Teens have the cognitive capacity to abstract, develop narrative, and think critically, and Luna’s teen choreography curriculum is specifically adapted to support learning and their desire for meaning-making. Luna offers a safe space for teens to explore their emerging and shifting identities through improvisation, dancemaking, reflection, discussion, and consent.
Teen Dance Improvisation
Teenagers sometimes feel self-conscious starting as a beginner in a dance studio. Teen Dance Improvisation welcomes new dancemakers to learn to consciously use the elements of dance–space, energy, and time–to express their ideas and feelings. As dancers explore multiple aspects of themselves through movement, they learn body mechanics, gain strength and flexibility, and increase their range of motion and coordination. Movement invention is encouraged as dancers make phrases, make choices within a score, and synthesize their life experiences into moving artistic expression.
Teen Dance Composition
After learning to take risks, play with movement ideas, and develop basic competencies through improvisation, dancers enter the composition series. Three levels of composition allow dancers to explore choreographic principles with increasing breadth and depth. Students develop the technical skills necessary to execute their works safely and with an increasing awareness of the audience.
Level 1 curriculum involves committing to an idea, memorizing sequences, creating and editing phrases, developing performing skills and rhythmic phrasing. In Level 2 students make longer dance phrases and learn choreographic forms and structures. They deepen their use of the 17 choreographic devices and learn to edit. Level 3 students deepen their knowledge of group forms and create full dances. They have begun to develop a portfolio of solos, duets, and small group works. They demonstrate a full commitment to performance for a variety of audiences and learn skills of directing and being directed.
All Dance Composition courses have prerequisites.
Teen Choreography Workshop (TCW)
TCW is offered as a weeklong exploration of choreographic principles, or a yearlong intensive course of study. Luna’s Studio Lab dancemakers are joined by dancers from other studio programs to invent, explore, and create studies specific to the life and times of today’s teen. In TCW, teens learn to compose site-specific works, dances for the stage, and performances for the camera.
Dancers aged 12-16 learn the art of choreography in a summer day camp format. Camp themes provide a source of inspiration for their solo, duet, and group pies, and teens are supported in developing their aesthetic preferences and storytelling voices as they make dances of meaning to them.
Over the years, TCW Studio Lab advanced dancers have enjoyed the following specialty workshops: TCW/Style, where teen dancemakers learn about past and present choreographers and place themselves in historical and social contexts as choreographers of the future. TCW/Group Forms & Directing, where students learn the art of direction and to partner effectively for group work and performance quality. TCW/Production & Performance, where dancers learn the production elements of costuming, lighting, directing, and staging to bring their creations to life for an audience.
Through speaking, writing, and performing, teen choreographers share their visions of a just and equitable society with peers and community. Students represent dance on youth panels and at conferences. Internships have provided opportunities for teens to shadow and apprentice local dance companies and dance teachers or write articles for dance journals. Such mentorship allows teens to investigate the full range of careers in dance. Leadership has been offered as individual and group opportunities over the years.