MasterClassBirds eye view
The photographs above were taken by UHS dancer, Ches Glidden of UHS dancer,
Elizabeth Lindenmeier, in front of the construction at University Street across
from Mc104 dance studio (fall 2008).

University High School     
Dance I
Orchesis Intercity Dance Company

Instructor:  Laurie Merriman



Welcome to Dance I/Orchesis!   This teaching assignment brings me a lot of pleasure as an educator and as an artist!  I feel privileged to bring dance to the high school students of University High School and surrounding schools.   It is always a thrill to work with the diverse student population of the Orchesis Intercity Dance Company and its' affiliated technique and dance theory course.  While University High School has had the vision to support the Fine and Performing Arts within their curriculum, they extend this opportunity to the community of Bloomington/Normal by offering Dance to students of other high schools.  As a result, the Dance I/Orchesis class is traditionally composed of students ranging from freshmen to seniors from University High School, Bloomington High School, Normal Community High School, Normal Community West High School, and Central Catholic High School...we may even have others represented this year!   Students enrolled in this course are able to apply their credit towards their Physical Education or Fine Arts requirements.    While a large majority of the students enrolled in Dance I/Orchesis have had some prior dance training or experience that does not preclude the novice student from joining the class.    Students are assessed each semester on their effort and continual progress affording most students every opportunity for academic success. 

Dance I/Orchesis academic course meets Monday through Friday from 7:00-7:45am throughout the school year as outlined by University High School.   The Dance I/Orchesis class follows the University High School calendar with the exception of their "Schedule A-E" days.  We meet each and every morning M-F unless I notify you to the contrary or your course calendar (available on Blackboard) indicates otherwise.  As a full-time Full Professor at Illinois State University and Assistant Dean of the College of Fine Arts, I am sometimes required to attend 7am meetings at the University, called away to attend an off-campus professional meeting, or travel out of the state on occasion.  Our "mornings off" will be reserved for such occasions. 

As a "laboratory school" within the Illinois State University system, the University High School dance course utilizes the dance facilities and equipment of the University located in Centennial East, room 116, on I.S.U.'s campus.

Students are exposed to a wide variety of events, performances, and opportunities as members of the University High Laboratory School community.  Dance I/Orchesis students are invited and encouraged to attend Master Classes and performances sponsored by the Dance Program, housed within the School of Theatre of Illinois State University.    In addition, as Illinois State University includes the training of teachers within its' mission,  University High School's Dance I/Orchesis students are exposed to a variety of student teachers and student choreographers from the Dance Pedagogy and Dance Composition courses at Illinois State University as well as others.  This feature brings additional dance experiences to the University High School students. 
You can expect student teachers most semesters!

Dance I/Orchesis class includes a wide variety of course experiences throughout the year.  

Course Goals/Content Standards
(as outlined by the National Standards for Arts Education)

  1. Identify and demonstrate movement elements and skills in performing dance.
  2. Understand choreographic principles, processes, and structures.
  3. Understand dance as a way to create and communicate meaning.
  4. Apply and demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills in dance.
  5. Demonstrate and understand dance in various cultures and historical periods.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the connections between dance and healthful living.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the connections between dance and other disciplines.

Course Grades To Date

Your grades will be continually posted on Blackboard over the course of the semester. In order to maintain your confidentiality, the grades will be posted according to the Call Name I provided you with at the beginning of the course. It is important that you not reveal your secret Call Name to your friends and classmates unless you are comfortable with your grades being public knowledge. If you should elect not to have your grades posted in this forum, please see me immediately and I will insure that they not be posted...however, in those cases, students must come see me during my office hours to get an update on their progress.  

About this Site

In this course, students will study and learn the theories and fundamentals of a variety dance forms, choreographic principles of dance, and the cultural and historical relevance of dance.   You will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge in a variety of ways - both inside and outside the classroom.   It is my hope that you will find this site of great assistance throughout the semester as a supplement to our class and for use outside of the classroom.   I will be continually updating information for classroom use on this page and strongly suggest you "check in" on a regular basis.   This page serves two important functions for our class...1) to communicate; and 2)  to explore the vast use of computer technology in an academic/performing arts environment. 

On the left hand column of this page you will find a number of useful links for our class.   You are responsible for each of these links.  In that technology is what it are responsible for the material associated with these "links".   If you have any "techno difficulty" I would expect that you will come and see me during my office hours or problem solve (an under-rated skill) on your own to find a solution to your problem.  I will explain this in more detail in class.   Go ahead and click away however and get a jump start! 

"Dancers are part soldier, part gladiator, part matador. 
They possess the disciplined courage of the first,
the brute daring of the second, the finesse of the last."  
Jose´ Limon, "On Constancy"

orchesis home page


updated.gif (1754 bytes) August 20, 2010
copyright © L.Merriman