York University, Bowdoin College, and master teachers from American Ballet Theatre, the School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, and The George Balanchine Trust. Recent guest artists include choreographers Carlos Lopez, Ethan Stiefel, Rosalynde LeBlanc, Duncan Cooper, Caili Quan, and Alexander Brady.
  • What type of repertory does the SPSBC perform?

    The SPSBC’s repertory is similar to professional ballet companies. Dancers should expect to dance classical variations and excerpts, The Nutcracker, and contemporary work by a variety of choreographers. Many guest artists will create original works on the SPSBC dancers, while others will set previously created work. The variety of repertory allows the dancers to experience different forms of dance.
  • Is there an opportunity for SPSBC members to choreograph?

    Yes! Each year, the dancers of the SPSBC are asked if they are interested in choreographing on their fellow dancers. These choreographers are coached by Ms. Lydon and Ms. Peix, and present their original work in one of the SPSBC performances.
  • What colleges have recent BC dancers attended?

    SPS has a long history of producing accomplished and well-rounded dancers. Recent graduates have gone on to dance at college programs including Harvard University, Columbia University, Barnard College, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Northeastern University, and Kenyon College.
  • Have BC dancers gone onto professional dance careers?

    SPS Dance Program alumni have danced professionally with companies including New York City Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Jose Limon Dance Company, Batsheva Dance Company, Smuin Ballet, and more.
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