dance styles

dance styles

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The study of contrasting movement....

5th graders students began by defining the vocab word contrast. They then identified movements that were in direct contrast with one another. Their final task was to take the vocabulary and put action to it! Great choreography dancers! Below you'll find students collaborating to perform acapella beats, which they choreographed independently!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Junior High Retreat

Junior High students took a small break from their classroom studies to explore the natural beauty of Arizona. Their trip to Lake Pleasant was educational and fun. A great time was had by all!

Student Choreography: Exploration of Acapella Beats

5th graders worked in small, cooperative groups to create patterns using their body as their instrument. The kids enjoyed themselves and were pleased with what they created!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steppin' with Mr.Medina's 5th graders

Mr.Medina's class, demonstrated the ability to follow and keep steady beat while keeping a holding tempo. Their movements are a capella in which they create the music! Great job!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wow...Wonderful dancers at work!

I am so proud of the hard work that my students have demonstrated through these past 2 months. Their hard work is evident in the flexibility that they have gained! Keep up the wonderful work dancers!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hard work pays off!

Art of Dance students have worked extremely hard to increase their flexibility in order to become stronger dancers. The girls proudly show off their splits, a movement that is quite difficult to achieve!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tapping to Success..

4th grade students have begun to explore a capella, or dance without music, beats. Today they tackled two new tap movements, shuffle and shuffle step. Be on the look out for tapping feet at home!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A capella Exploration

Art of Dance Jr High students, work to get in sync as they use their bodies to create music.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And....we are off!!!!!!!

The year has started and the students are doing fabulously well!Jr High students are working hard to learn to communicate effectively with their audience. They have begun to explore various beats while dancing a capella or without music. Be on the look out for a performance coming soon to a stage near you. 1st through 5th graders have been working hard on idenfiying various reasons why dancers warm up. They have begun to challenge their bodies through flexibility, strength, and cardio warm ups. Kindergarten students have also begun to explore and enjoy the world of dance. They have begun to learn the words and movements to their brand new song, " Boogie, Woogie Piggy".
Students are excited to take the stage. Look for notifications alerting you to our upcoming perfomances in the Performing Arts Center!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Welcome back for more adventures in dance....

     Welcome to dance class! I want you to know how pleased I am to have your child in my class. This is going to be an exciting and challenging year. I will do my best to keep you informed of your child’s progress, as I feel that close communication between home and school is important in order for your student to be successful. With your help, we can be partners in your child’s dance education.
     The website is a great way for us to communicate. I will also send home letters when your child will be performing at the Herrera Performing Arts Center (Panther Pavilion).  The website and letters sent home will help to keep you up to date on what’s happening in our dance class and let you know about upcoming dance performances.
     I encourage you to contact me anytime with questions or concerns that you may have. If your child becomes discouraged, as dance can be challenging, please contact me so that we can not only discover the source of the problem, but create an effective learning experience for your child. I can be reached by phone at 602-452-6944.
     I look forward to a great year. Thank you  in advance for your continued support and cooperation.
Mrs. Danielle Benson

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dancers Impress with "Dance Through Time" Performance!

Students in Kinder through 8th grade finished their dance year with a bang! They performed dances to songs that were popular in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and today's current hits! Students hard work paid off, as the audience was impressed by their ability to execute difficult choreography and formation changes!

Many students even amazed and surprised themselves with the progress they have made over the year. Students have accomplished difficult choreography like full splits, heelstretches, and even pirouette like turns!

Bravo dancers! I am proud of each amd every accomplishment you have made this year.  :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Please Welcome to the Stage... "Oye Como Va"

3rd grade dancers gathered a few minutes before the big show to rehearse as they prepared for their first performance of the semester at the March Flag Ceremony on March 18th. The audience was impressed with the jazz choreography students performed to Santana's "Oye Como Va". They cannot wait to hit the stage again on May 20th during the school dance recital. They are sure to be a hit, again! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

4th-6th Graders Do "The Wop" with dancers from Urban Plunge

Gearing up for the Grand Fiesta, 4th grade dancers worked with guest teachers during their dance class. Students were engaged and eager to impress their guest teachers with their hip hop skills!!
Herrera thanks Urban Plunge for their community outreach through dance, drama, as well as neighborhood outreach!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Urban Plunge Sneak Peek..

5th through 8th grade students were inspired and artistically motivated by our presenters from ASU's Urban Plunge. Herrera will be hosting dance, acting, and singing workshops free of charge March 12th and 13th from 12:00 p.m until 4:00 p.m. There will then be a performance for the students to show off their new moves on March 15th. Stay tuned for more information! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

5th and 6th grade students push themselves to the limit!

As the year progresses, students are working hard to push their flexibility to the limit. Incorporating exercises at the barre allows students to continue to not only gain flexibility, but also strengthen their core muscles.

Students also are learning about the importance of incorporating cardio into their daily warm up. Below, they demonstrate our cardio warm up, utilized to increase stamina and ease of movement.

Herrera Host Urban Plunge:

Urban Plunge Masterclass: Presented by Bree Cerfus

Art of Dance combined with ASU'S Urban Plunge proved to be an unstoppable dance force. The students learned a hip hop routine taught by guest teacher, Bree Cerfus. We cannot wait to host a fun filled weekend of dance with Urban Plunge March 12th through the 13th.  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Art of Dance Premier!!!

Teachers and students alike were impressed by the debut performance of dancers currently enrolled in The Art of Dance during the February 4th Flag Ceremony. If you missed the show, there will be an encore on May 20th, 2011! Be sure to catch them as they tell the dance story of, "Rocketeer".

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Storybook in motion:"When Pigasso Met Mootise"

Kindergarten through 2nd grade students have excitedly begun a new unit, storybooks in motion.. The students read and discussed the book, "When Pigasso Met Mootise" , which has a creative spin on famous artists. The students then retold the story through dance. We will now compare and contrast our dance story with the book. The kids not only had the opportunity to dance, but many a displayed talent for the dramatics as well!

Structures of dance: Unity

Jr High students involved in a musical theater workshop have been exploring various elements of dance, in addition to their dramatic studies.Today, they tackled 1 tool choreographers use to create dance routines, unity. After discussing the concept of unity, the students learned 2 counts of 8 and then practiced demonstrating unison in motion.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Holiday Performance Reflection...

1st and 2nd grade students recognize the importance of self evaluation. The students were hard at work identifying different elements of their Holiday Performance.
If you would like to purchase a copy of the Holiday Performance from December 17th, 2010 , please contact Ms. Eifler.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What exactly is a transition and how do we do it?

6th grade dancers are currently studying different dance structures. They have studied repetition, unity, and tackled transitions this week. After defining the vocabulary term with a brainstorming web, they worked in small groups to choreograph 4 transitions, or changes through various types of movement. Great minds are hard at work as they brainstorm and share ideas with one another.

Jr High students utilize their body as an instrument to communicate to the audience..

The students are currently studying the art of dance. They are working to create "dance stories" that are clearly understood by  audience. The clip above shows the students as they learn new choreography for the "beginning" of the story "Rocketeer". They are looking forward to a performance on February 4th at 2:15 in the Performing Arts Center. Come check them out!!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kindergarten students identify different ballet positions and movements..

Finding balance while doing a passe is difficult, but as you can see the children never give up. They also demonstrated how to do a tendu, which also requires great balance.

Jr High students exploring various roles needed to execute a difficult lift..

Although the students were nervous, they excitedly attempted new lifts and stunts during dance class. They worked at communicating through eye contact and motion as opposed to speaking to each other.

Students hard at work stretching and increasing flexibility

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


As we begin the new year, students are excitedly learning new dance concepts.

~Jr High students are hard at work creating and analyzing movement thru video observation.
~Students in grades 3rd thru 6th are learning about how choreographers create dances. They are currently studying repetition, unity, and transistions in dance.
 ~Kinder, 1st, and 2nd grade students are currently using books to help inpsire and motivate choreography.

Be on the look out for pictures and videos of dancers hard at work!

A Dastardly Production... December 8th thru the 10th

7th and 8th grade srudents received rave reviews following their musical performance, "The Dastardly Doctor Devereaux".
   "It was dastardly. I was amazed at what the students accomplished." ~Ms. Eifler

   "I had so much fun. I felt like I was watching a broadway show!" ~6th grade student
   " Their hardwork really paid off. It was a wonderful show". ~ Mrs. Castrigano