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Santa Barbara, California. (March 7, 2022) – Riviera Ridge School celebrates talent and vision in the arts with the announcement of Miriam Dance in an expanded role as Director of Visual and Performing Arts for Riviera Ridge School. Dance has been in the school for eight years, staging plays and teaching various extension classes and electives. This new position will allow her to design and collaborate with the current faculty of Visual and Performing Arts to create even more opportunities for students to hone their artistic talents, connect with the community and also gain skills. valuable life skills.
“I’m all about hands-on experience for our students,” Dance explained. His various productions have provided students with many avenues to discover their talents and create a production themselves from scratch.
“I don’t know what it is, but I love creating something out of nothing,” Dance said of her many productions in which she gives students the opportunity to participate in every element of the process. For students who don’t want to act, dancing offers them the opportunity to take on other roles that are integral to the production, such as being a stage manager, creating sets, or controlling sound and lighting.
An accomplished actress, singer, and director herself, Dance is responsible for transforming a four-person pick into a full-fledged haunted house, creating a full track production with homemade sets for The Lion King. and the launch of a partnership with the New Vic Theater as Riviera Ridge Middle School students presented community productions of “Seussical the Musical” and “Wonka, the Musical.”
In her new role, Dance will continue to use an interdisciplinary approach to her methodology. “You can’t do theater without collaboration,” Dance said of the benefits students get from practicing these communication and teamwork skills when they notice the incredible results of teamwork.
Some of his projects include working with humanities and visual arts teachers, such as English teacher John Penton, to teach students woodworking to build sets, create a season of arts, where student work is presented across the school – whether visual or performance-based, and taking students to see plays at local theaters and perform at those theaters as well.
“The sky is the limit; we have so many possibilities,” Dance said. Her experience in itself provides students with a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw on. Dance studied playwriting, acting, and directing at UCSB, and is also a singer-songwriter.She writes for other artists, sits on the board of the Center Stage Theater, and maintains close ties with her UCSB theater professors. .
“I’m very connected with editors, writers, and musicians, which I think is very beneficial in connecting our students to people who actually do it, who are professionals,” Dance said.
His relationships with these musicians will surely help him achieve one of his main goals: to bring a concert band to the college. Dance hopes students can learn music theory and eventually have a house band to perform in their musicals. This program will also enhance their current popular elective “School of Rock” in which students form a rock band and perform for their peers.
“I want students to learn the language of art, learn the language of music,” Dance said.
Dance’s new single, “Journey” about her recent experience with breast cancer, has just been released and will be featured on the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s website and social media accounts on March 3. “I love using my art and my gifts to tell my story and encourage people who may be going through the same thing,” Dance said.
Dance aims to continue to share its love of the arts with students and inspire them to develop their own passions. “Helping students find the artist within themselves and actually seeing them do that is so rewarding,” Dance said.
At Riviera Ridge School, we provide individualized, student-centered learning in a joyful and nurturing community, inspiring academic excellence and valuing difference. The educational vision of every Riviera Ridge graduate is to enhance individual potential, inspire purpose beyond self, and cultivate social responsibility while preparing for high school and beyond.
For more information, email [email protected] or call 805-569-1811 ext. 131.