© 2012 Advocates for the Akron Visual and Performing Arts
The Dance Program at Firestone High School is a collegiate model course of study designed to develop students’ technical abilities simultaneously with creative expression in preparation for all facets of university level dance.
Through state and national standards, the program mission is to provide a comprehensive base of dance technique in multiple styles, an understanding of choreographic methods, a fundamental knowledge of sound health practices, and to foster advocacy and appreciation for dance as an art form in a historical and cultural context.
Through community partnerships, guest artists frequent the dance program, and have included The Paul Taylor Dance Company, Taylor II, Ohio Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dance Alloy, The Repertory Project, Hernando Cortez, Groundworks Dance Theatre, Ron Brown/Evidence, The Garth Fagan Dance Company, Urban Bush Women, and the Martha Graham Dance Company, among others.
Students have performed repertory work by David Parsons (The Envelope, set in a residency by Verb Ballets) and John Giffin (Manimal House) as well is in original work by Michael Medcalf (Lovely, 2007) and Dianne McIntyre (All You Ever Wanted, 2009). In addition, Firestone partners with area private dance studios by requiring its students to study dance techniques after school at the studio of their choice.
FHS dancers can be found in many university dance departments including Slippery Rock University, Point Park College, Kent State University, University of Akron, Ohio State University, Barnard College, Elon University, and Otterbein College.
The department has been featured in Dance Teacher Magazine as a model K-12 dance program, and is often visited by dance education students and professors from the University of Akron and Kent State University. The department also boasts a chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, which honors the academic, artistic, and leadership achievements of students in dance.
Student choreography is the hallmark of Firestone’s dance program. Upperclassmen submit works-in-progress annually to adjudicators from universities (University of Akron, Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Lake Erie College, Oberlin College, Slippery Rock University, University of Michigan), as well as area dance schools and professional companies (Inlet Dance Theater, Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theater, Manchester Dance Ensemble, Studio West Performing Arts). Student works have been included on OhioDance’s young artist showcases and informal showings.