Health, Physical Education, Dance » Health, Physical Education, Dance

Health, Physical Education, Dance

Ms. Natalie DeSanctis, Assistant Principal
(718)258-9283 ext 1920
In order to obtain a New York City High School Diploma, a student must pass 7 semesters of Physical Education and 1 semester of Health Education.
The Health and Physical Education Department offers a wide variety of required, and elective courses. These courses, many of which are offered on several ability levels, are geared toward providing each student with an opportunity to satisfy their individual interests and needs.

Course Offerings - Physical Education
Required Courses
INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL EDUCATION       (1 semester is required for ALL incoming students)
This course is designed to introduce entering students to a wide variety of courses and activities offered in physical education.

Students will learn about Contemporary Health Issues and Human Sexuality during this required semester long course during their sophomore year. The Contemporary Issues section of the course will give students the chance to discuss and evaluate their own behaviors (Mental Health, Drugs, Nutrition and Diseases) in order to improve well-being and quality of life. The Human Sexuality section of this course is designed to help students understand themselves as a sexual being and use this awareness to make responsible decisions and live a healthful lifestyle.
Elective Courses

America’s premier playground sport. Basketball skills and strategies will be taught along with team and tournament play.
Modified, touch and/or flag football provides an activity where everyone can improve their skills in throwing, catching, running, positioning and game strategies.
Students will learn the basic skills and team play of the world’s most popular sport.
Students will learn basic skills as well as game rules, history and strategy
Students will learn history, rules, team strategy, basic skills and cooperation through team play. Tournament play is a culminating activity.
Tennis is a life-time activity that is played in singles and doubles. You will learn basic skills, rules, history, and singles & doubles play. Tournament play is a culminating activity.
Students will learn handball and paddleball skills, history and strategy, culminating in both singles and doubles tournaments.

Physical Fitness
Students will learn proper lifting techniques for free weights as well as machines. Various theories and terminology related to weight training will be discussed.
Students will discover the lifelong benefits of cardiovascular fitness, muscle toning, improving stamina and burning calories.
Method of body conditioning that stretches, strengthens and tones muscles, improves posture, provides flexibility and balance. Unites mind and body, and creates a more streamlined shape.
A group fitness and conditioning class that promotes a lifestyle of physical activity and healthy living. Activities include strength training, cardiovascular training, step, power yoga, plyometrics, circuit training, and boot camp.
Students will learn entry level Martial arts styles and self-defense in forms of striking ( Kicking and punching ) and grappling.  In addition to martial arts some time is devoted to basic gymnastic skills and other forms of Physical fitness such as balance, flexibility, body awareness, muscular strength and endurance. There is also a cognitive emphasis on situational awareness and public safety.

Introduction to Dance offers an opportunity for students to explore multiple dance genres over each semester. Integrated into each unit of study is the choreographic process. This allows students to investigate the style, culture, and significant features of the dance form creatively as well as technically. Efficient and effective alignment is emphasized while studying Modern, Hip-hop, Jazz, Latin, West African, and Ballet during the Fall semester. Ninth grade students have the opportunity to join Introduction to Dance fall semester of Freshman year through permission or to join second semester by participating in a special after school Workshop for students interested in joining dance.

Modern dance explores a range of techniques which are the foundation of modern dance. In addition, post-modern work is investigated in relation to the impact on concert dance. Some choreographers whose work is explored are Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Alwin Nikolais,  Lester Horton, Alvin Ailey, Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham,  Paul Taylor, Bill T. Jones, Camille Brown, and Urban Bush Women. Besides technique, students explore improvisation as a tool in the dance making process. Murrow has recently been nominated as a DEL Lab School which emphasizes the integration of applied Laban language in combination with the creative process. At the center of this philosophy is “Dance for Every Child”. This focus is at the heart of the curriculum at all levels - beginner through advanced.

Theater Dance during the fall semester investigates the various dance forms used in Musical theater. Students will expand how technique and artistic understanding integrate to serve contrasting themes and styles of musicals.  Applied Laban language assists the exploration of mood, setting, lyrics, and character in relation to dance vocabulary used in musical theater.

During the spring semester, Theater Dance delves into how dance, gesture, character, and music synthesize to build the arc of a musical. Students will explore how to embody contrasting characters through dance and how to build choreography that reflects the context from which multiple characters are drawn. 

Physical Movement is a required course for Screened Theater Juniors. Students will deepen their understanding of kinetics in relation to the actor’s toolbox. Exploration into the style of Commedia dell 'Arte, practical application of the Delsarte system and investigation of the Viewpoint Technique, will assist in the development of the body as an expressive instrument. 

Students who are interested in pursuing the Commencement Assessment in Dance must take 6 sequential credits of study in courses coded “Dance as Art”. These courses are offered at Murrow through MILES, our independent study option. Students have assignments throughout the week which culminate in a class that takes place prior or after the regular scheduled day. Upon completion, students will receive a Certificate of Advanced Achievement in the Arts: Dance. There are three parts to the Dance Commencement Exam completed during the student’s senior year; Performance on Demand, Student exit project, and the Dance Regents. The courses at Murrow leading up to the 3-part exam are as follows:

Year I
This course is designed to interface with the technique class in which the student is enrolled. For each unit of study students research a particular aspect of the dance world. They share these findings with peers in their dance technique class.   

Fall and Spring term examines the influences of African, Afro-Cuban, Ballet, Latin, and Modern dance forms on Contemporary American Dance. Through readings, research, and discussion students develop projects and create classroom experiences that provide a deeper understanding of the social, political, cultural, historical and artistic influences of dance on the world.

Year II
Students develop their analytical skills in the first semester through the study of Dance Anatomy & Dance Kinesiology. Students apply their learning in the MILES weekly class as well as shaping experiences for students in technique classes. Second semester students explore dance criticism, and use of Laban language in making connections between cultural and social elements of dance around the world. Students hone their understanding of the roles dancers play as performers, critics, historians, and choreographers.

Dance Careers II
Dance Career II gives students an opportunity to develop dance experiences for students Elementary through High School in other school settings. Students learn how to create lesson plans that use the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts, in culmination with the DEL model which balances the creative process with skill building.  

Yearly Dance as Art Credit 
This is a “Dance as art” credit which is an opportunity for students at all levels to perform and advanced students to choreograph for the dance program’s annual performance. MILES students who choose to choreograph, create proposals outlining the theme (s), structures, and overall vision of the dances they plan to design. Rehearsals take place during the scheduled technique class of the MILES candidate. Students in the class are the dancers for the student’s choreography.

This course is designed for the physically challenged student to learn the fundamentals of games, sports and exercises. Students will improve their motor skills, coordination and fitness.