Associate Director of Dance
Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, MA
Walnut Hill School for the Arts, in partnership with Boston Ballet seeks an Associate Director of Dance for to join the Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill for the current school year. This is a full-time (10-month) position reporting to the Director of Dance comprised of 50% administrative support and 50% teaching, leading rehearsals, and in-studio contact with students.
The Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill is a one-of-a-kind education and dance training program that offers world-renowned dance instruction with a best-in-class college preparatory program to provide students with a holistic educational experience. Boston Ballet School is known as one of the most forward-looking programs in North America, and Walnut Hill is one of the top arts boarding schools in the world. The joint program educates and trains students for a future with Boston Ballet, the professional dance world and beyond. including the world’s best conservatories, universities and colleges. This high-level approach to the arts, coupled with high dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion is focused on producing the next generation of leaders in dance.
The Associate Director works closely with the Director and is expected to lead the department in their absence, and ensure the smooth running of daily operations, communication, and production planning. Under the leadership of the Director of Dance, the Associate Director is responsible for implementing the efficient day-to-day artistic operations of the Dance Division with a focus on 1) administrative support to the Director of Dance 2) teaching, rehearsals, and facilitating production needs. 3) student advising 4) streamlining operations between the dance department, Boston Ballet and the larger scope of the life of the school.
The Associate Director of Dance is a mentor and guide who works collectively with the Dance Director, Dance Faculty, Dance Students, and the Academic, Student Life, and Community Programs departments to ensure that the program embodies the School’s mission and vision and shares the department’s work and art with the greater community. The Associate Director is an experienced educator able to represent the artistic discipline with integrity, honesty, and a genuine love for guiding young students towards a fulfilling life within the arts and beyond.
The Associate Director supports and helps implement curriculum and program development, pedagogy, supervision of faculty, and student assessment. This position supports and encourages the philosophy that a ballet-focused course of study is beneficial for all students when delivered with the appropriate care and modifications required for the changing body of an adolescent; and that a well-rounded curriculum integrating contemporary and somatic practices is an integral part of preparing young dancers for a long lasting and fulfilling career in dance.
- Assume responsibilities for the Director of Dance in their absence to ensure continued execution of the departmental plans and communications;
- Coordinate 2-3 joint projects with Boston Ballet at Citizen’s Opera House; interface the dance department’s needs with the school’s calendar and Boston Ballet’s programmatic events (The Nutcracker, Next Generation Dance, and Boston Ballet’s Spring Production).
- Manage and generate staffing reports for Boston Ballet staff and faculty including: scheduling accompanists and teachers, timesheets and payroll approvals, production management and transportation needs, etc.;
- Create and disseminate the weekly schedule to all constituents in a timely manner;
- In collaboration with the Director of College Counseling and Director of Dance, the Associate Director supports student application and audition efforts to enter a dance company, conservatory, and/or post-secondary institution.
- Participate in departmental reviews and self-study projects; support the process for teacher evaluations and maintain an openness to feedback. Work with the Director of Dance and Director of Artistic Studies to set goals and expectations throughout the school year.
- Teach daily ballet classes (Technique, Pointe, Staging Repertory and directing rehearsals for Repertory, or other courses as assigned and dependent upon enrollment);
- Participate in curriculum mapping and development in collaboration with Boston Ballet and Walnut Hill key stakeholders;
- Prepare daily lessons that are inclusive and culturally competent providing the framework to teach, lead, and guide students in advancing their artistic abilities; build strong relationships with students, establish clear expectations and guidelines, and follow the community expectations for being in “right relationships” with students and adults in a culture of restoration;
- Work with students outside of classroom time as needed;
- Communicate often, and early with students and families and other community stakeholders;
- Clearly and effectively share approved departmental information with students in person and via email regarding schoolwork and assignments: cognizant of performance schedules, tech week, and other arts-related activities;
- Record and monitor classroom attendance and required departmental attendance events;
- Maintain accurate and individual records reflecting each student’s individual artistic progress;
- Use Walnut Hill technology devices to stay in regular communication with school stakeholders throughout the school year; use technology and school sanctioned learning management and information systems, Google suite, and other applications as applicable to your duties.
Advising & Community Building & Engagement:
- Serve as an advisor to a group of assigned students or the equivalent; work individually with each advisor to maximize their experience at Walnut Hill and provide students with a consistent and caring adult relationship while at school;
- Maintain appropriate and open communication with the Director of Community Programs, the Class Dean, School Administration, faculty, and parents regarding student issues;
- If appropriate and assigned, serve as a club advisor or the equivalent or chaperone events and provide weekend team duty as assigned by the Student Life office;
- Attend and participate in community building activities and programs outside the classroom including but not limited to: faculty & staff gatherings/events, assemblies, DEI community events, guest speakers, and special programs; model and encourage appropriate behavior and monitor students during events and programming; plan, chaperone, and participate in field trips and outside activities;
- Attend student performances, art openings, and art events throughout the year; support and engage richly in arts productions, shows, exhibitions, and performances;
- Attend required all school events: Family Weekend, Open House, Weekend Duties, Class Night, Boar’s Head, Candlelight, Awards Ceremony, and Graduation; attend other events as required.
Professional Development, Training, and Cross-Discipline Collaboration:
- Attend and participate in Professional Development days, training programs, and team-building exercises; attend and participate in faculty and staff meetings, as well as divisional and department meetings; participate in collaborative cohorts and meetings with department members, and/or other school stakeholders;
- Pursue professional development opportunities in and out of school; display willingness and ability to grow, learn, explore new approaches, and practice self-reflection; work with department head, colleagues, and school administration on educational and pedagogical growth and innovative tools and techniques in and out of the classroom; and
- Work collaboratively with colleagues across all departments to foster a positive working and educational environment for students and employees to support the school’s mission, vision, and core values.
- Minimum of three to five years of experience teaching classical ballet technique at a professional level ballet school (Former professional career dancers encouraged to apply);
- Strong knowledge of artistic discipline with the willingness and capacity to continue to learn, research, and grow;
- Demonstrated strong listening and communication skills, in addition to high emotional intelligence with an ability to work with a wide range of people;
- Ability to work independently and effectively in a changing, fast-paced environment;
- Commitment to “building community” and a vision for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in ballet, dance and in schools in alignment with Walnut Hill’s anti-racist and anti-bias core values;
- A deep-compassionate understanding of diversity and how to engage with students to foster belonging and inclusion in ballet and the arts;
- Transformational leadership skills with the ability to balance a pursuit of academic, artistic, and institutional goals through adult to student and adult to adult relationships;
- Possess and exude a positive attitude, passion for teaching and learning; and
- COVID-19 vaccination with booster or a valid exemption is required.