Wenona's new HSC curriculum dance program is building career-ready skills in surprising ways.
Did you know our senior Academic Dance students are sharpening their mathematical abilities each time they choreograph a dance? Or that the HSC subject challenges them to solve problems, manipulate abstract ideas, and test and evaluate solutions, as they work with complex numbering sequences, time patterns, rhythm, distance, area, volume, and size?
Wenona introduced Academic Dance for Years 9 to 11 at the beginning of 2022, with the first cohort of around seven students undertaking their HSC examinations in 2023. The NESA curriculum incorporates three main areas: Performance, Composition and Appreciation, culminating in a Major Work.
The course is overseen by our Head of Dance Mr Peter Fares, who graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAPPA) and has performed with companies from across Australia and the world.
Mr Fares says the curriculum is often underestimated and features challenges that include learning to analyse and critique other dancers' and choreographers' work, while continually building your own ability to move with beauty, skill and grace.
“The students also need to learn to collaborate really skillfully and communicate well, because a high-level verbal presentation forms part of the final HSC exam," he says. "Another challenge is the maintenance of their physical strength and stamina, and a disciplined approach to dealing with any injuries as they arise,” he says.
All Wenona Academic Dance students from Year 9 to Year 11 will unveil their progress for the first time next Monday 17 October, at their inaugural production UNITE at the Independent Theatre in Miller Street from 6pm (complimentary seating, no need to book).
Three of the six performances were devised by the students themselves, and cover the current issues that impassion them from refugees to the perils of war and the narcissism of our era.