The AVPA Dance Department motivates student dancers to achieve their highest level of technical movement proficiency while investigating, realizing, and expressing their unique artistic visions. Under the creative direction of Julie Carson, the department is grounded in the belief that young dancers benefit most from a dance education in both traditional and contemporary dance forms. Guided by the objective to provide a broad and valuable dance education, the program employs some of Los Angeles’ finest dance teachers to work with the students.
To earn a dance major or minor, students are expected to work for a minimum of one year toward ballet and modern dance proficiency, while supplementing their dance experience with semester courses and workshops in modern jazz, musical theater, improvisation, tap, and/or world dance. Students must also complete a choreography course, developing dances that may be selected for future performance. All senior dance majors and minors are mentored as they create senior projects for presentation in the Spring Dance Concert.
There are several performing opportunities for the dancers throughout the year. In a given year, these opportunities may include Winter Dance Showings, Cabaret performances (produced through multi-disciplinary efforts by the Music Department), the AVPA Spring Musical, the Spring Dance Concert, and the end-of-the-year AVPA Java event. On occasion, dancers may be invited to perform in additional AVPA and community events.
The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts is organized as a Dance Company, Danger Zone Dance Project (DZDP), is comprised of dynamic and unique Culver City High School student dancers. Company members attend a weekly meeting, as well as the monthly Convocation for all AVPA members. DZDP company members also participate in fundraising events and are committed members of the dance department and the AVPA.