The Governor’s Academy offers a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary dance program dedicated to developing well-rounded and versatile dancers. Each week, a variety of disciplines are studied including Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz and Hip Hop in our state of the art Performing Arts Center. Dance composition, Dance history and Pilates are explored. In addition, the dancers are required to participate in a strength and conditioning program at the newly constructed Alfond Fitness Center. Students are invited to enhance their studies by participating in Master classes conducted by artists visiting the North Shore area. Students attend performances of professional Ballet and Modern companies performing in Boston.
The Governor’s Academy offers dance in both the fall and winter season.
Although it is not mandatory to participate in both seasons, it is highly recommended. The dance program meets six days a week for two hours as part of the Afternoon Program. The goal of the fall program is to improve technical skills, build strength, flexibility, endurance and to build a familiarity with a variety of dance disciplines. The winter season continues its emphasis on training with the added component of preparations for a full length dance performance. Students learn a minimum of five pieces and are encouraged to choreograph and produce their own choreography to be presented in the performance.
Pam Smith is a dancer, choreographer and teacher who began her training in Ballet at the age of three. She has studied at the Joffrey School of Ballet and with the members and directors of the Royal Ballet and The Pennsylvania Ballet. She trained in Modern dance with company members and directors of the Graham, Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Dan Wagoner, Viola Farber and Twyla Tharp dance companies. She has performed in both ballet and modern concerts in NYC, Washington D.C. and throughout New England, including concerts with her own company. She is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Connecticut Commission of the Arts. She appeared in the casts of James Lapines’ off-Broadway productions of Twelve Dreams and his Obie Award wining play, Photograph.
She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and has taught at Albertus Magnus College, has been an artist in residence at the University of Bridgeport and has been a faculty member at Bradford College. She has been Department Head of Dance at Interarts and at the Education Center for the Arts, high schools for the Performing Arts in Connecticut. She also headed the dance department at the Center for Creative Youth, a summer residency program at Wesleyan University for high school students talented in the arts. In Los Angeles, she was the head of the children’s school at Stanley Holden’s Dance Center.
Locally she has taught at Ballet New England and The Dance Place in Newburyport and has been a guest teacher and choreographer for many studios in the North Shore area, as well as at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Fontaine Dollas Dubus has been passionate about dance and theater, (and art), since early childhood. She attended Bradford College where she was a featured member and choreographer for The Bradford College Dance Company. She then transferred to The Art Institute of Boston to major in illustration. Teaching dance at various studios, including Patty Horrigan’s School of Dance in Framingham, Ma, she ended up back in Newburyport in 1985 as an original faculty member of The Dance Place, owned by her former Bradford teacher, Irene Weiss. She led the dance program at The Governor's Academy (then GDA) from 1985 until 1994.
In 1987, she co-founded the locally based modern company, Exit Dance Theatre, which she directs. Concentrating on jazz and modern, she has studied with numerous teachers in Boston and New York, including Luigi, Diane Noya, Tommy Neblit and Christien Polos. She performs regularly with her company in the north shore and Boston. The company had the honor of performing Dubus’s piece Krystallnacht in 1994 for the World Peace Convocation in Auschwitz, Poland. More information about Ms. Dubus and Exit can be found at www.exitdancetheatre.org.