Company Programs at Halestone

What is “company”?

Within dance education we can teach dance technique, anatomy and alignment, performance skills, the creative process (how to choreograph, how to communicate ideas), improvisation, teamwork, self-esteem, and so much more. That’s a lot to accomplish in 1-2 hours of class a week, which is why many studios offer company programs for serious dancers of various ages who want a deeper engagement with dance.

At Halestone, students who participate in company get to experience (at a level appropriate for their age) what it is like to be a dancer in a company, rehearsing for a performance and working with guest artists or collaborators. By participating in company students get more chances to put their dance education into practice: community performances and festivals, extra rehearsals, classes and performances at Halestone, and more time per week spent dancing. Because company functions like a rehearsal, company classes are not a place for students to learn dance technique. However the foundation of dance technique(s) is needed for students to be successful performing artists, which is why being in company requires students to take additional dance classes during the week. Company classes at Halestone are focused on developing choreographic tools and critical thinking skills through dance studies. Students will learn composition, feedback techniques, advanced improvisation skills, and be part of producing and performing in various productions throughout the year.

Company programs at Halestone have operated under various names throughout the years (such as the Young Dancers, the Creative Movement Ensemble, the High School Ensemble, the Community Dance Connection Theatre, Junior Company, and Senior Company, to name a few).

In 2022-2023 Halestone will offer the following company programs:

  • Halestone’s Junior Company
  • Halestone’s Company

Junior Company is open to young movers, ages 5 through 12, taking at least one other class at Halestone. A commitment to the class is required to participate. Junior Company, known as Company Prep last year, gives young dancers the opportunity to experience company membership. Dancers will be rehearsing a dance to be performed at one of our fall events and our spring recital. 

Halestone’s Company is open to dedicated movers, ages 12 and up, and dancers who have studied at Halestone for at least one year and others by permission/ invitation of the instructor. Dancers must be taking regular technique classes to support their learning in company. There is no audition to participate in Company, however in 2022-2023 students must take 2 additional technique classes a week at Halestone, one of which must be either Advanced Seminar in Modern Dance OR Contemporary. If you are 18 years and older, you are only required to take 1 additional technique class, and attend 1 Modern Company rehearsal out of the month.

Modern Company will focus on developing choreographic tools and critical thinking skills through dance studies. Students will learn composition, feedback techniques, advanced improvisation skills, and be part of producing and performing in various productions throughout the season. 

Modern Company members are expected to perform at various community and Halestone performances.

Halestone Modern Company Guidelines, 2022-2023:

  1. Halestone Modern Company membership is open to ages 13 and up dedicated dancers that take two classes per week at Halestone Dance Studio. One of the two classes must be either Contemporary/Ballet Mix or Advanced Seminar in Modern Dance. In certain circumstances exceptions will be made.
  2. MC meets weekly on Wednesdays from 6:15- 7:30 pm. Students are encouraged to take Contemporary directly preceding MC so that they are warmed up and ready to go when class starts. Students that do not take Advanced Seminar in Modern must warm themselves up at home or in the lobby prior to 6:15 pm to prevent injury.
  3. Dancers are expected to make weekly class a priority and to attend other scheduled rehearsals. We will attempt to keep additional rehearsals to a minimum, and to schedule them in advance and at convenient times. However due to the nature of our performing schedule, some additional rehearsals can’t be avoided.
  4. Participation in performance and community events is voluntary, but once dancers have indicated that they will participate in a particular event they will be expected to attend all extra rehearsals for the event and the event itself.
  5. Dancers are permitted one non-medical/non-emergency absence during the season for family vacation or other special events. Excessive absences or tardiness to rehearsals may result in a change or loss of role.
  6. Parent/guardian cooperation is expected in ensuring regular attendance and punctuality.
  7. MC dancers will be treated as pre-professional modern dancers involved in the artistic process with company directors and guest artists. Thus, dancers are expected to behave in a professional manner and bring their best selves (body, mind and spirit) to all classes and rehearsals. MC dancers are role models for younger students and are encouraged to act accordingly at all events, classes and rehearsals.
  8. MC members entering their senior year of high school (or the equivalent) are invited to choreograph a piece to be performed in Halestone’s year-end recital. These dancers should follow the below guidelines for choreographing a senior piece:
  • The student should have a conversation with Artistic Director by early November to indicate their intentions to choreograph a piece.
  • The student should organize two showings of the work in progress with the Artistic Director to receive feedback. The student should organize the showings at least one week in advance. These showings could happen during MC class, during a rehearsal for their piece, or at another pre-scheduled time.
  • The student can invite anyone they choose to be in their piece or hold an audition to select dancers. If their piece includes dancers not taking class at Halestone the student should contact the Artistic Director to obtain parental permission/ waivers.
  • If the student’s cast includes each of the members of MC that year the student can expect to use MC class time to rehearse their piece. If not, the student should plan to schedule outside rehearsals with their cast. The Artistic Director can assist in contacting students and parents and arranging rehearsals if the student wishes.
  • If the graduating student would like to have work set specifically on them by the Artistic Director or a guest artist for recital, rather than choreograph their own dance, this may be possible and the student should let the Artistic Director know this preference in the fall.