15 November, 2023

Juilliard Dance Curriculum Specialist visits BISS Puxi

Who is Ashley Newman?

Ashley is a dancer, choreographer and educator. She works with the Nord Anglia-Juilliard Partnership and is linked with the BISS Puxi Performing Arts Team as a Juilliard Dance Curriculum Specialist. Ashley is based in New York City.

What does Juilliard mean at BISS Puxi?

Performing Arts is one of our Five Pillars at BISS Puxi. The Juilliard partnership is seen in Music, Dance and Drama. All students at BISS Puxi have access to the Juilliard partnership.

Our Juilliard collaboration is a thought partnership with colleagues at the Juilliard University, New York. The Juilliard Team has devised a programme for all learners at NAE to allow students to have access to a high-quality performing arts programme.

The Juilliard Team works with the BISS School Lead, the Performing Arts Heads of Department and the Performing Arts staff to develop their curricula to allow the following aspects:

• Success for all.
• Active and exploratory learning.
• Inquiry and reflection.
• Igniting creativity.
• Meaningful encounters.

We also use different 'core works' to allow students to access and learn about professional performing artists to allow them to understand a world outside the classroom and to view performing arts in a different way.

When are students taught dance at BISS Puxi?

All students from Pre-Nursery to Year 9 are exposed to Juilliard Dance within their PE lessons. All students are permitted to develop their love of dance to work with our extracurricular Performing Arts Academy (BISS Lions School of Performing Arts). Within the BISS Lions School of Performing Arts, Juilliard lessons are taught in addition to the LAMDA and BBO curriculum.

How does dance fit into the PE curriculum at BISS Puxi?

Within the British PE curriculum, students are exposed to Competitive Games, Outdoor Education and Aesthetic Activities. Dance falls under the aesthetics category as students explore how their body moves and develops coordination, balance, spatial awareness, flexibility and agility in a way that is different to other physical activities. Dance also allows students to work together in a collaborative way. Students studying IGCSE PE may choose dance as one of their four sports which equates to 12% of their overall grade.

If my child would like to access more dance at BISS Puxi is this possible?
Students are welcome to contact natasha.manley@bisspuxi.com to access more dance opportunities with our ECA programme.

Does the extracurricular dance programme also teach Juilliard Dance?

20% of our term is dedicated to the Juilliard partnership. The BISS Lions School of Performing Arts staff also receive Juilliard training.

What is the difference between the dance that is taught at BISS and the dance that is being taught at other schools?

At BISS Puxi, our dance lessons are taught by PE teachers who are all highly qualified to teach movement. The PE team has received high quality Juilliard training.
Within lessons, we allow students to have the opportunity to create aesthetic pieces of work in a reflective and collaborative environment that has stemmed from a strategically designed Juilliard core work. Students work through a specifically designed a PE Dance assessment that draws on skills that have been taught in all areas in the PE curriculum to develop the student as a skilled dancer. For example, a Reception student will work on developing a log roll in swimming, dance and gymnastics. Our curriculum is unlike any other dance curriculum worldwide. The PE team believes in a ‘stages not ages pedagogy’ which allows students to work at their own individualised and personalised pace.

Within our ECA programme, students are levelled according to their ability and Juilliard lessons are taught to engage and challenge students in a safe and inspiring environment.
How has Ashley’s visit impacted the students at BISS Puxi?
Ashley delivered two demonstration lessons with our students and connected with a large number of students when she observed the PE teachers deliver a Juilliard lesson. Ashley also worked with our Senior Leadership Team to ensure that a high level of dance provision is provided for all learners.
How often are dance visits scheduled?
Juilliard Dance visits are scheduled twice per year. One visit is virtual, and one is in person.

Why is dance an important part of the curriculum?

Learning how to communicate and collaborate with others is a vital part of growing up. Children's dance classes teach children how to work as part of a team or with a partner. They learn about respecting boundaries, encouraging and supporting each other, and problem solving. Students learn valuable life skills through dance, such as responsibility, persistence, communication skills, grit and accountability. Dance offers a structured outlet for emotional release, while gaining awareness and appreciation of oneself and others.