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Introducing the Juilliard Dance Programme

At the British International School Ho Chi Minh City we work with the world’s best organisations to provide our students and staff with outstanding opportunities and experiences. In developing our performing arts curriculum around this belief, we collaborate with The Juilliard School, a world leader in performing arts education. The programme has been designed to give our students a deep engagement with performing arts - promoting cultural literacy, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration.

Juilliard world stage

This collaboration, unique to Nord Anglia schools, launched at BIS HCMC in 2016 with our enhanced Music Curriculum and went on to include the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Drama Curriculum from September 2018. Over the past few years, our music and drama departments have gone from strength to strength. Our students not only have access to a repertoire of core music works designed and hand-selected by Juilliard, but they've also benefitted from workshops with Juilliard alumni and curriculum specialists.

As we move into another academic year we are excited to begin the third stage of our collaboration; introducing the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Dance Programme. Through this, students will learn the history and movement behind influential dance pieces, while improving their own physical coordination and self-expression.

Learning from the best

To launch our dance curriculum at the British International School HCMC a selection of our teachers attended the South East Asia and Middle East Region Music and Dance Professional Development Training in Hanoi alongside 20 other dance, drama and physical education teachers.

This was a 3-day workshop introducing teachers to the Juilliard approach in teaching performing arts to primary and secondary students. Christine de Ubago, F1 Teacher explains more, “Juilliard Curriculum Specialists Salla Saaringkangas (Dance) and Richard Mannoia (Music) led the course and performed demonstration classes showing us ways to use the Juilliard Creative Classroom resources in our practice. The approach focuses on success for all, exploratory learning, encouraging creativity and ownership, and reflection.”

The Juilliard approach through the Creative Classroom enables knowledge, skills and understanding to be taught in a structured way allowing our students to be continually reflective. “Students are given ownership of their learning through opportunities to explore, create, reflect and problem-solve,” says Fiona Yard, F3 Teacher at BIS HCMC who also attended the training in Hanoi.

Juilliard Dance Programme - BIS HCMC

The Dancer’s Toolbox is a unique resource available only through Juilliard Creative Classroom. Sharing the expertise of Juilliard Dance, the Dancer’s Toolbox is a collection of original resources specifically designed for teaching dance and to better understand a dancer’s needs. Dancer’s Toolbox focuses on how to move with mindfulness, creativity, and physical safety, along with strategies to enjoy and better understand movement practices. 

Dancing is a universal language. It works you physically, mentally and emotionally.” Hilary Easton – Director of Global K-12 Dance Programs at The Juilliard School

An important component of the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Dance Programme is that it is accessible to students of all ages and abilities, as Christine explains, “As a dancer myself, I always hear people telling me, “Dance isn’t for me” or “Dance is too difficult, I have two left feet.” I grew up learning dance by copying my teacher and having to move strictly to the beat of the music chosen. Through the 3 days of training, I have realised how the Juilliard way focuses on learning the skill, expressing creativity and having ownership for what they have created. It makes the learners realise that performing arts is for all and we are all artists in our own unique ways.”

Keigan Page, Secondary Drama Teacher at BIS HCMC continues, “The training taught me just how accessible dance can be made for all learners and the opportunities of expression that come with this programme.”

A unique benefit of being a part of Nord Anglia Education; a group of 66 premium international schools across the globe is that it provides a network for teachers and students to share and collaborate. Keigan explains, “One of the biggest takeaways for me is the great pool of resources and talents we have working around the world in the Nord Anglia Education family.” Fiona continues, “There are a lot of amazing dance teachers within NAE. This is an invaluable resource to us as we develop the dance curriculum here at BIS in Ho Chi Minh City.”

Juilliard Dance Programme - BIS HCMC

Integrating the Dance Curriculum at BIS HCMC

Keigan and Christine have kick-started the Juilliard Dance Programme at the BIS Secondary Campus with a Juilliard Dance CCA focusing on the Juilliard global choreography challenge utilising the Creative Classroom resources.

“We are hoping to be able to use what we’ve learnt to encourage children to create their own dances for various school productions,” explain Christine and Keigan. “Through this, we are hoping to apply the dance curriculum across different year groups as a part of BIS HCMC’s performing arts programme.”

Professional Development of this calibre ensures that the level of teaching at the British International School Ho Chi Minh City remains at the highest standard, striving for excellence in the delivery of a world-class performing arts curriculum.

Juilliard benefits of the performing arts music girl playing piano

The Benefits of an Education in the Performing Arts

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