Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill Director of Dance
Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, MA
Boston Ballet School and Walnut Hill School for the Arts seek an experienced individual to serve as the Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill Director of Dance starting in July/August 2024 depending on availability to work at the 2024 Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program.
Boston Ballet School & Walnut Hill School for the Arts Vision Statement
We seek to sustain, elevate, and define the future of ballet through our unique and exceptional partnership.
Mission and Purpose Statement
The Boston Ballet/Walnut Hill partnership centers the future of dance, and the dancer of the future. We provide an environment where the professional dancer of the future will flourish. Our aim is to develop a truly exceptional dancer with tremendous intellect who will see ballet as a reflection of and a tool to advance our society. We are the only program in the world that combines a professional ballet company with a college preparatory academic experience within a premier high school for the arts.
We aim to develop a complete dance artist, both as a dancer (interpretive artist) and choreographer (creative artist). We are dedicated to developing a complete person, with strong emotional intelligence and cultural competencies. This synergistic approach will give each of our dancers a next-generation professional toolkit to enter the dance world. Our program makes it unnecessary for our dancers to pursue any college or conservatory training in order to enter a professional company.
The Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill Director of Dance (Director of Dance) is the educational leader and supervisor for the Dance department in accordance with the Walnut Hill School for the Arts mission, vision, and educational and artistic philosophy. Working collectively with Senior Leadership, the Academic, Arts, Student Life, and Community Programs departments, the Director of Dance serves as a mentor and guide 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 Director of Dance reports to the Assistant Head of School at Walnut Hill, and to the Artistic Director of Boston Ballet, for curriculum and program development, pedagogy, supervision, assessment, and program implementation.
The Director of Dance is responsible for leading, supporting, and developing the artistic life of the Dance community at Walnut Hill. The 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 Director of Dance encourages the philosophy that a ballet-focused course of study is beneficial for all students and that a well-rounded curriculum integrating contemporary and somatic practices is an integral part of preparing young dancers for a lasting and fulfilling career in dance.
The leadership of the Director will guide program design and scheduling to uphold the training standards that guide professional dance careers, ensuring that in-studio training rigor is preserved alongside academic and other Walnut Hill community priorities including student recruitment and retention.
Dance Department & Teaching Responsibilities
- Manage a wide array of department needs including managing faculty recruitment, supervision, and retention; developing rehearsal schedules and productions; creating masterclass rosters that foster diversity and inclusion; planning and coordinating field trips; managing materials and equipment; and assisting with pre-screenings and college application materials; create and be open to exploring new ways to provide high-level online and remote learning curriculum as needed;
- Supervise department members and lead collaborative hiring process; provide written and verbal feedback to teachers and staff, offer resources where needed, and conduct teacher evaluations and reviews per the School’s performance evaluation process; provide expertise, guidance, coaching, and leadership to support Dance department faculty growth and development; lead department meetings;
- Collaborate on the development, maintenance, and communication of the mission for the department, including learning outcome goals for students and a clearly articulated pedagogical vision;
- Work actively to align department work with the School’s vision, developing outward facing opportunities in performance via live and digital (live streams) concerts/events and in collaboration with other artforms and artists;
- Maintain an active interest in dance medicine and science findings and adapt the curriculum accordingly; work to dissipate body stereotypes and foster a forward-thinking approach in dance pedagogy;
- Teach the assigned number of sections dependent upon enrollment and as determined in consultation with the Assistant Head of School; utilize best practices in teaching to the artistic discipline; prepare lessons and develop curriculum; teach, lead, and guide students; establish clear expectations and guidelines and manage student behavior in and out of the classroom, and in the online environment;
- Partner with the Director of Enrollment Management to create and sustain student recruitment;
- Supervise/deliver the Boston Ballet School summer dance audition tour and explore new markets for future recruiting; and
- 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 members, colleagues, and school administration on educational and pedagogical growth and innovative tools and techniques in and out of the classroom.
Performance is seen as an integral part of the students’ development as dancers at Walnut Hill, honing important skills of organization, mask and costume, stage etiquette, and live performance experience. In collaboration with the Artistic Director of Boston Ballet, the Director of Dance plans and oversees a season that includes three mainstage concerts in addition to smaller studio showings.
This is a full-time 12-month position, split between a 10-month/academic year at Walnut Hill and a 2-month appointment at the Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program. All faculty must be flexible and will be expected to work with the Assistant Head of School to determine an appropriate schedule that may be modified during the school year. A final schedule for all arts and academic faculty will be provided and will be modified as needed throughout the year.
SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS
- Already completed both world-class training and a substantial career as a professional ballet dancer;
- Exemplary skills and knowledge around pedagogy in developing dancers for tomorrow’s ballet world;
- Extensive teaching experience;
- Ability to train, observe, evaluate, and guide teaching faculty;
- Serve as a leader with Boston Ballet in furthering the scope and sequence of dance training and curriculum;
- The ability to anticipate the career pathways of our students and the future of the ballet industry and innovate in anticipation ensuring our students will be at the forefront;
- Open minded view to multicultural dance traditions and how these can uplift and enhance the future of ballet;
- World-class knowledge of artistic discipline and ability and willingness to continue to learn, research, and grow;
- Possess excellent customer service skills and ability to work with a wide range of people;
- Ability to work independently and effectively in a changing, fast-paced environment;
- Commitment to working in and fostering an inclusive community;
- Ability to speak authentically about the imperative for diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools;
- Commitment to and strong understanding of cultural competency, and learning about and practicing anti-racist work;
- Possess self-confidence with the ability to demonstrate initiative, strong problem-solving, and empathy;
- Strong computer skills and demonstrated proficiency with Google applications and Microsoft Office Suite;
- Share an educational vision that aligns with the core principles of Walnut Hill and Boston Ballet;
- Strong collaboration and team-oriented working and leadership skills along with the ability to balance a pursuit of academic, artistic, and institutional excellence with compassion and nurture for each individual; and
- Possess and exude a positive attitude and passion for teaching and learning.
To Apply: Submit a resume that lists experience as an educator, administrator, and professional dancer, a cover letter to the Search Committee, and a statement of educational philosophy through the Walnut Hill School for the Arts online Career Center.
Note: All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of state and federal background checks.
Physical demands include dexterity for department specific tools and equipment, and office machine and supply operation including but not limited to: writing, typing, using electronic devices, computer, phone, calculator, copy machine, fax machine, and printers. Ability and dexterity to practice and demonstrate your artistic discipline. Stooping, bending, reaching, pushing, pulling, lifting, and sitting or standing for extended periods of time are common. Ability to communicate dancer movement effectively and clearly through language and physical demonstration required.