Dance and Theater
Students in Charlottesville regularly enjoy live performances through field trips to destinations such as the Paramount Theater or the American Shakespeare Center. Other groups come to our schools, including the Ash Lawn Opera Festival.
Opportunities to perform on stage also abound. Gym and music classes in elementary school teach dance, and after-school clubs encourage drama and dance, as well. We are partnering with the Charlottesville Ballet to offer after-school ballet lessons. In addition, certain schools, such as Jackson-Via Elementary, offer innovative ways to celebrate music and dance. Jackson-Via’s Bully-Nots club performs to the beat of friendliness– using dance, skits, and more to teach kindness and respect. In addition, the middle school and high school have step teams that compete and perform in venues such as the nTelos Wireless Pavilion on the Downtown Mall.
Minds In Motion
A partnership with the Richmond Ballet, Minds In Motion is a year-long program that teaches fourth-grade students discipline, dedication, and self-awareness by leading them through a series of choreographic movements. Led by two dance teachers and a live accompanist, Minds In Motion teaches students the benefits of applying themselves to a task involving both mental and physical challenges. The Minds In Motion staff works with each individual fourth grade class approximately one hour each week, leading up to an extraordinary spring performance. Students at Walker and Buford can audition to continue their participation with the program through the after-school programs, Team XL and Team XXL.
Theater in Charlottesville City Schools
Theater productions, often combined with music and dance, are a vital part of elementary education and occur frequently in all the elementary schools. Beginning in fifth grade, students at Walker and Buford can perform with the after-school club Stage Left Theater, which offers two free, family-friendly performances each year to packed crowds. Recent plays include Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, and more.
TheatreCHS offers a host of opportunities for thespians, whether students wish to take theater classes or participate as an extra-curricular activity. The CHS theater program participates in Virginia High School League competitions such as one-act performances and various design and costuming challenges. Besides major productions, theater students enjoy performing for their peers and teachers, at the elementary schools, and at their annual student-directed Dessert Theater. The season’s highlight is the spring musical, which delights crowds in the Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center. Recent musicals include Hairspray!, Aida, and Into the Woods. In 2017, the school also presented Raisin in the Sun, a classic portrayal of working-class African-American life in the 1950s.
- Minds in Motion (dance partnership with Richmond Ballet)
- Stage Left Theater (drama club for Buford and Walker students)
For More Information
Aaron Eichorst, Fine Arts Coordinator