All 10 Frisco ISD high school dance programs received the highest rating, Division 1, in the Dance Educators Assessment of Learning (DEAL) assessment.
Liberty and Memorial high schools hosted the highly anticipated event that was a culmination of the technical and execution elements taught during Dance I, a class offered for first-year dance students at all high schools.
Frisco ISD requires no prior experience or dance training to participate in Dance I.
“The class is meant for accessibility for everyone and doesn’t require a lifetime of dancing,” said Nika Carter, a DEAL officiant. “A dancer’s only limitation to their success is their desire. Many do not find their niche until they take a dance class and their worldview immediately expands.”
During a fast-paced span of 45 minutes, students were taught a dance routine, cleaned and polished this routine, performed it and received a rating. There were three judges who evaluated everything from technical aspects of the performance to whether students sought clarity through relevant questions during instruction.
The DEAL process is based on the Dance I Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which includes specific vocabulary and expectations as it connects to movement.
“The format is similar to sight reading with music and a lot weighs on the Director who must learn along with the students,” Carter said. “The question is can the students apply what they learned quickly, think on their feet and quickly pull off a performance in a limited time.”
This year, DEAL raised the bar on the expectations by including more complex combinations.
Over the 45-minute period, students and instructors nervously wait for the routine that will give them new ways to incorporate skills and improve with each passing minute. By the end of the final routine, everyone beams with pride in anticipation of the awards.
The scores and ribbons are not meant to be a comparison between campuses. Every group of dancers stands on their own -- together. Their success on stage is a direct reflection on their camaraderie, collaboration and self-reliance. Congratulations to all of the high school dance programs for achieving the highest rating, Division 1.