Fall 2017 Newsletter
Dear Dancers and Parents:
The summer seems to have flown by with immense speed as I fervently prepare for another season at Expanding Harmony Dance. As we enter our 27th year of dance education, I pause to reflect on the past year and gear up to engage in another year of learning and creating. As an educator and a performer, I am filled with joy and expectation for the coming season.
Last year was a tremendously busy one. Dance at SDSU and EHDS was alive and well. Performance opportunities at the studio included: A Christmas Celebration, Historical Contexts, Once Upon a Tree: The Passion, and Colors. In addition, SDSU hosted our second dance recruitment event-Dance at State- in April. We had a great time sharing dance with high school students from the state and region. Finally, ARTS INTEGREAT, a pilot arts integration camp was a success for the second summer at the South Dakota Art Museum as EHDS students learned the art of integrating visual art, dance, music, poetry, and film. All in all, it was a great year with amazing holistic growth opportunities for our dancers.
In addition to performance aspects of the studio, other important activities occurred as well. In October, I traveled with Thomas Nugyen, a dance minor from SDSU, to the National Dance Education Conference in Washington D.C. Valuable knowledge and experience was gained as we participated in one of the largest dance education conferences in the nation. Most of the spring semester was spent in content analysis, as a colleague from Florida and I crystallized the Fundamental Values of the William Evans' Dance Pedagogy. In May, Rocky Dailey and I hosted William Evans and two colleagues from New York at SDSU. While in residence, we video-captured some of the most valuable Dance Etudes from the Evans' Dance Technique. In July, I traveled to Las Cruces, New Mexico to share our pedagogy findings in a five day Pedagogy Class for dance educators at the William (Bill) Evans Dance Teachers Conference. While in Las Cruces, I also debuted a new solo work at the International Somatics-Based Dance Conference. From August 13-19, I will be in Port Townsend, Washington visioning the future of the William Evans' Dance Legacy with colleagues from around the globe. Finally, our unique partnership with SDSU and the somatics-based dance curriculum at the studio have gained the interest of other educators around the globe. I am working with a colleague from University of New Mexico to host a graduate student from their institution in order to share curricular design and philosophy of our program here in Brookings.
As you register for classes this year, please take note:
1. For Junior High and Advanced level dancers, if you or your student is interested in dancing in any of the dance companies, there is a Technical Study Requirement! Students must enroll for Technical Study- including one day of Ballet and one day of Modern each week! Dancers cannot develop skill suitable for the choreography created in the dance companies without taking modern/ballet technique class as this technical skill undergirds the foundation of most of the choreography created within the company setting. If for some reason, your schedule will not allow you to take class both days, please contact Melissa; there can be some exception based upon circumstance.
2. Any student enrolled in additional technique courses - tap, jazz, hip hop, and pointe,- these courses are designed to work on choreography within the context of the class. You will certainly be able to participate in the spring concert by dancing in the dances created within each of these courses, but will not be eligible for dance company without a Technical Study Course.
3. All students interested in taking either pre-pointe or pointe class must be enrolled in a Ballet Technical Study Course; it is not safe to take a pointe class without building dance skill and strength within a technique course.
4. If you are an advanced level dancer interested in dancing with our liturgical company - Exaltation! Dance and Choral Company, we have attached a small fee to participate due to increased production costs. Our Exaltation! Company produces two concerts each year in service to the Brookings Domestic Abuse Shelter.
5. For our 2nd-Advanced Level Technique Courses, we have separated the offerings back out to individual courses for book-keeping reasons and to offer a deeper technical experience in each dance style. Therefore, students in this age group have the option of taking multiple classes each week. If students enroll in 3 or more classes each week there is a 25% savings off the last course.
6. A couple of new course offerings are available including a Body Lab course for dancers and non/dancers. This course will focus on creating connectivity for a fully functioning, efficient, and effective system. In addition there is an Adult Ballet course also offered for those adults interested in ballet without a performance component.
7. A reminder that the EHDS website now allows you to pay for your registration fees online if you choose; please use the link provided to do so... Payment Page. If you choose to pay online there is a 2.5% additional processing charge on your total bill.
There is a plethora of information on the website. Please take time to check out the links to make sure you have the information needed to be prepared for the upcoming season. You will need to: Check out our Course Offerings and Course Fees. Fill out the online registration to enroll in class - Registration Form. Print a Release Form. Pay by check or online Payment Page. Mark Important Dates on your calendar. Check out the Clothing Requirements for Class and Performance. Attend the Clothing and Shoe Exchange Night on Wednesday, August 23rd from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm @ EHDS Studio. If you/your JH or Advanced student is interested in the performance companies - please read materials in the Performance Company Drop Down Box. If you are a Middle School/High School/College/Professional Student interested in choreography please read the Choreographic Workshop information and fill out the Choreography Application. Classes begin on Monday, August 28. If you are a new participant at EHDS, you are required to attend the New Student Orientation on Wednesday, August 23rd @ 6:00 pm at the dance studio - located at 410 4th Street. Please contact me at 605-692-3262 with questions or concerns. I am looking forward to a great year! With Gratitude - Melissa