Meredith College welcomed more than 350 students to “share, learn, and celebrate dance” as part of High School Day of Dance.
This event, held on campus on November 3, was sponsored by the Meredith College Dance Program. Students from 22 area high schools participated in the program, which included dance classes with Meredith faculty, alumnae, and guest artists.
“For the high school students, it’s an opportunity to experience collegiate dance and see what other dance programs in the area are doing,” said Assistant Professor of Dance Courtney White. “The high school teachers love that their students get to build relationships and community outside of their respective high schools.”
New classes were added to the schedule this year. “We included classical Indian dance, Afro-rhythms, and Fossé, a Broadway-style of jazz,” White said. Students also enjoyed improvisation, yoga, contemporary ballet, modern, lyrical, jazz, and hip-hop.
At the end of the day, dancers were able to perform for each other, which White says is always a highlight. Fourteen groups performed this year.
“Our favorite part is the informal performances that happen at the end of the day,” she said. “The support the students show towards each other is just magical.”
Current dance students at Meredith are essential to the day’s success.
“The Meredith Dance community is what makes this event possible. They assist in planning, act as class monitors/assistants, help students navigate from class to class, and of course, clean up,” White said. “Without them, the event would not be possible. They do a wonderful job answering questions and love showing others what dance is like here at Meredith.”
The event also provides opportunities for Meredith dance students and area teachers to network.
“Meredith College dance education majors have an opportunity to meet and connect with teachers in the field, high school teachers get to reconnect with colleagues and former students, and our guest teachers make connections with high schools for possible jobs,” White said.
Mini Version Held in September
Earlier this semester, the dance program sponsored another dance-focused event for high school students. In September, a mini version was held for juniors and seniors that featured some different elements.
“For the informal showing, we piloted an anonymous online feedback process for dancers who were developing solos for upcoming college or professional auditions,” White said. “This event was unique because students took a master class from Les Ballet Afrik, a multi-cultural dance company whose mission is to champion the Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ experiences within the ballroom scene.”
In addition to the master class, Meredith College Dance co-presented a performance by Les Ballet Afrik with the prestigious American Dance Festival.