Duarte USD Dance Partnership
Through the unique partnership Duarte Unified has cultivated with the California School of the Arts (CSArts), the district has launched a premier dance and movement program taught by industry professionals from Elements Dance Space studio located in Pasadena, California. It is the first comprehensive dance program in this region offered to all students in Grades TK-8 at every school in the district. The program is facilitated by Elements Dance Space Director, Ms. Tu De Vera, who oversees the ten dance instructors who are all highly trained professionals with experience working within the industry as well as teaching all levels and ages of students and adults. Collectively, these instructors have won hundreds of choreography competition awards and have been featured in commercials, music videos, TV shows, movies and more. The studio most recently earned First Place as Team USA in the Junior Varsity Division at Hip Hop International, the largest Hip Hop competition in the world. Several members of the winning team are seventh and eighth grade students who now attend Duarte schools. The dance program customized for Duarte Unified exposes students to a range of dance genres during bi-weekly sessions ranging from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the age level. These include hip hop, ballet, jazz, lyrical and modern dance styles. In addition to being an incredibly fun time for the students, it also serves as a welcome addition to the regular P.E. program, as dance is an excellent work out. In addition, they are learning basic principles of dance. In the spring, students will perform in showcase events featuring the moves they have learned during the year. Already, dance class has become a favorite addition to the students’ instructional program and it is another reason why Duarte Unified is quickly becoming the destination district for the arts.