Academy for Visual & Performing Arts: Dance

  • The academy for  Visual & Performing Arts: Dance, offers a major in Dance. Students with this major will work with master teachers and professional choreographers.


About Teacher

Ms. Lisa Peluso



Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Lisa Peluso

Lisa Peluso (Montclair, NJ) began her career as a pre-professional performing in dance competitions, various cruise lines, and throughout Disney World theme parks.  She graduated summa cum laude from Montclair State University with a BFA in Dance and received several scholarships throughout her studies. While attending MSU, she was invited into the company in residence, Donna Scro/Freespace Dance and performed extensively with the company for about 7 years with seasons in NYC and domestic touring.  Lisa was a scholarship apprentice/understudy for Jennifer Muller/The Works for several years and has additionally performed with Flexicurve, project: Smith, BEINGs dance, and KDNY amongst other project based contemporary modern companies.  She joined Elisa Monte Dance in 2011 and enjoyed 3 years of performing Ms. Monte's signature works as a soloist.  She recently was asked to rejoin the company in a special alumni performance celebrating the company's 35th anniversary season.  

​   Lisa's original choreography has been commissioned by several dance companies throughout New Jersey. Choreographic highlights include: International Dance Festival in Hawaii, the 2010 American College Dance Festival Gala concert in Virginia, Bryant Park, Merce Cunningham theater, the Fringe Festival Edinburgh, UK. Her work has received acclaim nationally and internationally.  Lisa has enjoyed adjunct dance faculty positions at Montclair State University, Rutgers University, College of St. Elizabeth, Union County College, and County College of Morris (8 years).  She continues to guest teach throughout New York and New Jersey. Lisa is a state certified vocational teacher.  She is also pursuing her Masters in Dance Education (EdM) with a PK-12 Dance Teaching Certification at Rutgers University. Lisa has been a guest artist for many years at the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts since its inception under former dance director Ruth Clark.  She is thrilled to continue the tradition of excellence and passion for dance education as the only dance faculty at Morris County Vocational Technical High School.

Career Field - Visual & Performing Arts: Dance

  • Career Pathways in Visual & Performing Arts: Dance (include but are not limited to):

    Production Managers, Digital, Video, Stage ♦ Cinematographers, Film/Video Editors ♦ Dancers ♦ Play Writers, Screen Writers, Screen Editors, Script Writers ♦ Directors and Coaches, Performers, actors, Musicians ♦ Make-Up Artists and Costume Designers ♦ Stagecraft Designers, Lighters, Sets, Sound Effects, Acoustics, Painters ♦ Composers, Conductors


    2017-2018 Seniors in the Academy for Visual&  Performing Arts: Dance completed internships with (including but not limited to):

    Performing Arts Academy, Dance Arts Academy, The Dance Academy of North Jersey, Jersey City Dance Academy, Art House Productions, The Teen Company, Dance Academy of North Jersey, Propel Physical Therapy and Athletic Performance, Dream Dance Studio, The Little Gym of Roxbury, Dance Academy of North Jersey, Morristown Neighborhood House, Twin Boro Physical Therapy, Annie's Playhouse, Danceworks, Sharon's Studio of Dance, Essex Dance Academy, Soul Search Records, Claim To Fame, Centenary Stage Company, Young Performers Workshop, Barn Theatre, Holy Spirit School, County College of Morris


Academy Course of Study

  • 9th Grade

    Academey:  Starting with the 2018-2019 Freshman Class, the Dance Academy will be located at Morris Knolls High School) Academy for Performing Arts: Dance at Morris Knolls High School


    10th Grade

    Academy: Intermediate Dance Technique, Dance Technology & Theoretical Studies

    In their second year, students will continue to explore and build on the previous year’s training through Modern Dance II, Ballet II, Jazz Dance II, Improvisation, Composition and Choreography and Repertory/Production II, Dance History/ Aesthetic Judgment and Criticism in Dance II, Movement Science for Dancers II, Dance Technology II, and Career Planning II.  Technical training emphasizes the Western theatrical dance genres of Ballet, Modern Dance, and Jazz and students are expected to gain a high degree of technical proficiency in at least one of these dance genres. Students will also have introductory experiences in a variety of styles and cultural dance forms through field trips to college programs and performances, guest artist workshops and repertory and research to enhance their movement vocabularies as well as expand their understanding of the contribution of cultural and social dance to theatrical art.

    Core Courses:

    • English 10*
    • Geometry*, Algebra II* or Pre-Calculus*
    • Chemistry*
    • Health and Physical Education 10
    • US History I*
    • World Language
    • VPA Elective

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation


    11th Grade

    Academy: Junior Year (Advanced Dance Technique, Choreography & Career Planning)

    Coursework builds on skills and concepts gained in previous year’s training, with increasing demands in the performance of technical skills through Modern Dance III, Ballet III, Jazz Dance III, Improvisation, Composition and Choreography and Repertory/Production III, Dance History/ Aesthetic Judgment and Criticism in Dance III, Movement Science for Dancers III, Dance Technology III, and Career Planning III.  Technique training is infused with dance science and related health science coursework to serve safe practices and career longevity. These courses are designed to assist students in developing anatomically sound movement patterns and proper alignment in the full potential range of human movement. Related coursework includes but is not limited to Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals™, Experiential Anatomy for Dancers, Nutrition for Dancers, Injury Care and Prevention, Yoga, Pilates, and experiential practice and research of Fitness/Wellness principles and methodologies.

    Core Courses:

    • English 11*
    • Algebra II*, Pre-Calculus*, AP Calculus
    • Physics*
    • Health and Physical Education 10
    • US History II*
    • World Language
    • Elective

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation


    12th Grade at MCST

    Career and Technical Education (Academy):

    • Career and Technical Education Elective (i.e. Virtual Enterprises International, Computer Science Principles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
    • Senior Capstone
    • OR CCM for Academy coursework

    Structured Learning Experience (Graduation Requirement):

    • All Seniors must complete 120 hours of an approved internship in their respective career field.

    Core Courses: 

    • English 12* (required)
    • Health and Physical Education 12 (required)
    • AP Calculus, Statistics, Foundations of College Math
    • Environmental Science, Anatomy and Physiology I
    • World Language*

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation


    12th Grade at County College of Morris

    Eligible Seniors may complete their Senior coursework in full or in part at County College of Morris. See School Counseling Department for more information.

    Required Courses:


    • English Composition I (ENG111)
    • Lifetime Wellness (HED128) or PE (labeled HES)
    • Academy Course (1)

    Courses are Determined by Audition
    COM 104 Interpersonal Communications
    COM 109 Speech Fundamentals
    CMP126 Computer Applications (all but CIS students)
    CMP128 Computer Science 1 (all but CIS students)
    BUS 112 Introduction to Business (all but FIB students)
    ACC 110 Elements of Accounting (all but FIB students)


    • English Composition II (ENG112)
    • PE or Lifetime Wellness (whichever was not taken in the Fall)
    • Academy Course (1) (see above list)

    *See Guidance (School Counseling) Department for additional information on CCM courses

    Structured Learning Experience

    • All Seniors must complete 120 hours of an approved internship in their respective career field.


Academy Video - Class of 2019