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Art education enables children to make creative decisions outside the box and realize that their unique, creative choices are valid.  

Dance Physical Education

Dance PE class

Dance is Hillcrest's new alternative PE class!

Students will be introduced to dance styles like Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, and cultural dances like Tinikling, a traditional dance of the Philippines. They learn the history of dance forms reviewed in class and also create choreographer research projects. Students will be on their feet for the duration of the class, warming up, stretching, moving across the floor, and then learning a combination, in addition, to dance skills like choreographing and improvisation. 


drama students holding a sign for beauty and the beast

At Hillcrest we offer both a drama class and an afterschool drama club. Students can participate in either or both.

Drama class offers students a basic introduction to the world of theater. Students will develop skills in pantomime, voice projection, improvisation, stagecraft, and drama production. We will read a variety of plays every week, from folktales to Shakespeare.

The club puts on the spring musical.


Instruction for GUSD students begins in TK with singing and clapping, laying the groundwork for a musical education. Third graders are introduced to instruments and reading musicI with recorders. In 4th grade, students begin band and chorus performances, and in middle school the music program culminates with elective classes for our Jazz Band, Marching Band, School Band, and Strings. 

Spencer Burrows and Nick Pulley teach music in elementary classes. Mr. Burrows leads the chorus. Under the direction of Nick Pulley, our bands perform two concerts per year, have been featured in the Gravenstein Apple Parade and will be performing on Main Street in Disneyland during the summer of 2024.

Visual Art

student painting

Nancy Ricciardi, one of the Art enrichment teachers, introduces art history each year by focusing on one artist and their style. From Jacob Laurence and his study of Community-Building murals to Henry Rousseau’s naive jungles, students learn about the artist and the influences on that artist’s work.  Students create individual pieces or work together for larger pieces. Throughout her instruction, Nancy often reminds her classes that there is no right or wrong way with art. Nancy says, “I don’t want to see a child try to draw the best cow, I want to see every child use their imagination to create the cow they want to see.  Perfect is boring!”

“...My youngest just adores Mrs. Ricciardi’s art and music.”