Performing Arts

Female student tapping in dance class
Dance performance on stage

Dance

Our curriculum is designed to help you to build robust classical and contemporary technique and prepare you for the profession as a confident, versatile and technically strong dancer. You will graduate with the skills required by conservatory programs as well as the ability to communicate effectively with an audience through the performance of a wide variety of classical, modern and contemporary choreography. Throughout their LIHSA years, students have many opportunities to learn from and perform varied repertory with renowned faculty and guest artists.

LIHSA has a partnership with the American Ballet Theatre with ongoing master classes throughout the year. LIHSA dancers work one-on-one with faculty and guest teachers and choreographers, rehearsing daily throughout the academic calendar, and performing multiple different programs each school year, including classical and contemporary works. Through the Master Class Program, LIHSA students has worked with dancers of companies such as Martha Graham, Paul Taylor Principal Dancer (and alumnus) Michael Trusnovec, Savion Glover, dancers from Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Parsons Dance, Twyla Tharp Dance, Rioult Dance NY, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Group of student musicians standing together with their instruments before a performance
Male student creating music on the computer

Music: Vocal, Instrumental & Digital

Instrumental Performance: Do you welcome new ideas and embrace challenge? Are you an aspiring performer? An innovative composer? Our music program is a highly specialized set of courses for performers and composers. We value hard-working, talented and experimental students and, in exchange, we support your learning in a creative and nurturing environment. Our curriculum is designed for you to become an expert in your chosen field whilst critically evaluating your progress and challenging you to fulfill your individual potential.

Vocal Performance: The Vocal program has an excellent team of instructors. Their goal is to ensure you develop your individual voice and become the best singer you can possibly be. Classes are for auditions, performance skills, and vocal pedagogy. The Vocal program is busy and challenging, working in an atmosphere of varied inspiring performances and with each singer, perfecting your craft, yet also finding the emotional honesty, which lies behind truly great singing.

Digital Music: LIHSA’s digital music program prepares students within a landscape of rapidly evolving tools and techniques. Through in-studio classroom experience, hands-on project work, and exposure to visiting industry professionals, you learn to collaborate effectively with others in numerous musical settings through participation as a composer and producer.

Male and female student performing on stage as king and queen
Students dancing in a musical theatre performance on stage

Drama and Musical Theatre

LIHSA has been teaching the best actors, musical theatre performers, dramatists and directors on Long Island for 46 years. With intensive training, you will have the opportunity to explore your individual creativity in acting, voice and movement, both in class and through performance, in preparation for a career in theatre and screen.

LIHSA gave me the tools I needed to make my passion my career. Once I entered the professional world I felt one step ahead of the game.

Josh DeJesus, Alumnae, Class of 2016

Program Requirements

All students accepted in the Performing Arts program are required to take 3.0 core credits over the course of 2 years. Students in all three program strands will complete an additional .5 credits in Career and Financial Management coursework, a requirement of a CTE program. Beyond the required core, students take additional electives in the performing arts, with different semester offerings.

Dancer on stage performing

Activism and Performance

This course explores the intersection of performance, politics, and social transformation by studying and experiencing the work of activist artists in both traditional and nontraditional forms from across the globe. Students in the class will examines the texts, theories, compositions, choreography and other practices of international artists committed to ethical reasoning, social change, peace building, human rights, and community empowerment. Students create improvisation work drawing from the work that has been studied. This class culminates in the creation of an original activist performance.

.5 Credits
Fall Semester
Theatrical production with a large set and many clocks on the walls

Artistic Direction and Production

This class offers working knowledge of lighting and sound equipment, crew work, wardrobe, and other technical requirements for production. It provides students with a clear vision of the context in which performance is produced and performed. Students will learn in detail the importance of communication and develop the requisite vocabular in the real-world terms of production, while examining pieces that have been previously performed, applying elements to future works and further developing a toolbox to execute their artistic vision.

.25 Credits
Fall Semester
Stage control area

Careers in the Arts

Students in this course will engage in an exploration of options available to artists after high school, matching industry requirements with pathways, including, college admissions and cost associated with it. Students will complete portfolios, engage in mock interviewing and develop resume related material. Students will also research related trends in the creative arts sector, types of jobs available and professional organizations affiliated with different sectors. Traits that are valuable for artists to possess will explored and students will learn about advocacy and networking in the professional arts world.

.125 Credits
Fall Semester
Many hands drumming on drums

Rhythmic Explorations

Students will investigate the relationship between percussion instruments and the body as an instrument in order to effectively communicate across disciplines and express their artistic potential. Through this course, students will cultivate an appreciation for music and movement collaborations within a global context. Students will examine reoccurring patterns that emerge across a global context. This course provides students with opportunities to create and perform a collaborative music and movement work that can be shared through public performance.

.5 Credits
Spring semester
Two performers on stage together

Creativity and Collaboration

After a review of various artists—directors, writers, composers and choreographers, students will immerse themselves in the practice and study of collaboration, experimenting with and gaining skills in co-creation and shared authorship as they move along. Students will have the opportunity to develop creative abilities through experiences in performance-based arts and apply these in a collaborative project.

.25 Credits
Spring semester
Someone signing a contract

Artist Management

This course explores the role and importance of an artist manager, what they do, and how they impact the career of the artist and their brand. The course begins with the basics: why an artist needs a manager, the keys to finding the right partner, and a typical management contract. From there, students will cover the details of planning an artist’s career, money management and what to do when things go wrong.

.125 Credits
Spring semester
Students dancing on stage

Composition Original Works

This class, completed over two semesters, encourages performers to deepen their respective practices through critical engagement and the active exploration of issues and ideas tied to contemporary performance art-making practices. Students will be encouraged to experiment and take risks to discover a personal voice to communicate artistic intent. Students are introduced to ongoing guest critics during group critiques or workshops, produce critical writing centered in their work, develop the technical schematic and support necessary to bring their vision to life and participate in a year-end performance. Students may work alone but are encouraged to cast classmates in their pieces. Students must justify artistic choices and explain how they are used to intensify artistic intent.

.5 Credits
Fall Semester
Solo female dancer in blue dress with may tassels performing

Solo Performance

This course will introduce and engage the history, topics, theoretical guideposts, and landmark figures/performances central to the genre of solo performance. Working between critical examination and practice, participants will analyze the form and content of leading solo performers while also composing a series of short exercises that activate solo performance strategies and methods. The course will culminate in the creation of a participant’s self-authored, short solo performance piece, and the compilation of a performance portfolio which documents the artistic processes involved.

.25 Credits
Fall Semester
Close up of a graph graphic on a computer

Arts Entrepreneurship

Introduction to Arts Entrepreneurship is a survey of a business strategies, including money management, investing, insurance, taxes and all the other details behind a successful career in the arts. This course also emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurial thinking, engages students with the fundamentals of the arts “business”, and explores ways to influence and shape the industry’s future. The course will explore the inner workings of the arts industry, using creative problem-solving exercises, discussion questions, collaborative projects, case studies, and hands-on activities. Students will have firsthand experience with guest experts in the fields of promotion, management, and artist representatives, and thus begin creating their own networks and a path to their future activities in the arts.

.125 Credits
Fall Semester
Student singing and playing the piano accompanied by someone playing the guitar

Original Works Performed

This class, completed over two semesters, encourages performers to deepen their respective practices through critical engagement and the active exploration of issues and ideas tied to contemporary performance art-making practices. Students will be encouraged to experiment and take risks to discover a personal voice to communicate artistic intent. Students are introduced to ongoing guest critics during group critiques or workshops, produce critical writing centered in their work, develop the technical schematic and support necessary to bring their vision to life and participate in a year-end performance. Students may work alone but are encouraged to cast classmates in their pieces. Students must justify artistic choices and explain how they are used to intensify artistic intent.

.5 Credits
Spring semester
Students in a play production on stage

Movement and Storytelling

This course introduces students to notions of space, time, shape, rhythm and movement, as components to be used in ensemble improvisational practices as well as developing choreographic material. The material created through collaboration with fellow students and following different prompts will be introduced as an ensemble-building tool, and further developed as a foundational vocabulary for composition across disciplines.

.25 Credits
Spring semester
Male student playing the guitar on stage

Creative Promotion in the Arts

This class offers a comprehensive study of media options available for the promotion of artists, products, and services. It includes a brief discussion of marketing plans, followed by a detailed look at both old and new media. Concepts such as integrated marketing communication are melded with creative tools for branding. Students will analyze an existing promotion plan, as well as create one of their own for a new product. Particular attention is given to the use of the internet for communication and the location and retrieval of business-related data.

.125 Credits
Fall Semester
Lightbulbs with the filaments selling out words such as digital marketing

Creative Promotion in the Arts

This class offers a comprehensive study of media options available for the promotion of artists, products, and services. It includes a brief discussion of marketing plans, followed by a detailed look at both old and new media. Concepts such as integrated marketing communication are melded with creative tools for branding. Students will analyze an existing promotion plan, as well as create one of their own for a new product. Particular attention is given to the use of the internet for communication and the location and retrieval of business-related data.

.125 Credits
Spring semester
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Alumni Success

Making an Impact

Artist Nicole Piccolomini
Performer Joshua DeJesus
Students performing a ballet on sstage
Alumni dancer leaping in the air
To be surrounded by teachers and students on a daily basis who shared the same love and enthusiasm as I did for singing and the arts in general was a true gift. [After performing on the LIHSA stage] I was told, ‘Juilliard was impressed with your performance, and they’re very interested in you and are expecting your application.’ What every young performing artist dreams of hearing! Four years later, I received a Bachelor’s of Music in vocal performance from Juilliard.

Nicole Piccolomini, Class of ’96

LIHSA gave me the tools I needed to make my passion my career. Once I entered the professional world I felt one step ahead of the game.

Josh DeJesus, Alumnae, Class of 2016

LIHSA has afforded me an excellent foundation for my BFA program in Dance.  It not only taught me the technical skills needed to enter into conservatory training, it also helped me forge relationships within the LIHSA network of alums. This has proved invaluable in my professional career and has catapulted me to perform with various Companies as a result of that association.

Dance Alumnae

Because I attended (LIHSA) I was really prepared for what to expect in college and beyond. The program was so disciplined I was ready for all the work that dancing entails — classes, rehearsals and performances.

Michael Trusnovec ’92

Michael Trusnovec '92 became a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in his senior year. In 2006, he won a New York Dance and Performance BESSIE Award — the dance world’s Oscar — for his body of work.

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