Walter L. Newberry Math & Science Academy
Leaders Grow Here!

Fine & Performing Arts

Music Curriculum

Our music program here at Newberry services all students in grades Pre-K through 8th, and covers a wide range of topics/activities.  Students learn music appreciation through song, movement, performing on instruments, music notation and video.  While primary grades focus more on singing, notation and movement activities, intermediate/upper grades focus more on integrating notation and current musical trends into classroom-based performances.

Mr. Feliciano Leading from the Piano

Newberry Students Learning Beat Patterns

Piano Leadership

Dance Curriculum

Dance at Newberry Spotlight: A show that highlights the talents of students at Newberry.

Check us out!!Send inquiries about show to

#Dance Life

The Dance program is back and filled with so much excitement.  Designed and Developed by the talented Industry Professional Ms. Nkemdi, M.A.T ( Highly Qualified –Board Certified/State of Illinois Professionally licensed Dance  and Performance Arts Instructor).  The dance program’s curriculum will:

  • Explore the connection of Dance to Science, Social Studies, and literature.
  • Focus on variety of cultural and Genre Dance styles: Latin, African, Asian , Native American, Middle Eastern, Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Iconic/Tribute Dances. (6-8th grade)
  • Utilize various forms of warm-up stretch routines and Body conditioning fitness regiments (Yoga and Pilates)
  • Focused study on Dance makers and Influencers
  • Independent projects and inquiry into themes in Dance ( 6th -8th grade)
  • Mapping fitness goals through dance with Students.
  • Integrating multi-media and technology in Dance

A Note from  Ms. Nkemdi

Arts programming is essential not only to explore and expose students to dynamic professions, learn process of artistic creativity and expression , build competencies and self -efficacy. Arts programming also provides students with opportunities to establish and begin training for Arts Careers, assists in developing ad building student portfolio and resume for higher education, and also Scholarship possibilities. Which indefinitely helps to curb College costs and helps to establish a healthier financial future for an individual. Talent in the arts is crucial, as in sports. That’s why Arts Matter!!I can’t say this enough.

I am a performing artist, developed other artist, consulted with Corporations and non-for Profit  organizations, trained arts teachers, and presented at many workshops/seminars over the course of 28 years in Chicago and abroad. I have students that have gone on to win full ride scholarships for the Arts at major Universities, Work in the entertainment industry on shows like The Chi, Empire, in Disney productions, Chicago Fire, Revolt TV as host for shows produced by Sean Combs(Diddy) , Steppenwolf, The Goodman. Students who have gone on to dance for major companies like Joel Hall, Muntu, Deeply Rooted,  and major music artists, and the list goes on. Not to mention my own son who is a talented young Filmmaker that is currently being sought out by major universities, and has been nominated for several awards for film and TV Arts. So, I completely understand the importance of arts and where it can take you. I don’t only advocate ARTS, preach it, believe it, I live it!

I know what it takes, I develop a strong work ethic and build the endurance, courage and confidence to win.  I am a living testimony to what arts can do, and work to inspire everyone around me. I am honored to serve the students of Newberry and deliver the same brand of excellence that have assisted so many others.


Dance Class Routines and Expectations

Above all it’s about building a strong and solid work ethic through the arts. There is no coasting.

The class is not recess and it is not a class that you just show up to. You have to put in the work, because I certainly do.  We work up a sweat in my class. I expect performance results. I have high standards and set high standards for my students. No exceptions!!

Understanding that you have to work and understand what it is to be challenged and to persist.

  • We start with deep stretching- Yoga and pilates will be consistent. Students can bring their

Own yoga mat if they want. ( also a water bottle  if they would like) Stretching is a must before any physical movement/dance in the body. It prevents injury.

  • It is advised students wear comfortable clothing and gym shoes. The same attire that they would wear in Gym Class.
  • We build strength, stamina and endurance through Body conditioning exercises. These exercises are designed to help students/ challenge students to be prepared for intermediate to intense Cardio routines that is necessary in dance. Dance is an art that is assessed through execution and performance of movements in sequence/choreography.
  • The Dance style and Genre study which will be taught by Ms. Nkemdi. A tutorial, Which serves to break down movements in technique, tempo and elements of Dance. The choreography is created by Ms. Nkemdi . The Elements of Dance that is imperative to evaluation and assessment are the students showcasing their understanding of Force, time, energy and use of space in dance. This is the essential goal of the aesthetic. The tutorial is repeated three to four times as whole group, and then in groups of 6. The students are taught the choreography in phrases over a two to three week period. It is always advised that students practice and repeat at home weekly, routines taught in class.
  • Students are then assessed and given critique of necessary adjustments. Students will always be given opportunity to improve grades by trying again, and Extra credit is always an option. Usually, extra credit will entail a short paragraph and picture of Dance Genre, Cultural hero, and/or Entertainer/choreographer of style(genre) studied in Unit. Also, if students perform (dance) in school assemblies and Leader in me showcases , extra credit is often given.



90-100 Excellent = Exemplifying a strong work ethic, exemplifies excellence in learning all routines in class. Stays focused and works to perfect movements. High Energy, and incorporates on pointe timing, use of space ( Direction, range),  and uses force as demonstrated by teacher. Extraordinary attitude towards learning new routines, and works excellently in groups. Shows high respect for the teacher and  the aesthetic process of Dance.

89-80  Good  =   Exemplifies a good work ethic, learns 80% of the routines, Stays focused most of the time, and does a good job  in incorporating use of force, space (direction, range),time, and energy. Not quite the same energy as the teacher, but does a good job in emulation.  Has a good attitude and works well with others.

79-70   =     Shows average work ethic, has to be pushed. Learns 70% of the routines, focus is average and does an average job at incorporating use of force, space (direction, range), time, and energy.

Prefers not to work too hard by stopping , sitting ( non-medical reason).Works  well in group and with others.

69-60  =  Has no work ethic, learns less than  60% of the routines. Has trouble focusing , and does not incorporate use of force, space, time and energy. Often sits down, and participates very little in whole group work. Does no work well with others, or teacher.

59- below- Does not participate in class.