Fine Arts Academy


The McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy Dance Program offers a rigorous dance curriculum in a public high school setting to prepare students for both professional and academic excellence. The core dance curriculum has its foundation in the study of ballet, modern/contemporary, and jazz dance techniques, composition/choreography, performance, aesthetics, anatomy/somatics, cultural/historical studies and analysis. The program develops expertise in these areas that can be applied to the various creative and intellectual interests of the student. To this end, the program is committed to providing the study of global dance forms such as African dance, Latin dance, Hip Hop etc., in order to develop student leadership and learning in a 21st century context. The Dance Majors’ curriculum meets the requirements for the National Honor Society for Dance Arts.

Learning outcomes include artistic/aesthetic development, technical acuity, dance/movement theory: inquiry and application, creative process and dance design, performance intention and virtuosity, critical reasoning and analysis, and inter and intra-personal skill development. The Dance Department produces two main-stage productions each year with numerous other performance opportunities including student-run productions. Upon acceptance into the Fine Arts Academy, dance majors become part of the McCallum Youth Dance Company and are required to perform in both main-stage dance productions for all four years in order to maintain their status as dance majors in The Academy.

Principles of Dance I, II, III, and IV students have the opportunity to increase their dance knowledge by enrolling in dance classes through the comprehensive high school procedures. There is an annual informal dance concert for these students to provide the opportunity to perform. As well, students are invited to audition for specific projects and productions. Non-majors can decide to audition for the dance program provided they qualify based on the Academy requirements.

Previous and Current Offerings for Dance Students

Master Classes:

    • Modern & Contemporary Dance
    • Jazz
    • Salsa
    • Flamenco
    • Language of Dance ®
    • Argentine Tango
    • Gaga Movement Language
    • Lectures/Workshops: portfolios, auditions, health & nutrition, somatics


Examples of recent guest teachers:

    • Olivia Chacon of Flamencura Dance Company
    • Alyson Dolan of Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company
    • Amy Morrow of AMARTS
    • Tina Curran, Professor of Dance at UT Austin
    • Kelsey Oliver of KOgraphy
    • Rachel Meador, local dance journalist and dance professional
    • Brooke Schlecte, Baylor University, Out on a Limb Dance Company
    • Ashlee Langas, Season 3 So You Think You Can Dance
    • Jean Claude-Lessou, West African Dancing
    • Stephanie Keeton, Dancer and Teacher at Esquina Tango

Dance Strand Mission

  • I Our Mission is to inspire dance artists to achieve academic and creative success. Dancers will graduate from McCallum Dance prepared to enter top university dance programs and pursue a career in dance. We recognize that not all dancers want to become professional artists but we believe that the skills of the artist are transferrable into all areas of academic study and professional pursuits.    
  • II We build an artistic community through diversity and respect for dance as culture. Most of our dance majors come into the department with a movement style preference, we encourage them to branch away from their norm to study and understand dances different from their own. Our dance majors graduate with a broad range of social and emotional experiences and movement capabilities that expand their ideas about art, dance, culture and community.  
  • III Enforcing a “learning how to learn” curriculum allows our dance majors to recognize design concepts and patterns of movements in order to create things and solve problems in unique ways.  
  • IV We believe that dance becomes even more important in a technological society. Our curriculum incorporates technological advances in art and commerce and education.

Dance Curriculum

(Click here for Dance Major curriculum reqs.)

Program Levels


  • Aerobic Dance A/B & Principles of Dance I
  • Principles of Dance II, III, and IV*
  • Ballet*
  • World Dance

*Any general dance class above Aerobic Dance A/B and Dance I requires teacher approval.

Dance Majors-The McCallum Youth Dance Company:

  • The Emerging Dance Troupe
  • The Intermediate Ensemble
  • The Pre-Professional Dance Group


 Dance Curriculum Includes

  • Ballet
  • Modern Dance
  • Jazz Dance: classic jazz, contemporary jazz, Latin jazz, Afro-jazz, tap
  • Hip-Hop Dance
  • Contemporary Topics in ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop dance
  • Social Dance: vernacular and partner dances
  • World Dance Forms
  • Improvisation/Composition/Choreography
  • Laban Movement Analysis and Theory
  • Language of Dance ®
  • Dance History
  • Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology


Dance Course Descriptions


Aerobic Dance A & B/Principles of Dance I: A survey course that explores various dance forms including social dance, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, modern and contemporary dance including performance, composition, choreography, analysis and history – predominantly non-majors for PE/Fine Arts Credit.

Principles of Dance II/III/IV: A continuation of the information covered in Aerobic Dance A & B/Principles of Dance I on a more advanced level – predominantly non-majors for Fine Arts credit.

Teacher approval required.

Ballet I-IV: This class is open to majors and non-majors. An intensive study of ballet barre, adagio, pirouette, center work, petite and grande allegro are studied and practiced. The class includes performance, composition, choreography, dance analysis and dance history

World Dance: This class explores dance from a global perspective. Dance is explored as a cultural aesthetic and expression. Classes include study of social dance, ballet, Latin jazz and Afro-jazz. Dances from all of the continents of the world are explored and practiced through choreography and online research. Projects integrate technology in order to reach past the boundaries of the classroom.  


Dance Majors of The McCallum Youth Dance Company:

(All dance majors and non-majors enrolled in dance major’s classes are required to pay yearly fair share fees. Contact the directors for more information.)

The Emerging Dance Troupe: This double blocked course is designed for the first year dance majors. The course introduces integration in four major areas of study within the dance field: dancer/performer, choreographer/dance maker, theatre production and technology and scholarship in dance.

The Intermediate Ensemble: This course is designed for second year dance majors. The course provides integration of four major areas of study within the dance field: dancer/performer, choreographer/dance maker, theatre production and technology and scholarship in dance. Students who complete this course with a ‘B’ or above will be inducted into The National Honors Society for Dance Arts.

The Pre-Professional Dance Group: This double blocked course is audition based for sophomore, juniors and senior dance majors and is the most advanced level of study at McCallum. The course provides honors level integration in four major areas of study within the dance field: dancer/performer, choreographer/dance maker, theatre production and technology and scholarship in dance. Students, upon graduation from this class will receive a cord and certificate from The National Honors Society for Dance Arts.  


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Page last modified: Oct 8, 2020 @ 3:53 pm