Teen Choreo Lab


Discovering creativity through dance can be a life-changing experience for a teenager, encouraging their confidence, leadership and developing sense of self.

Learning dance at Luna provides a complete dance education. Teens advance through the levels with invitations from the instructors. Teens express their ideas in movement using the dance elements–space, time, and force/energy–with increased specificity and complexity. Dancers gain strength, flexibility, and technical skills to serve the execution of their own artistic vision and perform the works of their peers with confidence. The choreographic process is further explored in the context of modern dance history, cultural traditions and contemporary trends. Teen dancers develop both choreographic and leadership skills while learning about the larger context of contemporary dance.

Summer Teen Choreography Workshops
Dancers ages 11-16, come together to learn the art of choreography in a week of camp. Throughout the week, they find original movement themes to develop into personal expressions. They create motifs and develop them, learn to marry music with dance, explore group forms and transitions. By the last day, they are ready to show a lengthy group work to families and friends. Past workshops have also completed site-specific choreography, dance videos, and learned phrase-work from guest instructors of particular styles and genre. Learn more here.

Modern Dance Composition for Teens Levels 1, 2, 3 (12-17 year olds)
Three levels of Modern Dance Composition allow dancers to explore choreography with increasing depth and breadth. Teens learn to consciously manipulate the elements of dance for their compositions, particularly using weight, line, balance and energy actions. Dance technique is learned to provide the skills necessary to execute their dance creations. Students learn to describe and relate their dance experiences to the world using expanded dance vocabulary and terminology.

Modern Dance/Teen Comp Level 1:
Student work emphasizes developing phrases, committing to an idea and teaching works to peers. Curriculum also includes memorizing sequences, developing performing skills and rhythmic development. Prerequisite: 3 or more semesters of Creative or Modern Dance Improvisation.

Modern Dance/Teen Comp Level 2:
Students make longer dance phrases and learn the difference between various choreographic forms and structures, such as what makes something a duet and not just two people dancing together. They deepen their use of choreographic devices and integrate editing skills. At this level, their own “choreographic voice” is becoming apparent and they learn to situate and perform their work for the audience. Prerequisite: MD Comp 1 and permission of instructor.

Modern Dance/Teen Comp Level 3:
Students deepen their knowledge of group forms to create full dances. Upon completing two years at Level 3 students will demonstrate confidence to create a perform solos, duets and small group works and will have begun a portfolio of such work. Dancers will be able to demonstrate full commitment to performance for a variety of audiences with a sophisticated understanding of body mechanics. They will be skilled at directing others and being directed and will be able to articulate their creative process through Q&A audience sessions. Prerequisite: MD Comp 2 and permission of instructor.

More Teen Programs

Teen Choreography Workshop/TCW: This course is offered as both a week long exploration of choreographic principles or a year-long intensive course-of-study.  At TCW, Luna’s Modern Dance students join with dancers from other studio programs to invent, explore and create studies specific to the life and times of today’s teen. Prerequisite: at least one year prior dance experience required, does not have to be through Luna.

A survey of Modern Dance history, advanced Luna dancers learn to create individual works in the style of famous choreographers or professional companies they have seen. Field trips may be included. Prerequisite: Modern Composition level 3 and permission of instructor.

TCW/Group Forms & Directing:
Students learn to master the art of direction. How to communicate your dance ideas to others in respectful manners that manifests the original intentions. How to lead improvisations and evoke the creative input of your dancers. How to partner effectively for group work and for performance quality. Prerequisite: Modern Composition level 3 and permission of instructor.

TCW/Production & Performance:
Students learn the production elements of preparing a dance work for the stage. Using guest instructors, dancers study costuming, lighting, directing and staging. Young choreographers take works they’ve created, edit them, refine them, direct dancers to learn them and make choices about production elements to bring their creations to life for the stage. Prerequisite: Modern Composition level 3 and permission of instructor.

Teen Leadership:
Through speaking, writing and performing, teen choreographers share their visions of a just and equitable society with peers and community. Students represent dance on youth panels and at conferences. Past internships have included opportunities for teens to shadow and apprentice with local dance companies, shadow/assist teachers in Luna’s school and studio programs, write articles for dance journals and be mentored to investigate the full range of careers in dance.

Teen Teachers-in-Training:
Teens learn how to support dance learning in young children through guided mentorship from veteran Luna faculty. Through a competitive application process, teens are selected to assist teaching in Luna’s summer mini-camp, attend professional learning seminars and choreograph with older peers.