Garrison Forest School offers an exciting and eclectic dance program for Middle and Upper School students with multiple opportunities to perform in the 401-seat Garland Theater. Awarded a chapter of the National Dance Honor Society in 2017, GFS offers dance companies in both Middle and Upper School.
As part of an exploratory arts program, Seventh and Eighth Graders collaborate on structured creative movement exercises that follow the National Standards for Dance guidelines. Students are introduced to some of the basic technical vocabulary of contemporary dance, ballet, lyrical and jazz styles. At the end of each semester, all dance students perform as part of the biannual Middle School Arts Gala. Blue Adage is the Middle School's dance company.
Upper School dance is offered as an afterschool elective for students interested in studying dance as a performing art form. Students focus on the development of strong dance technique as they build their confidence, and explore their artistic self-expression. Three levels of Upper School Dance—Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced/Company—offer opportunity to hone technique and performance skills in a variety of dance styles, including contemporary modern, ballet, jazz, and lyrical dance.
Upper School performance opportunities include informal showings throughout the school year, the Upper School Arts Festival in early spring, and a full two-evening concert production in early May. Upper School students also attend outside performances, which in the past have included the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and the “So You Think You Can Dance” Top 10 tour. Blue Allegro, the Upper School's dance company, has performed for two-consecutive years at the audition-only Maryland Dance Festival.
Meet Dance Teacher Heather Malone-Wolfe
Prior to joining the faculty at Garrison Forest School in 2014, Heather Malone-Wolf danced with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, North Carolina Dance Theatre, the Oakland Ballet and the Nashville Ballet, among many others. Heather graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts and attended Mercyhurst College before joining the Dance Theater of Harlem and going on to become the first African-American Clara in the Oakland Ballet's Nutcracker. She is co-founder of the Independent Dance Network for independent schools. Read a Q&A with Heather from the 2017 Garrison Forest Magazine (p.11).