College preparatory dance program announced


Zachary Miller

The Performing Arts Department will introduce a new college preparatory dance program at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. Classes will be taught by new dance instructor Laura Moran-Ward.

The Performing Arts Department will be establishing its first ever college preparatory dance program. The program will be led by dance instructor Laura Ward-Moran, former owner of the Maryland School of Ballet and Modern Dance.

The program will offer two courses to JC’s aspiring professional dancers: Ballet/Pointe and Modern/Contemporary Composition. Both classes will meet after school from 3-4 p.m. Ballet/Pointe will be offered Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and Modern/Contemporary Composition will be offered Tuesday and Thursday. Components of pilates, dance science, and dance history will be incorporated into the courses.

There were several factors that pushed the decision to implement a dance program into the school’s curriculum. “For many years, John Carroll has been recognized for its incredible high-quality theatre productions by both the youth theatre community, as well as the community at large. Pair that with a successfully-developing music program, and the natural next step is to add a dance component,” Performing Arts Department Chair Julie Parrish said. “Members of the John Carroll Enrollment Office recognized that there is a growing desire for a dance program here at JC, and it seemed that now was the opportune time to move forward with this venture.”

According to Enrollment Assistant Susan Roarty, class of ’95, JC is always trying to enhance its programs in order to educate the whole person and thinks this is a great opportunity for students who are considering pursing dance at the college level. 

It will prepare you for the next level, and you will thrive as an artist, performer, and student as you embark on this dance education journey at the John Carroll School

— Dance Instructor Laura Ward-Moran

“In speaking with prospective students, we realized that there was great interest in dance, and we wanted to find creative ways to meet the needs of students looking for dance opportunities in high school. After some brainstorming, it became clear that we had an opportunity to implement an exciting new program unlike any other in our area,” Roarty said. “This program would enable students to receive a well-rounded education from John Carroll as well as supplement their dance training at local studios with dance electives that are a part of our school curriculum.

The school came into contact with Ward-Moran through her professional connections with Head of Theatrical Productions Kim Brueggemann. “The program has been appropriately planned to meet the needs of the aspiring dancer,” Ward-Moran said. “The student will be getting conservatory-level training in an academic setting. There simply is no other program like it.”

The program will accept a maximum of 25 students on audition-based admission. “I expect smaller numbers the first year as we are just now getting the word out about the program, but I anticipate a large amount of growth in the second year. The response from the community thus far has been outstanding, [we] had 26 interested families attend our first meeting,” Ward-Moran said.

Along with the dance program, a chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts will be instated at JC. “Induction is dependent upon candidates meeting set criteria based upon earned participation points, GPA, and demonstration of character,” Ward-Moran said.

The Performing Arts Department expects this program to offer a unique experience to all current and future dancers who make their way into the halls of JC. “I think it will be a fun and new experience for the dancers coming to John Carroll next year,” sophomore Lindsay Rosser said.

Senior Hailey Ishak, who plans to continue dancing while in college, is happy about the school’s decision to establish a dance program. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the school because it will strengthen the dance community,” Ishak said. “Students will receive higher-level training, which will improve their technique.”

“It will prepare you for the next level, and you will thrive as an artist, performer, and student as you embark on this dance education journey at the John Carroll School,” Ward-Moran said.Dancers can now get the recognition they deserve within their high school.”

Zachary Miller is a Media Editor for The Patriot and