HSA Dance offers pre-professional level dance classes for those serious about training as well as families seeking dance enrichment. HSA is proudly one of five certified schools in the world offering the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) National Training Curriculum. The HSA Dance Enrichment Program allows students aged 2-17 to experience the transformative power of dance regardless of skill level or prior training. There is no minimum class or audition requirement for dance enrichment classes. However, students aged 8+ must be assessed for placement by an HSA Dance faculty member prior to enrollment into a ballet or modern class. All dance enrichment students are invited to perform in HSA’s annual end-of-year dance concert event. HSA Dance offers classes in classical ballet, modern, hip-hop, jazz, African and tap. Under the direction of Aubrey Lynch, Director of HSA Dance, the Harlem School of the Arts has become a dance education destination.
HSA Dance features two distinct programs to meet the needs of students whose skill levels and interest reach far beyond the extracurricular nature of our Dance Enrichment Program; the HSA Dance Academy (aged 8-17) and the HSA Dance College Preparatory Program (age 12-17). The primary goal of the aforementioned programs are to produce classically trained, versatile young dancers who are empowered to secure admission into elite dance programs on the middle school, high school and collegiate levels. Each program is designed to provide students with a rich knowledge of classical ballet technique and the ability to swiftly adapt to multiple styles.
HSA DANCE ACADEMY
The HSA Dance Academy offers students aged 8-17 a rigorous, predetermined curriculum which requires a minimum number of weekly ballet classes based on a child’s attained age and skill level. The curriculum is supported by supplemental classes in modern, jazz, African and hip-hop. Academy students are also invited to participate in repertory rehearsals and performance opportunities. Select students will be invited to join the HSA Dance College Preparatory Program.
HSA DANCE COLLEGE PREPARATORY PROGRAM
The HSA Dance College Preparatory Program (PREP) is a fully-funded scholarship program for students exhibiting exceptional skills and a palpable passion for dance. PREP is specifically designed for students, aged 12-17, who have expressed a compelling desire to pursue dance professionally. PREP students participate in a pre-determined curriculum (a minimum of 8 classes is required weekly) including invitation-only repertory workshops, performance opportunities, arts enrichment events, personal coaching and audition preparation for academic programs. Select PREP and Academy students will be invited to join the HSA Dance Ensemble.
Families are required to purchase HSA branded leotards, tee shirts and joggers for classes that require them. Visit the HSA Dance merchandise page on the HSA website to order. Mandatory dress code leotards, $25 each and costume fees, $25 per student are separate. Parents must purchase both.
Director of Dance: Leyland Simmons
Leyland Simmons was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He began his formal dance training with Barbara Devereaux of the Royal Academy School of Dance in Anchorage, Alaska and Michelangelo Canale of the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy. He later studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Miami City Ballet, The School of American Ballet, Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn, The Ailey School and Ballet Divertimento in Montreal, Canada. Leyland is a Graduate of the Professional Performing Arts High School in New York City and a former member of Ailey 2 and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Mr. Simmons has also performed with the New York City Ballet, Peridance Ensemble, Forces of Nature Dance Company, Nathan Trice’s/Rituals, George Faison and Ballet X. Leyland has also performed at Jacob’s Pillow, the Cincinnati, Moscow and Miami International Ballet Festivals. One performance of Mr. Simmons noted that he was “vibrant in his solo, whipping off multiple pirouettes…,” and “he added powerful turns and jumps while remaining sensitive to the otherwise gentle ending.” Leyland is also a sought after teacher having taught at notable institutions like the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Harlem School for the Arts, Steps on Broadway, NYU, and the Ailey School. He has also appeared in numerous film, television, and print projects such as the History Channel’s Honor Deferred, The Conan O’Brien Show, YRB magazine, Law and Order, Starbucks Red Campaign, Puma, Sansha, Exberliner.com and Broadwayworld.com. Mr. Simmons is also a graduate of the Workshop in Business Opportunites Program and a member of the School of American Ballet’s Alumni Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. He is also a certified teacher in the American Ballet Theater Pre-Primary to Level Three Curriculum, and an American Ballet Theater Affiliate teacher. Leyland holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Masters Degree in Dance Education (K-12 concentration) from NYU. Leyland’s choreography has been presented at the Apollo Theater, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington DC, and E-moves 18 at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse. He has also choreographed an industrial for Pier 59 Studios RED Camera Event and for alternative rock band Opium Ink’s music video “Porcelain Doll.” In 2012, Leyland Co-Produced the Weil/Gotschal Pay it Forward fundraiser performance for Harlem School of the Arts featuring such notable performers as Misty Copeland, Michaela DePrince, Camille A. Brown, Francesca Harper, and many others. In the fall of 2016 Leyland became the resident choreographer of the Harlem School of the Arts and in 2017 he became the Co-Founder of Moving Education Institute Inc. Leyland was also the recipient of the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Grant in 2018. Thank You God for being the head of my life continue to order my steps!!!! For more information visit www.LeylandSimmons.com
Mandatory dress code leotards, $25 each and costume fees, $25 per student are separate. Parents must purchase both.
Ballet / Contemporary Advanced Summer Dance Experience