Co-Curricular Courses

From 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. during select Tuesday and Thursdays of the program, Visual and Performing Arts and Humanities students attend co-curricular courses together. Topics cover a variety of subjects in the visual and performing arts and the humanities.

On Monday, June 24, all Governor's School students will indicate their co-curricular course preferences using an online survey tool. Students will be asked to select one choice for each scheduled co-curricular day. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Consult the course descriptions below prior to selecting course preferences on June 24. 

Thursday, June 27 – Select one top choice

A. Beginning Ballet

Learn and practice the fundamentals of ballet.

B. Bringing Ancient Greece into Modern Life

Discover the modern relevance of Ancient Greek theatre, and learn how Daniel Bird Tobin creates solo performances in this tradition. 

C. Drone Journalism

Explore how drones (robot cameras that fly) are used in journalism with a licensed drone pilot and media professional, and have a hands-on demonstration of these eyes in the sky.

D. Faculty Art Presentation

Attend presentations by VPA faculty on their personal art, and learn about each artist’s techniques, process, and philosophy.

F. Know Your Rights

Investigate human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, connect how human rights relate to human needs, and identify how you can uphold these rights in your community.

G. Living as Artists

Unpack Nietzsche’s assertion that we should live our lives with “an artist’s perspective” to learn what this means in practical terms as well as what it implies about human will and character.

H. Music & Mind I

Join conductor, educator, and keyboard artist Dr. Wayne Gallops as he presents part I of a discussion on how musicians work with music as they perform and how music performance influences the audience.

I. Navigating a Professional Career in the Arts

Glean advice from a professional dance artist working and living in New York City for over a decade who will share strategies any creative can use to make a living as a professional artist.

J. Writing in Place

Participate in a creative writing workshop focused on the ways that “place” or “location” affects our minds, memories, and senses.

Tuesday, July 2 - Select one top choice*

*Instrumental and vocal students must attend session 8

A. Activist Theater

Discover through reading, viewing, and discussing dramatic performances how theater has been used as a tool for protest and social movements.

B. Beginning Ballet

Learn and practice the fundamentals of ballet.

C. Censorship and the Comics Industry

Uncover the impact and damaging legacy of the Comics Code, which was established in 1954 to self-regulate the comic industry but which wound up censoring work without regard to artistic merit.

D. Creative Dance & Somatic Awareness

Experience the freedom, strength, and emotional power of modern dance; this class is suitable for all experience levels.

E. Debunking Disability

Participate in a conversation about the myths and realities of “disability” in our culture, and learn about the different ways disability and the public school system intersect from a teacher in the Virginia public school system.

F. Frankenstein as Literary and Cultural Icon

Delve into the scientific and historical inspiration for Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein and learn why this is one of the most-adapted novels of all time.

G. Pop-Up Painting

Unleash your inner artist in this pop-up paint shop where you’ll be instructed through demonstration and hands-on guidance to create a painting on the spot.

H. Roanoke Symphony: Conducting Change

Join maestro David Stewart Wiley, conductor of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, who will discuss how music builds community and share what he has learned in the arts industry. THIS SESSION IS REQUIRED FOR INSTRUMENTAL AND VOCAL STUDENTS.

Tuesday, July 9 - Select one top choice

A. Art Installation: Informal Student Art Show

Attend an informal installation of your Gov. School peers’ visual arts projects.

B. Beginning African Dance

Learn and practice various African dance techniques.

C. Beginning Hip Hop Dance

Learn and practice hip hop dance techniques.

D. Copyright and Intellectual Property in Music

Acquaint yourself with historical and contemporary laws and expectations regarding copyright and intellectual property in music.

E. Music & Mind II

Join conductor, educator, and keyboard artist Dr. Wayne Gallops as he presents part II of a discussion on how musicians work with music as they perform and how music performance influences the audience.

F. Puppetry from Garbage I

Build puppets from found objects, and try out different techniques for moving with them. PARTICIPANTS MUST ALSO ENROLL IN PUPPETRY FROM GARBAGE PART II ON JULY 11.

G. Sexism and Search Engines

Come learn how search results using platforms like Google and Yahoo both reflect and perpetuate misogyny and racism in our culture.

H. The Creative Process & Liberation

Call on philosophical frameworks to discover how the creative process contributes to the construction of identity as well as individual and global liberation.

I. The Holistic Artist & Humanitarian

Learn how yoga, nutrition, meditation, and other lifestyle choices prepare artists and humanitarians to be balanced, free, and able to handle the rigorous demands of the modern world.

Thursday, July 11 - Select one top choice

A. Beginning African Dance

Learn and practice various African dance techniques.

B. Beginning Irish Dance

Learn and practice Irish dance techniques.

C. Curating a Gov. School Collection: Deciding What Matters

Create a digital archive of the 2019 Gov. School experience for posterity, and find out how archivists decide what information and artifacts matter in contexts of accuracy, privacy, copyright, longevity, and inclusivity. PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ASKED TO BRING DIGITAL ARCHIVES TO THE WORKSHOP TO SHARE AS PART OF THIS ‘THOUGHT EXPERIMENT.’ DIGITAL COLLECTIONS WILL BE DELETED AFTER THE CLASS.

D. Deepfakes, Deep Trouble

Discover how digital editing and artificial intelligence can create videos that appear real and true but are not.

E. Film Discussion: Degenerate Art

Attend a showing of the film Degenerate Art and then participate in a group discussion led by a filmmaker.

F. Music & Mind III

Join conductor, educator, and keyboard artist Dr. Wayne Gallops as he presents part III of a discussion on how musicians work with music as they perform and how music performance influences the audience.

G.  Prehistoric Cinema

A look at how dinosaurs have been presented in film and how their representations have changed to match science.

H. Puppetry from Garbage II

Stage short theatrical vignettes with puppets you built in Puppetry from Garbage I. PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE TAKEN PUPPETRY FROM GARBAGE PART I ON JULY 9.

I. Reproduction & Authenticity

Acquaint yourself with the works of Walter Benjamin and John Berger to consider “original” art in an age of reproduction.

J. Writing in Place

Participate in a creative writing workshop focused on the ways that “place” or “location” affects our minds, memories, and senses.