Over the last two years, the dance program at Emma Willard School has creatively adapted to the now-familiar COVID-19 protocols. Performances that normally take place in Kiggins moved to virtual, with recorded performances and virtual instruction, hybrid classes, and masks. Each year, usually in the beginning of the spring semester, Emma Willard School’s campus and dance program host a visiting artist. That was on hold for the 2020-2021 school year.
However, this Spring 2022 semester marks a return to the on-campus visiting artist program with two dancers working with Emma Willard School students.
“As much as we can, we bring in other people so [the students] are exposed to different forms, styles, and different ways of teaching,” said dance instructor Barbara Magee, in a conversation about the dance program at Emma Willard School
Kellie Ann Lynch, a dancer with the David Dorfman Dance Company
, presented a master class with students from the various dance disciplines on campus. Though the classes combined students at different levels, the group worked together and explored different kinds of movement as a cohesive unit.
“I thought the master classes were a great opportunity to explore new styles of dance and to experience different teaching techniques,” says Annie H. ‘24. “It was also really neat meeting the professional dancers and getting their feedback.”
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After the master class with Kellie, the program welcomed guest artist in residence Annie Wang
. For an entire week, Annie taught classes and worked with the Emma Willard School Dance Company to set a dance to be performed toward the end of the spring semester.
“This is a unique opportunity for these students to experience a small part of what working as a professional company would be like,” wrote Magee, in a message to the community. “This week brings them together as an ensemble in an amazing way.”
This spring also saw the return of the Dance Assembly. Last held in Fall 2019, the assembly boasts performances from students at a variety of levels in ballet, contemporary, and hip hop jazz (for the first time!).
Hip Hop Jazz performs at the Emma Willard School Dance Assembly
Several students performed special projects they choreographed themselves, including a work in progress piece. Though not completed, the students hoped to show the community what they were working on, in anticipation of a performance at the end of the year Signature and Emma Artists Showcase.
Congratulations and thank you to the dancers and technical staff who came together to present a wonderful morning of dance to our community! We can’t wait to see more from the incredible talent at Emma Willard School.
View more photos of the dance assembly on our SmugMug album.