In this section

Theatre, Dance, and Debate

We provide a home for thespians, dancers, and debaters alike. See below for an overview of our available programs and the course guide for course descriptions.

DanceDance students practicing

GISD offers four different levels of dance instruction at the
high school level.

  • Dance I: This first level provides students with the fundamental skills and knowledge of dance as an art form
    and lifetime activity.

  • Dance II: Lessons will progress into more complex dance movements found in modern dance, folk/ethnic dance, jazz and/or tap. Students are also provided with opportunities to apply imagery concepts to groups and individuals projects associated with all types of dance and art forms.

  • Dance III: Students continue with more advanced concepts and explores choreography and manipulation of body, space, force, and time. Improvisation, informal presentations and critiquing are also explored.

  • Dance IV: This class focuses on advanced training in classical dance forms, choreography, production, performance, and dance-related careers.

Cultural programs

In addition to our traditional dance instruction, several of our schools offer instruction based on cultural genres of dance. Each campus program strives towards the development of young leaders from a diversity of cultural backgrounds.

A photo of a Folklorico danceFolklorico

Folklorico celebrates Mexican culture through dance and music. Students learn traditional Mexican dances and perform in district and community events. 

Students in Folklorico:

  • learn about Mexican culture and history

  • develop their dancing talents

  • gain cultural awareness and pride

  • teach the public about Hispanic culture

A photo of the step groupStep

Step programs combine fine arts performance and public service. Stepping celebrates African dance culture. The program not only exposes students to a variety of percussive dance styles from around the world, but it also encourages students to challenge themselves beyond the stage to excel in the classroom, seek opportunities for higher learning and become active contributors in their communities. Step programs compete at both the state and national levels, in addition to performing at school, district and community events.

Students who participate in Step:

  • experience the true sense of camaraderie amongst peers

  • become socially conscious members of society who actively contribute to their communities through volunteerism

  • maintain a competitive scholastic average

  • seek future enrollment into 4-year programs at institutes of higher learning

  • demonstrate mastery of various cultural dance styles

  • compete in scheduled showcases and competitions


Two debate students with an awardDebate

High school students have many opportunities to improve their public speaking skills. There is something for every level of interest.

The Speech Communications course teaches students effective communication skills used in conversation, interviews, and personal and professional presentations.

Students who enjoy competition can join one of the nationally competitive high school debate teams.

Two theatre students performing a touching sceneTheatre

Middle school

Students in middle school can take a full year theatre course. In this course, students learn the basics of stage productions as they study acting and technical theatre, such as:

  • Acting
  • Writing
  • Set and costume design
  • Stage make-up design and application
  • Theatre tech
  • Musical theatre

Students will also have the opportunity to compete in competitions such as U.I.L.,  MS One-Act Play and more.

High school

High school theatre students can choose to specialize in acting or technical theatre.

Acting program

High School students begin by exploring methods of artistic expression, the personnel and organization of the theatre, and the structure of the written play script. Through performance and production, students build on their speaking, writing, and reading skills. From here, the young thespians can go on to study acting, directing, and play analysis.

Technical Theatre program

Students discover the backstage world of the theatre. These students develop skills in both the design and implementation of the technical components of theatre. They focus on stage terminology, lighting, sound, costumes, make-up, set building, and publicity. From this foundation of knowledge, students can go further to study set design and construction, costuming and makeup, and lighting and sound.

Patty Granville Scholarship Program

Students in our theatre program have a chance to be awarded money for their efforts as a Thespian. Through a partnership with Veritex Bank and James Miller, we are able to offer this special theatre scholarship to our students. Students from each GISD high school will be granted these scholarships based on merit, leadership in our theatre programs, and participation on stage and behind the scenes.

International Thespian Society

The International Thespian Society is an honorary organization for high-school and middle-school theatre students who gain membership through participation in theatrical productions.

Students earn points by working on stage, backstage, and attending productions. Any student who wishes to participate may earn points toward membership.

UIL One-Act Play

The annual UIL One-Act Play contest is the largest high school play production contest or play festival in the world. All of the GISD High Schools compete each Spring at the Granville Arts Center at the Zone level. Six schools will move onto district, and then three to Bi-Distict. 

See our One-Act Plays page to view our winning performances.

UIL Theatrical Design

UIL  implemented a Theatrical Design contest for technicians within the theatre.  Students from each of the GISD high schools are able to submit using the state assigned prompt in one of the following categories: Marketing, Hair & Make Up, Costume, and Set.  Submissions are ranked and the best go onto the State level. See the UIL Theatrical Design page for more information and see our Theatrical Design winners page to view our state submissions.