SPLASH is an after school choreography club that meets weekly, on Thursday's, from January to April. It began in 1982 with Jean Mangone as the director. She got the idea from Jacques D'Ambroise, a former New York City Ballet dancer. He had a similar program called the National Dance Institute where students auditioned and performed at the Kennedy Center and the Academy Awards. It is a voluntary program and is lead by our current Pageant director, Leslie Obert. Many additional teachers volunteer their time after school to work with the students in SPLASH.
In SPLASH, students and parents sign and agree to a Contract that includes expectations, rules, and consequences. We have a 3-strikepolicy that ensures all students are treated fairly. SPLASH rehearsals begin with attendance, a proper warm up, and choreography instruction. All participants are exposed to ballet, modern, jazz, and folk dance. They gain flexibility, strength, and coordination, similar to sports kids currently participate in. No prior dance experience is required, just a desire to learn more about dance, choreography, and performing.
Students fill out an audition card that indicates performing experience, private lessons taken, and individual talents. They list their top 3 choices of pieces to perform in for the Pageant of the Arts. Auditions are held and directed by Mrs. Obert and fellow teachers. Fifth graders have been watching and waiting since Kindergarten to be in the Pageant of the Arts. Boys and girls alike wait in anticipation as parts are handed out and they take ownership to their individual part and group participation. Once they have been assigned a part, they begin learning their choreography. The dance becomes "theirs" as they revisit the artist through music, word and dance.
SPLASH students perform during two school assemblies and two evening performances. One evening is videotaped and students can view their production on Cable TV and/or purchase the Pageant of the Arts for themselves. Through SPLASH,students realize the importance of the arts, as it becomes a part of them for life. Hours of rehearsal build self-esteem and provide a professional atmosphere where students can now take center stage.
Time is never enough when it comes to rehearsals, so teachers and students may give up their recess and release time to perfect their piece. The excitement builds as the performance date draws nearer and costumes are handed out and created. Pageant performers work together in SPLASH to see that all details have been met as the stage is ready, lights go on,and the curtain goes up. They take pride in what they have accomplished as a group. Nervous feelings give way to the thrill of a live performance as past and future participants experience............The Pageant of the Arts.