Our curricular dance program focuses on technique, collaboration, creativity and performance skills that feed into our after school program. Dancers are welcome to audition for our fall dance production, IASAS and junior companies, and spring showcase.
The TAS Middle School Dance program continued its evolution this year, growing from 126 dancers last year, up to 152 students this year. A further 20 more were involved in the new Dance Lab club that provided additional dance opportunities for all Middle School students. Last November, over 170 of those dancers performed 13 numbers on stage for our TAS community as part of the Middle School Dance Showcase in front of an enthralled crowd of students, faculty and parents alike.
In January, Grade 7 dancers had the privilege to visit Cloud Gate Dance Theater in Tamsui, considered by many to be one of the best dance companies in the world. Students embarked on a comprehensive historical tour of the theater, and participated in a dance workshop in the famous Cloud Gate Studio.
To meet the needs of the growing numbers of dancers, the Middle School Dance program will welcome an additional faculty member to teach dance next school year. Dancers can look forward to two new dance workshops that will take place during the upcoming school year thanks to the generous support of the PTA.
TAS dancers presented a contemporary take on The Wizard of Oz in November 2019. Four outstanding performances by a double cast of 16 leads, 45 ensemble and 12 technicians featured creative use of movement, space, set and light design, projections and costuming. Also during the first semester, 8 dancers were selected to participate in the biennial National High School Dance Festival. The NHSDF dancers auditioned 2 dances created by guest choreographers William Lu and Viktorija Semakaite. Both TAS dances were selected from over 400 works submitted by leading performing arts schools to be performed at this prestigious event. At the end of the semester, another 8 dancers were selected to represent TAS at the IASAS Dance, Drama and Tech Cultural Convention in Singapore.
The second semester was disrupted by school closure and travel restrictions. Triumphing over the challenges, IASAS Dancers created a 20 minute, moving work that explored thoughts and feelings related to the afterlife and dedicated it to late TAS alumni dancer Erina Sawa. IASAS DDT Cultural Convention was held virtually and the success of the TAS dancers was celebrated through video feedback from the IASAS schools and workshop leaders.
Though the final senior showcase in April was cancelled, the seniors persevered. They created 12 outstanding dances and were able to record them with lights and costumes and outstanding video work. These videos were shared with the TAS dance community and celebrated the creative talents of the 2020 seniors.
Throughout the year, TAS dancers took master classes in Contemporary with Jennifer Ma ('10) and Urban with David Prakash from Australia, Modern Fusion with Tom Tsai ('05), Urban with Jonathan Huang ('18) and Contact Improvisation with Jeremy Hale from USA, and Contemporary with Viktorija Semakaite from Lithuania.
Academically, the seniors again demonstrated their grit and resilience by completing their IB and Honors performance exams and composition submissions on time and with resounding success. TAS dancers continue to score above the world average in IB dance with the vast majority scoring 6’s and 7’s.