About the YPAS Dance Department
The Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) offers a comprehensive and rigorous Dance Program for students in grades nine through twelve. Academic classes are taken at nearby duPont Manual High School. The Dance Department’s primary goals are career training and collegiate preparation for the serious dance student. Consequently, students receive a strong technical foundation in ballet and modern dance.The YPAS Dance Department has four full-time instructors and 50 to 70 dance majors. Five dance studios provide excellent facilities, and professional musicians accompany dance classes. The Dance Department not only is committed to the instruction of dance as an art form but also is committed to the belief that dance is a valid tool for the development of self-discipline and the desire for the pursuit of intellectual excellence, aesthetic awareness, and individual self-realization.
Core Dance Majors Courses:
Classical Ballet I-IV
Pointe Beginning-Advanced. (after-school optional course)
Modern/Contemporary Dance I-IV
Dance Ensemble (Company) I-III
Dance majors also receive instruction in choreography, nutrition for dancers and dance history.
Electives offered in:
Fundamentals of Dance
Body & Conditioning
The talents of dance majors are showcased in a fully produced annual dance concert; informal dance showcases, the Purple Marker children's dance theater show; and through the YPAS Dance Ensemble. Tenth through twelfth grade students are able to join the YPAS Dance Ensemble course which serves as the dance department's student company. Dance Ensemble is required for 10th graders and strongly encouraged for 11th and 12th graders. The Dance Ensemble course is an in-school graded class that also requires an after-school rehearsal commitment. Most of the annual dance concert choreography is created in the Dance Ensemble course. In addition the Dance Ensemble also tours throughout the state, performing for schools, businesses, and civic groups. Members of the Dance Ensemble are able to experience a taste of the rigors and rewards of dancing in a professional dance company.
Graduates have been company members with the Louisville, New York City, Dayton, American Festival, Houston, Joffrey, Nutmeg, and Richmond ballet companies as well as with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Many have gone on to professionally tour in the companies of Swing, 42nd St., Aida, Fosse, and Nine. Many dance majors have also gone on to successful careers in dance and expressive therapies, physical therapy, arts administration and dance education. YPAS Dance majors have a near 100% college attendance rate with many students receiving scholarships. Recent graduates have been accepted with scholarship to the dance programs of: Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Ohio University, Rutgers University, Shenandoah University, Western Kentucky University and more.
Application & Audition Procedures
Entrance in the YPAS Dance Department is by audition only. Interested students must first submit the appropriate application material. The audition class consists of a classical ballet barre, modern dance center combination and improvisation. In addition to grades, attendance record and recommendations, auditions are evaluated on the following criteria: understanding of efficient alignment, musicality, performance projection and expressiveness, flexibility, strength, and coordination. There is also an optional pointe section for those students who are on pointe. Audition attire for both males and females: Tights and leotards or form-fitting dance clothes in solid, conservative colors. They should bring ballet and pointe shoes (if they dance on pointe) and be prepared to dance in bare feet.