The Dance program at AISK is designed to capture all aspects of dance – developing students' technique and performance skills, exploring the history of dance and cultivating an appreciation for dance as an art form. At each level, a curriculum has been designed that will eventually facilitate entry into the IB Dance Program.
At the Elementary level students will discover the fundamentals of dance. They will develop spatial awareness, keeping time, use of movement, counting, as well as exploring falls, rolls and tumbles. The primary focus at this stage is to develop a joy of movement.
Dance at the Middle School level forms part of the exploratory program. Students from Grades 6-8 will be exposed to one quarter of dance each year. Students will still be developing the fundamentals of dance technique, including execution of proper posture and body alignment. It is at this stage that they will begin to learn and develop an understanding of the core vocabulary for ballet and modern dance. Classes may include a fusion of other dance genres/styles such as Jamaican folk dance, street dance (hip hop), tango and Broadway. Students will also begin to explore the history of dance worldwide.
The AISK Dance curriculum provides a fertile ground for inculcating the love of dance in our students. Through this dancers are born and are able to further develop their love for the medium in our after school program the AISK Dance Ensemble. From its inception the group has participated in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival competitions. Participation at this level has helped the dancers to see the link between the art and the craft of the dance world. Students receive performance exposure on a larger scale. By competing with other schools it challenges the performance skills of the dancers, helping to developing stagecraft of the individual, as well as the group. Students are able to experiment with choreography. It gives them an opportunity to mingle with other dancers.
TONY WILSON - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Tony Wilson brings a wealth of experience and accomplishments to AISK. From years of study and performing with Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, as a principal dancer and celebrated choreographer with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, to being the 1991 recipient of the Caribbean Academy of Arts and Culture Award and ‘Best Choreographer 2009 - Jamaica Junior Theatre’s musical, ‘Cats’. He has also done choreography for the Inner City Ballet Company in Buffalo, New York and the New Breed Dance Company in Chicago.
RICARDO BARRETT - MODERN DANCE
Ricardo Barrett debuted his artistic talents in 2002 under the mentorship of Cathy Levy as a member of Little People Team Players. In 2006 he attended The Bronx High School for Performance and Stagecraft, honing his skills through training and taking part in various high school showcases in both fields of Theatre and Dance. He graduated with honors from Thomas Jefferson High school in Virginia and was then accepted to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, California. He's a three year member of the Jamaica Junior Theatre. Having joined The Company Dance Theatre in 2012, this marks his third season under the direction and tutelage of Tony Wilson.
Orville McFarlane, professional dancer and teacher, is a graduate of the Edna Manley College of the visual and performing arts where he obtained a bachelor of fine arts in performance and choreography. He is currently a dancer with L'acadco: A united Caribbean dance force where he has performed and toured to several countries including Suriname, England, United States and Japan.
CHANTELL ROBINSON-MODERN DANCE
Chantell Robinson studied at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. There she obtained the Diploma in Dance and Theater Production. At the end of an intensive three year program she received four awards for excellence as a Dance and Theatre student. In 2007 she was selected to participate in a three month exchange program at the State University of New York. She has also studied and performed with The Company Dance Theatre and Ballet Creole in Toronto Canada.
In 2010 Chantell joined the Dance Department of the American International School of Kingston. In this position she has choreographed a number of medal winning works performed by AISK Dance Ensemble in the National JCDC competition.
SYDNE WALCOTT - BALLET MISTRESS
Sydne Walcott began dancing at the age of three years. She began her training with the Tony Wilson School of Modern Dance in 2007 and was invited to join the Company Dance Theatre in 2011. Sydne is also a member of the Vickers Dance School, for training in ballet. She has completed grades 5 through 8 (with distinction) along with the vocation levels of Intermediate and Advanced Foundation (with merit) of the Royal Academy of Dance and is currently in her third year of vocational training.
Sydne has just completed a Bsc. with a major in Psychology and a minor in Spanish at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Since mid 2013. Sydne joined the AISK Dance Department in August 2014.
Kemar Brown - Hip-Hop, Dancehall
Kemar Brown is a celebrated member of the AISK dance department teaching team. He has been dancing, choreographing and instructing for 6 years and has given his talent to events and institutions such as the Jamaica 50 Grand Gala, Wolmer's High School, St. Andrew's Prep and AISK. A dancer at heart, Kemar has also spent time working with the talented Ashe Performing Arts Company, to whom along with his church, he credits of his love and knowledge of dance. This very young and talented artist has also been a competitor and choreographer in the ever popular Jamaican talent search - The Digicel Rising Stars. Kemar's passion for dancing were evident from his early years at St. Alban's Primary and Tivoli Gardens High School.