As a dance program within a secondary school, our goal is to offer pre-professional level training that prepares students to enter college dance programs or conservatories, while also serving students who wish to take dance as a form of recreational and life-long fitness.
The PA dance program is designed to educate students and the extended community to the concept of dance as a form of communication and expression fundamental to all cultures. Ballet and modern dance are the foundation of technique for dancers and as such is the foundation of our program; but we also believe it is essential to expose the students to a range of diverse dance forms along with choreography and composition as they explore dance as a language. The student’s exposure to dance culminates in vibrant performance offerings, which serve to expand the community’s knowledge of dance as they enrich the overall culture at Phillips Academy.
Dance technique is offered exclusively through the athletic program while choreography and performance opportunities are both curricular and co-curricular. Phillips Academy provides two state-of-the-art studios. Techniques classes are taught by two full-time faculty members. The Andover Dance Group is our primary performing ensemble, directed by faculty member Judith Wombwell and made up of the most dedicated and gifted dancers. Other student-run groups include jazz, hip-hop, and tap groups. To broaden the students’ exposure to the dance world each year, the department hires guest artists ranging from local choreographers to residencies with internationally known choreographers and dancers.