The Monsanto Dance Education Residency Program
Dance St. Louis brings teaching artists from our performing companies for intensive three-week residencies each semester, culminating in free attendance at matinees. The residencies reach about 200 under-served students at urban middle and high schools.
The Monsanto Dance Education Residency Program offers school-time classes five days per week at these urban public schools: Central Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) High School, Carr Lane VPA Middle School, Grand Center Arts Academy, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy, Normandy High School, and University City High School.
In the residency classes, students receive instruction in the resident company’s technique, create their own short choreography, and participate in activities that make cross-curricular connections with language arts, social studies, career development, music, and health. Each student receives a Study Guide created by the Dance St. Louis education director in collaboration with the visiting teaching artists. The curriculum and Study Guides are aligned to state and national education standards.
Dance St. Louis uses several forms of assessment to analyze the success of the Monsanto Dance Education Residency Program. Using a rating form based on national and state dance education standards, Dance St. Louis' Michael Uthoff makes an observational written assessment of each student’s dance skills at the beginning and end of each residency experience. This procedure enables Dance St. Louis to identify individual students with the exceptional talent to be considered for the Dance Career Award Program, as well as to monitor the progress of each residency as a whole. Written pre- and post-quizzes are used to test the students’ learning in cross-curricular areas such as music, visual arts, social studies, and health, as well as students’ enjoyment.
Dance St. Louis uses several forms of assessment to analyze the success of the Monsanto Dance Education Residency Program. Written pre- and post-quizzes are used to test the students’ learning in cross-curricular areas, and their attitudes towards attending and participating in the arts. Observational assessments are used to measure the improvement in the students’ dance skills and technique.
The Monsanto Dance Education Residency Program is supported by Monsanto Fund.
Dance Career Award Program
The winners of the 2016-17 Dance Career Awards are selected from hundreds of area students participating in Dance St. Louis’ Monsanto Dance Education Residency Program during the fall. The five winners were presented their awards onstage at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on November 5, 2016 prior to Dance St. Louis’ presentation of Romeo & Juliet starring Grand Rapids Ballet.
The 2016-17 award winners are:
• Jamaikah Banks, senior at Grand Center Arts Academy
• Raven Schad, junior at Grand Center Arts Academy
• Alana Collier, senior at University City High School
• Marelle Dotson, sophomore at Normandy High School
• Joshua Hall, senior at Central Visual & Performing Arts High School
The Dance Career Awards are designed to identify and honor local high school students who are exceptionally motivated and talented in dance and show potential for a professional dance career. Recipients of the Dance Career Award are offered guidance and support towards more intensive dance training and ultimately towards careers in the dance world. Awardees are also given assistance with preparation for auditions, counseling on whether or which college to pursue, request for letters of recommendations, connections in the professional dance world and more. Dance St. Louis may also contribute financially and help seek support for award winners from dance schools, colleges and professional dance companies.