TCHS Dance Department
Dance I-Block 1

​Instructional Trigger Project

Please click on the link below to see the requirements for the project. Projects are due Wednesday, December 16th at the end of class.

10 Hairy Legs- Critique Assignment

Your critiques for the 10 Hairy Legs performance are due on Monday, November 30th.
​Please use the link below to find the requirements and resources you need to complete the assignment.

10 HL Pre-Visit Assignment

Please click on the link below to complete the work for 11/23/15.
Click the for the assignment

​Modern Dance Pioneers-Video Lesson (Nov. 20th)

  • Please download and complete the following assignment
  • This assignment will ask you to watch and reflect on short clips from 4 of the 10 American Modern Dance Pioneers that you learned yesterday
  • As you watch fill in the required boxes for reflection
  • After you watch all of the video clips, complete the student reflection
  • Please save and attach your completed document to an email
    • ​​Mr. Seabert can show you how to do this if you are unsure
  • Email your work to to receive credit​
  • Use your time diligently! This task should take you the whole block
Modern Dance Video Lesson-Fall 2015.docx
click to download

Midterm Exams (Nov. 9th- Nov. 13th)

Hi dancers! I have included the schedule for midterms and the study guides. Please look at this material so you are prepared for next week. As a reminder, if you will be making up an exam, it is your responsibility to study. Scroll down to find old study guides.
Midterm Week Schedule
Monday- Dance and review midterm vocabulary words
Tuesday- EXAM! on the vocabulary words
Wednesday- Learn the midterm dance phrase
Thursday- Practice and show the midterm vocabulary phrase
Friday- Make up exams! On this day you have a chance to make up any exams from the semester that you wish to improve your grade.
Midterm Vocabulary Study Guide
Dancers, I have attached the midterm vocabulary study guide below. You have all received copies of this in class on Tuesday. During the exam, you will be asked to identify the vocabulary word while I perform it. The second half of the exam will consist of multiple choice and match questions asking you to define the word.  When looking at the study guide I suggest that you try to do the move yourself, watch the video, and memorize the definition. 
Dance 1-Midterm Study Guide- Fall 2015.pdf
click to download

​National Dance Day Student Choreography Project (Due  Tues. 10/13)

Follow the link below to see the project requirements and information.

​National Dance Day Project Requirements

Work for Monday, September 28th

Hi Dancers,

​I am apologize for not being able to be with you today. As you know, I am returning from a tour and attending the NJ Arts Education Summit today. I will be back in school on Tuesday. I need you to uphold our professionalism and run the class like it normally would have. Your work will be graded and counted as quiz grade. Answer your work in your journal.

Miss Zwierzynski

Step 1
​Title your journal and notes entry for today as "Jazz Dance History"  9/28/15. Answer the following question in your journal before you read anything. The goal of this is to see your prior knowledge. Write the question in your journal.
  • What is jazz dance?
    • ​​Do your best to define what you believe dance to be.
  • What does it look like?
    • ​​How would you describe the style and way of moving?
  • What is the history?
    • ​​Where did it begin?
    • When did it begin?
Step 2
Read the passage below.

Step 3
After reading the passage answer this question in your journal. Please write the question in your journal.
  • Re-read and edit your response from before
  • Provide a better summary of the history of jazz dance now that you know the history.
  • Choose one jazz dance artist from the reading and research them.
    • Provide a small paragraph defining who they are and what they contribute to jazz dance.

Like the music from which it takes its name, it relies strongly on personal interpretations of rhythm and dynamic. The jazz dance began early in America’s history when slaves used their bodies and feet as percussion instruments, as drums were banned as instruments of revolution. African dances mixed with those from the British Isles, and new styles of dance emerged through competitions. With few exceptions, early on blacks were not permitted to perform, but the popularity of African culture took off in in the latter part of the 19th-century in the prevailing form of entertainment, minstrelsy.

At the start of the 20th-century, to ragtime and ballroom orchestral and big band music, dance gained a firm foothold in the public imagination through revues (Darktown Follies, Ziegfeld Follies), clubs (Hoofers Club, Cotton Club, Savoy Ballroom), and musical theater. The 1921 revue Shuffle Along included in its chorus Josephine Baker, who became one of the era’s biggest stars. Social dance such as the Lindy Hop
(later called the jitterbug), was a way for the populace to access this new-found freer style of dancing—in a way an entrée for many into African cultural influences.

Jazz and tap were featured prominently in film, spreading their popularity, through such lumi- naries as Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly. On Broadway, choreographers working primarily in ballet and modern began to choreograph shows, such as Agnes De Mille, Donald McKayle, George Bal- anchine, and Jerome Robbins. Strong traces of jazz would continue to surface throughout these choreographers’ classical ballet repertory, for example, parallel positions and flexed feet and hands.

Robbins’ West Side Story was a hit both on Broadway (1957) and the silver screen (1961); it won 10 Oscars, including best picture and best direction for Robbins and Robert Wise. Its dances were condensed into the West Side Story Suite in 1995 for New York City Ballet, which continues to perform it. The company has many Robbins ballets in its repertory, including 1958’s New York Export: Opus Jazz, revived in 2005. It was adapted as a critically-acclaimed film in 2010, with dances shot in various locations around New York City.

Jack Cole choreographed many films in a signa- ture style that oozed coolness, with its deeply bent knees, limp “puppy” hands, and compass point arm moves. It shared ideas with the movement of Bob Fosse, who added dramatic details— sultry shoulder and pelvic flourishes, and a bowler hat and cane. Matt Mattox, one of Cole’s dancers who was featured in many films, developed a jazz class patterned after the structure of a ballet class, and became a highly respected and influential teacher and proponent of the style.

Modern dance’s rise dovetailed with some of the more lyrical strains of jazz. Alvin Ailey studied and then performed with Lester Horton, a well-known teacher and choreographer, before establishing his own company in 1958. Ailey combined some of the more formal elements of jazz with ballet, African, and modern to create a repertory for his now internationally-renowned company whose signature is Revelations.

Around that time, jazz studios and teaching were on the rise. New York-based Luigi, who received a 2013 Bessie Award for lifetime achievement, had a silky smooth, pulsing style developed in part as a therapeutic response to a serious accident; his classes drew big crowds even if the style didn’t take a firm hold on the stage. Phil Black’s studio, located just north of Times Square on Broadway, was a hotspot for jazz students. Gus Giordano, in Chicago, was a strong advocate for the jazz genre, writing the Anthology of American Jazz Dance, and organizing the Jazz Dance World Congress. Lynn Simonson co-founded Dance Space Center in New York in 1983, where her fluid, propulsive style of jazz became popular (the center evolved into Dance New Amsterdam, which recently closed).

Twyla Tharp’s repertory is so varied and deep that it escapes classification, although she gained a following during the time of the Judson Church post-modernists. Some of her dances can be described as jazzy, with rolling hips, a louche beatnik attitude, and playful musical syncopation. She has also created grand-scaled ballets for opera houses, and smash hit Broadway musicals, such as Movin’ Out. Lou Conte founded Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 1977; this 2013 DMUSA company became  a respected force in performing contemporary repertory with a jazz bent and strong technique. Building on Conte’s early choreographic contributions and continuing to evlolve under current Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton, HSDC currently boasts a diverse repertory from leading international dancemakers, expanding its breadth to include a wide range of genres from ballet to gaga (Ohad Naharin’s technique).

Broadway continues to be a major repository of musical theater jazz by the likes of Lynne Tay- lor-Corbett, Rob Marshall, Graciela Daniele, and Susan Stroman, many of who direct as well as choreograph. Many contemporary choreographers incorporate jazzy elements into some of their rep- ertory, such as Lar Lubovitch and Trey McIntyre, a 2012 DMUSA artist. Michael Jackson had been
a pop star since he was a child, but when MTV finally conceded to show his videos (they previ- ously didn’t show black artists), the genre took off. His immensely popular music videos of “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller” were huge hits in part due to his magnetic dancing, with nods to Bob Fosse and other jazz artists.

“Contemporary” is often used to define dance seen in Broadway musical theater and more com- mercial ventures. At the same time, the term can have a broader application to modern dance styles after the Judson Movement, including post-mod- ern, ballet-influenced, and more conceptual choreography. With the recent boom of dance on television reality shows, such as So You Think You Can Dance, contemporary dance has become a new subgenre of jazz as taught in numerous New York studios. Loosely defined, it can be a blend of modern, ballet, and jazz styles—lyrical, technically challenging, with big leaps and multiple spins and infused with dramatic emotion, done by choreographers such as Mia Michaels. Ideally, it would be helpful to expand the lexicon to reflect the ever-broadening art form as the word contem- porary is being stretched to its limits.

Broadway has been the stomping ground for jazz choreographers, but several dancemakers known in other genres have had great success recent- ly—Bill T. Jones, who emerged in the 80s as a postmodern choreographer, and Karole Armitage, known for her punk ballet, to name two. What all of these artists share is the desire to connect and entertain through dancing to, or in syncopation with, rhythmic music. 

Work for Friday,  September 25th 

Hi Dancers,

​I am apologize for not being able to be with you today. As you know, I am touring this weekend with the Pictor Performing Arts Collective for our Performance at Rochester Fringe Festival. I will be back in school on Tuesday. For the next two days, I need you to uphold our professionalism and run the class like it normally would have. I expect my company manager will help make it happen.

Shantel Bernal & Nyzair Russell, you guys should make up your test instead of doing today's lesson.

Rose, please use this website as a resource for filling out your daily sheet. (Objective: Dancers will be able to reflect on the philosophy of why we dance.)

Miss Zwierzynski

Assignment: What is Dance?
​Instructions:  Read the following passage and quotations. Then complete the writing assignment in your journal. Please complete this by the end of class. Your response will be graded and counted as quiz grade.

What is dance? There are almost as many definitions of dance as there are people writing about dance. There is a great deal of disagreement on how broad this definition should be. Some definitions include practically all human movement, while Webster's Dictionary limits it to "rhythmic movement of the feet or body, ordinarily to music." Others assert that unless movement has symbolic meaning or expresses emotion, it is not dance. Still others claim that even animals can express emotions through movement, and therefore they dance. Exploring the meaning of dance, as expressed in either choreography or the written word or both, has become a lifelong search for some individuals. The quotations that follow on page are examples of the conclusions of some twentieth-century writers and choreographers.

While the comments highlight different aspects of dance, they have some commonalities. All of the authors believe dance to be a natural expression of the human condition and the human spirit, requiring some structured use of time, space and the body or bodies. The dancer/choreographer interprets both inner feeling and cultural realities, linking them to universal truth. In the same way a great playwright creates with words a picture of his day and age and the inner lives of specific characters, while remaining accessible to viewers from other cultures, the choreographer creates a work of art true to his own time and place but also transcending these limitations.

Evidence of early dance, such as artifacts and cave paintings, indicates that among ancient people dance was one of the first arts, existing long before written language. Dance has served many purposes in human society, and its earliest purpose was probably for ritual. Dance was used to pray for favor from the gods, to portray their activities, and to connect spiritually with ancestors.
  • A. The dance is one of many human experiences which cannot be suppressed like music, the dance is a language which all human beings understand. Dance, like every other artistic expression, presupposes a heightened, increase life response. - Mary Wigman
  • B. The dance is the mother of the arts. Music and poetry exist in time; painting in space. But the dance lives at once in time and space. The creator and the thing created, the artist and the work are still one and the same thing.- Curt Sachs
  • C. Here the constants of beauty, ease, proportion, vitality, technical mastery, of the communication of ecstasy to the beholder, are within one's body-soul. And the greatest constant of all is that we experience a rhythmic beauty, the activity of God Himself. -Ted Shawn
  • D. Movement is the essence of life, dance its ultimate expression . ... The artist creates out of the world that has made him in order to remake it according to the image of his inner world.- Walter Sorell
  • E. Movement in order to have power and and beauty, must spring from the organic center of the body. It must be intensely human, or it will be gymnastics, and be mechanical and empty.- Jose Limon
  • F. What are we looking for? To attune our inmost feelings to the mood of the time.- Mary Wigman
  • G. The dance is love, it is only love, it alone, and that is enough . .. now, I would like to no longer dance to anything but the rhythm of my soul.- Isadora Duncan
  • H. I think that dance should primarily be entertainment. It's a visual theater and an oral theater...beautiful people, beautifully dressed, doing beautiful and meaningful things. -Alvin Ailey
  • I. The artist is...the bearer of a message, and it is his responsibility to tell it-in whatever medium it might be-intelligently, forcefully, and with his utmost artistic ability. -Charles Weidman
  • J. Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. -Twyla Tharp

Address the following questions in a 2 paragraph written response: (Write this is your journal)
  • Which quote resonated with you most?
  • Who wrote the quote that you liked most?
    • Provide a 2-3 sentence biography on that person.
    • Were they a dancer, educator, or a choreographer? If not, what was their profession?
  • What do think this quote means?
  • Tell me why you choose to dance.
    • ​What dance make you fee or experience?
    • Think about answering...
      • ​I dance to...
      • Dance is...
  • How does the quote relate to why you dance? 

Anatomy & Kinesiology Test  Study  Guide

Dancers, I have attached the study guide for your test on Thursday, September 24th. Use this attached document as a tool to study in addition with your notes. Please contact me on our Remind Class app if you have any questions. If you were absent on Tuesday, September 22nd, I still expect for you to take the test with us on Thursday.
Anatomy Test Review Sheet-Dance I.pdf
click to download

Back to Schools Night...

Join us for back to school night!
Thursday,September 17th at 5:30-7:00pm 
Where? VPA at 544 Chestnut Ave. Trenton, NJ 08611
Why? To learn about this year's exciting changes!

  • Invite your parent/ guardian to back to school night.
    • Please share this flyer with them!
      • I will send a flyer home with you or direct your parents to this website.
  • Incentives for brining your parents...
    • I will provide a small snack
    • You will be entered to win a student gift card prize!
    • Your parent/ guardian will be entered to win a separate gift card prize!
Back to School Night Flyer.pdf
click to download

First Week Documents!

I am enjoying getting to know all of you so far. Attached are the various first week documents you have been receiving in class. If you lost your copy, please download it here.
Letter to Parents about Dress Code.pdf
click to download
Dress Code Requirements-Fall 2015.pdf
click to download
Syllabus Contact-Dance I-Fall 2015.pdf
click to download
Dance I Syllabus-Fall 2015.pdf
click to download
Important Reminders...
  • Students must bring in course materials & syllabus contract for a homework grade by Fri., September 11th
  • Students will take a test on the syllabus contract on Fri., September 11th
  • Students must change into proper dance attire by Mon., September 14th
  • Back to School Night is Thur., September 17th at 5:30-7:00pm