Punahou has one of Hawai‘i’s largest dance academies for grades K – 12. It offers not only a wide variety of dance styles, but also a range from introductory to the most challenging of levels. All classes are open to the public, as well as to Punahou students.
The program is serious and comprehensive, teaching students to love dance and providing sufficient foundation for further artistic pursuits. The discipline, perseverance and intelligence required to succeed in the performing arts serves the students well in other aspects of their lives, both in and out of the classroom. The Dance School cultivates and promotes these character traits, and fosters an abiding appreciation for dance and the performing arts.
The Dance School is part of Punahou’s Co-Curricular Programs, offering over 50 classes a week after school. Our curriculum is based on a three-year cycle: During the first year, classes focus on dance technique, self-assessment, and informal studio performances. The second year includes learning choreography designed to showcase each class level, culminating in an informal "pau hana" (end of work) recital on stage with simple costumes. In the third year, students participate in a Triennial (occurring once every three years) production, with an original story and elaborate costumes, sets and lighting. See program details
Over a five-week period during the summer, the Dance School offers many of the same classes as the regular school year, but the shorter session allows for students to explore new dance forms or study more intensively. Classes are held earlier in the afternoon, to align with the shorter summer school day, and guest teachers join our regular faculty. In the mornings, a survey course is offered for students in grades 2-6 called "Dance Awareness", which introduces them to ballet, jazz, musical theater, tap and Polynesian dance, and culminates in a lively, costumed performance at the Dance Pavilion.
All classes are held in the Josephine Flanders Dance Pavilion located on upper campus. Named after the Dance School's founder, this state-of-the-art facility was completed in 2008 and is one of the finest of its kind. There are three separate studios, two of which can be combined into one larger space. Each air-conditioned studio is equipped with the latest sound equipment and dance flooring.
The Dance School faculty is our greatest asset. Our teachers have excellent training and have many years of experience in teaching, choreographing and performing on local and national stages. They are passionate and enthusiastic about dance, and giving back to the next generation. They work with each other to improve their teaching skills, to promote excellence in the classroom and to foster a warm and caring atmosphere throughout the Dance School.
Kristin Aune, Aya Duong, Charlys Ing, Brigitte Nakagawa
Ahnya Chang, Micaiah Ganz, Maile Racuya Lum, Christine Yasunaga
Ahnya Chang, Micaiah Ganz, Claudia Heu, Lisa Kimsey, Caryn Yee
Jacie Ann Oda, Nikky Kitaguchi
Kristin Aune, Ahnya Chang