The goal of the arts program at Riverdale is to help every student come to believe in the value of the creative process as a necessary and enduring element of a well-lived life. Participating in the arts provides an active, rather than a passive, learning experience.
The discipline and self-motivation of a lifelong participation in the arts contributes to personal expressiveness and satisfaction that are difficult to achieve by other means. The arts challenge one’s imagination, one’s resourcefulness, and one’s ability to envision and shape one’s life. The discovery and development of each student’s talents and vision are not only an exploration but a celebration of personal uniqueness. But all art is social, and ensemble work is invariably a part of each student’s experience of the arts at Riverdale. That brings an awareness of the necessity of individual contributions to a greater whole. The arts studios and the performance stages provide an atmosphere that nurtures and demands honesty, self-reliance, consideration, and respect for others.
The Linda M. Lindenbaum Center for the Arts and the Jeslo Harris Theater provide modern facilities to enhance the learning experience and environment for all the arts.
At Riverdale, students learn the arts primarily through active involvement.
Middle School Musical Highlights: Sister Act
Drama 6 & 7
This course provides an introduction to the elements of drama through theater games, improvisation, and text. Students become familiar with the performance possibilities and theatrical facilities at Riverdale and are introduced to acting, staging, auditioning, lighting, and video.
Drama 8 is a course in the basic elements of drama. Students use improvisation and games to learn to develop characters and situations. Study and rehearsal of play and movie scripts introduce students to important theatrical works. The course prepares and encourages students to participate in the creative performance and backstage opportunities of the extracurricular theater program.
Dance 6 & 7
This course will be the study of dance at the general level. As students enter 7th grade, they will continue to explore the fundamentals of movement and creative expression they were exposed to in 6th grade dance and will also be introduced to dance technique. Students will learn the basics of ballet, jazz, and modern dance technique in a survey style course. In addition, the element of choreography and performance will be introduced. Students will learn dances in the different styles and start exploring performative elements such as musicality and presence. Throughout the course, each student will focus on improvement of body alignment, flexibility, strength, confidence, balance, and coordination. Students are to develop proper dance performance skills including musicality, rhythmic clarity, dynamic phrasing, usage of breath, and spatial projection. Students are encouraged to develop and explore their own personal styles within each dance style.