The NCS/STA Dance Program is the largest such independent-school offering in the Washington area. Under the direction of Vladimir Angelov, more than 100 students attend classes in a variety of disciplines (see below for a full list) in our three spacious dance studios.
Student groups, including the Cathedral dancers and the dance team, have multiple opportunities to perform. The year culminates in the annual Dance Gala, a comprehensive show featuring projects choreographed by students, faculty, and guest artists. (Watch the video above for highlights from the 2016 Gala.)
The Dance Program's mission is threefold:
To provide students with high-quality dance training and understanding of movement;
To expose students to diverse dance genres, and nurture movement awareness; and
To encourage students’ creativity and expression in dance.
A student may design her own independent dance seminar that focuses on specific areas of interest related to dance training, research, or choreography. It may culminate in a performance at the Dance Gala in the spring.
This classical music and movement chamber dance troupe performs regularly in the Washington National Cathedral, including during the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, as well as at the WAISDEA Festival and elsewhere.
Step Dance is a very unique dance form because there is no musical accompaniment. Instead, the human body produces the music: Feet stomping and hands clapping are the source of rhythm, which drives the dancing. The accuracy of the body percussion and the unison execution are the key points of great step dancing.
Mr. Angelov graduated from the National Ballet School in Sofia. He studied Philosophy at the University of Sofia, and in 1996 completed his Masters in Dance & Choreography at the American University in Washington, DC. Mr. Angelov dances have been shown at “New Choreographers on Pointe” in New York, Vienna TanzFest in Austria, Paris International Dance Festival, Japan Fall Festival in Kyoto, All Latin American Dance Festival in Puerto Ricco, among many others. He has also created original contemporary ballets for companies such as Atlanta Ballet, Arizona Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet, Richmond Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Washington Ballet, Washington’s CityDance Ensemble, as well as Alberta Ballet in Canada, Ballet Manila in the Philippines, Tokyo City Ballet and Nagoya Ballet Theater in Japan, and the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. In addition, he has created dances for eight different productions directed by Placido Domingo with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, and also has choreographed for diverse musical, theater, film, and television productions. Mr. Angelov’s past and current teaching credits include: Locally --- Kennedy Center, American University, George Washington University, Dance Place, CityDance Academy, Joy of Motion Dance Center; Internationally --- as visiting guest dance professor at numerous universities and dance companies in Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan.
Kathryn Harris Banks is a dance artist based in Washington, DC. Katie attended the Virginia Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA and holds a B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University (Magna Cum Laude). After dancing with Starr Foster Dance Project for several years during and after college, Katie moved to New York where she had the opportunity to perform extensively with Laura Peterson Choreography, Kate Weare Company, as well as various other projects and collaborations. In 2008, Katie moved from New York to DC, where she currently dances with Daniel Burkholder/The Playground as well as other local choreographers such as Sharon Mansur and Christine Stone Martin. Katie has taught and performed throughout the United States, and is now enjoying dancing and teaching in the DC Metro Area. Katie is also a 200 hour Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 200) trained in the YogaWorks method and teaches group classes and private instruction throughout DC. This includes serving as an advisor for "Salute the Children," which uses yoga to fight childhood obesity in DC Public Schools, and pioneering an innovative new program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital called "Ready 2 Move," which offers free stretch breaks, yoga, and dance classes for hospital staff. Katie is thrilled to join the Dance Department at National Cathedral School, and looks forward to working with all the talented students and faculty here.
Ms. Elizabeth Gaither has been a professional Ballerina performing on the stage for the past 21 years. She received her first Corps de Ballet contract with Houston Ballet at the age of sixteen. After dancing for Houston Ballet she then continued on to join American Ballet Theatre for nine seasons, touring the world and performing at the Metropolitan Opera House regularly in NY. Most recently she has danced with Washington Ballet as a Principle dancer for eight seasons. Ms.Gaither received her earlier training from her mother Gloria Gaither where she studied the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus and received High Honors in the examinations. She was a finalist in the 1990 Jackson International Ballet Competition and was awarded the Amilita Hoffman Award. Ms. Gaither has danced a wide range of roles in many different ballet's, from contemporary pieces to all the major classical ballet's and has had the pleasure of working with world’s most renowned choreographers. After moving to DC to join Washington Ballet she discovered vinyasa yoga and it became a part of her daily life. The style of vinyasa was a perfect fit for her being a ballerina. Soon after, she was inspired to become a teacher to try and help others through the power of yoga. When teaching yoga she likes to concentrate on getting people to breath as well as work on strength, flexibility, proper body alignment, core strength, centering and quieting the mind. From there each person will begin have their own experiences through the practice of yoga.
Maurice Johnson was born in Lexington, Kentucky. He received his Bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Kentucky with a minor in Spanish. He studied and performed with a variety of notable dance institutions including The Lexington Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Repertoire, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and North Atlanta Academy School of Dance. He appeared in the HBO movie "Miss Ever's Boys" and performed in the U.S Olympic ceremonies. His choreographic talents has enabled him to work with the production teams of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna and Paula Abdul among others. Today, he is one of the area's most sought after choreographers and master teachers. Mr. Johnson is current faculty at Joy of Motion Dance Center, American and Catholic Universities. He is also a company member of El Teatro de Danza Contemporanea de El Salvador.
Lauren Hodges began her dance training at the early age of 3, learning a variety of genres from ballet and tap to Jazz and Hip Hop. She continued to dance and choreograph through college, at the University of Virginia, with the Virginia Dance Company and the Virginia Dance Team. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2004, Lauren worked in architectural design in New York and started studying Pilates at True Pilates New York. Pilates had such a great impact on her daily life that she tested into the Romana’s Pilates Instructor Training Program (IITP), the highest quality instructor-training program in the industry. She trained for 900 hours through independent study, private lessons and group seminars. Master instructors Romana Kryzanowska, Sari Mejia Santos, Jerome Weinberg, Anthony Rabara, Cynthia Lochard, and Cynthia Shipley mentored her using techniques that are the closest to the original teachings of Joseph Pilates in the world. Lauren specializes in the full repertoire of exercises for beginner, intermediate and advanced clients on the equipment and on the mat. She is currently teaching Pilates at the National Cathedral School and Capital Pilates Studio in Washington D.C.