Dance classes provide a venue for students to develop an enthusiasm and appreciation of the many varieties of movement in our culture. The learning environment fosters self-confidence, creativity, coordination and discipline.
The Lower School Dance Program strives to awaken every child's passion for learning while developing coordination, rhythm, problem-solving techniques, and self-expression. The curriculum supports interdisciplinary learning and provides performance opportunities for students. All kindergarten through third grade students study dance for twenty-five to sixty minutes per week. Dance class includes an effective full brain and body warm-up called BrainDance as well as brain-compatible learning experiences.
Kindergarten through third grade students participate in conceptual dance classes specifically designed to ignite the senses, practice collaboration, foster creativity and experience pure fun. Interested fourth through sixth graders may enroll in Contemporary Jazz or the Lower School Halau as a performing arts elective.
Upper School students learn the basic techniques of jazz, ballet, hula kahiko and hula au‘ana and develop these skills sequentially through four levels of dance classes. Each semester, students alternate hula and jazz-ballet, giving them a well rounded dance education. Boys may enroll in hula, a year's course of study, developing their skill sequentially through three levels of study.
Throughout the year our students have the opportunity to interact with clinicians from all disciplines who share their knowledge and expertise through master classes and lecture demonstrations. Guest chorographers are also invited to create set production numbers for our students to perform at numerous spring productions.
There are many opportunities for the students to showcase their talent through school and community events as well as national and international performances. Students have performed in Austria, Greece, the Czech Republic, Italy, Australia, Rome, Peru, Switzerland, Singapore, Japan and throughout the continental United States. The students present an annual Winter and Spring Showcase, featuring Hula and contemporary Jazz-Ballet.
The ‘Iolani Dance program continues to nurture a greater appreciation for culture, a family-like bond between students and teachers, as well as a deeper connection to their school and island home. The diverse program empowers our students to open their minds and explore their creative side for an unforgettable experience.