MIDDLE SCHOOL COURSES

Physical Education 7

This course introduces students to individual sports, team sports, fitness, and aquatics. The program challenges students to raise their fitness levels and develop motor and leadership skills, good character, and a positive self-image. During first semester, students rotate through activities of varying intensity. Second semester, students are assigned to one of two tracks. Placement in the sports-performance track is determined by student desire and staff approval. This track alternates each week between weight-room workouts and playing sports. The fitness track continues to build athletic skills and improve fitness through sports and games.

Physical Education 8

The eighth-grade program continues to develop the knowledge and skills introduced in Physical Education 7. Students who enroll for the entire year have the opportunity to sign up for the sports-performance track designed to prepare middle school athletes for high school sports. This track alternates each week between weight-room workouts and playing sports. If space is available, students who enroll for one semester may also sign up. The fitness track continues to teach students to develop lifelong habits and build character through teamwork, communication, and cooperation while playing sports.

Physical Education 9

Students participate in a variety of activities each trimester. These activities may include badminton, basketball, fitness, football, soccer, softball, team handball, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, weight training, and others deemed appropriate by the Physical Education department.

Introduction to Contemporary Dance

This course introduces students to the technical and creative elements of contemporary dance. Prior dance experience is not required. Basic studies in modern, jazz, and ballet familiarize students with contemporary movement vocabulary as they develop coordination, agility, flexibility, and proper alignment and gain confidence in self-expression. Students are introduced to the choreographic process in a collaborative setting. The end-of-year informal showcase provides students with an opportunity to present original works.

Contemporary Dance Workshop I

This beginner/intermediate course is for dancers with previous training and performance experience. Students develop their technical and analytical skills by creating choreography. Students perform in a showcase at the end of the semester and participate in after-school rehearsals during the week prior to that event. Prerequisite: Introduction to Contemporary Dance, audition, or prior enrollment.

Contemporary Dance Workshop II

This intermediate/advanced course enables dancers to hone their technical and creative skills at a faster pace. Strength and flexibility are further developed through studies in jazz, ballet, and modern techniques. Creativity and self-expression are emphasized through guided improvisations and choreographic assignments. Students expand their critical-thinking capabilities by viewing, analyzing, and discussing dance. The class explores the group creative process as students choreograph, rehearse, and perform as an ensemble. They present their work in a showcase at the end of the semester and participate in after-school rehearsals during the week prior to that event. Prerequisite: Two semesters of Contemporary Dance Workshop I, audition, or prior enrollment.

Dance Production

This course for technically and creatively advanced dancers develops choreographic skills. It focuses on creative movement explorations and improvisations; choreographic design, shape, form, and development; critical and analytical thinking about choreography; and practical experience in rehearsal and performance. Dancers work within a collaborative ensemble to choreograph, rehearse, and perform their works in a professionally produced dance concert. The time commitment required for this class includes after-school rehearsals from November until the concert in March. Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

UPPER SCHOOL COURSES

Physical Education 10

Students participate in a variety of activities each trimester. These activities may include badminton, basketball, fitness, football, soccer, softball, team handball, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, weight training, and others deemed appropriate by the Physical Education department.

Physical Education 11

Students participate in a variety of activities each trimester. These activities may include badminton, basketball, fitness, football, soccer, softball, team handball, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, weight training, and others deemed appropriate by the Physical Education department.

Physical Education 12

Students participate in a variety of activities each trimester. These activities may include badminton, basketball, fitness, football, soccer, softball, team handball, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, weight training, and others deemed appropriate by the Physical Education department.

Fencing I

Fencing I is a beginning class that explores mobility, attack, defense, tactics, and technique in modern fencing. The course primarily focuses on foil, though saber and epee are also explored.

Yoga I

This class provides an introduction to basic yoga. Postures, breath control, and meditation are emphasized. Students learn these practices in the context of a larger mind/body discipline through which they can acquire greater self-awareness. Students work toward an independent daily practice of yoga. This class is open to students of all levels and may be taken either during or after school.

Yoga I—After School

This class provides an introduction to basic yoga. Postures, breath control, and meditation are emphasized. Students learn these practices in the context of a larger mind/body discipline through which they can acquire greater self-awareness. Students work toward an independent daily practice of yoga. This class is open to students of all levels and may be taken either during or after school.

The Art of Dance I

This beginning-level course offers an in-depth exploration of dance technique, choreography, improvisation, and performance. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop/street, musical theater, and ethnic dance forms. Students learn to assemble, compose, and perform their own dances through a series of collaborative choreographic assignments and showcases. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.

The Art of Dance II

This intermediate-level course offers an in-depth exploration of dance technique, choreography, improvisation, and performance. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop/street, musical theater, and ethnic dance forms. Students collaborate on choreographic assignments that help develop their creative voices, and they perform their work throughout the year. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement. Prerequisite: Contemporary Dance Workshop II or The Art of Dance I.

Advanced Dance Seminar

This course is designed for students who have actively participated in the Harvard-Westlake dance curriculum and want to work in depth on a project. The subject and nature of the project is determined by each student with the consent of the instructor. Students present one dance project per semester. A written paper and an oral or performance presentation are required. Meeting times are arranged between the student and teacher. Prerequisite: Application.

Advanced Dance I: Choreography

This advanced-level course offers an in-depth study of choreography and the creative process. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop/street, musical theater, and ethnic dance forms. Technique and performance are also examined. Students enrolled in this course become members of the outreach dance company, which focuses on creating community service-based performances. Students perform as an ensemble throughout the year and are given the choice to perform in the annual dance concert. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement. Prerequisite: Dance Production or prior enrollment.

Advanced Dance II: Performance and Production

This advanced-level course is designed for the serious dance student. Students choreograph and perform in the annual dance concert and various dance presentations throughout the year. Working as an ensemble is stressed; commitment and discipline are essential. As members of the Advanced Dance II company, students develop as dance artists. The class provides an opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement. Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Ballet

This course is for beginner- through advanced-level students interested in studying ballet. Barre technique, body alignment, and proper movement mechanics are emphasized and serve as a strong foundation for dancers, athletes, and actors. Classes are accompanied by a pianist. Students taking this course may earn one trimester of Physical Education credit.