Vail Christian High School opens new art, dance studios as school’s vision for the arts becomes a reality |

Vail Christian High School opens new art, dance studios as school’s vision for the arts becomes a reality

EDWARDS — When Vail Christian High School dedicated its new art and dance studios, Headmaster Steve O'Neil opened with a prayer for the arts and art students.

"May students exercise their gifts, stretch their imaginations and deepen their insights, sharpen their skills, express their artistry, delight their senses," O'Neil said.

They cut the ribbon for the new spaces Wednesday morning, Oct. 3.

Arts for all

When Vail Christian High School's east building opened 10 years ago, it was supposed to have an art studio.

Now it does.

Recommended Stories For You

Elementary and middle school students will use the space in the summer, as will adults, O'Neil said.

Along with budding artists, the art studio will host engineering and some computer science students.

"The arts today are not just traditional, but are also innovative," O'Neil said.

That dance studio will be used to teach dance classes to just about anyone who wants to learn.

Speaking to a gathering of VCHS friends and supporters, O'Neil's mind raced ahead to new possibilities, such as a swing dance teacher who might help get things started.

"We have a vision for that space to be used for theater and choreography, and so much else: P.E. classes, Zumba and Pilates classes," O'Neil said, adding that teaching students a little ballroom dancing is likely.

The dance studio will also be home to Vail Christian's championship dance team.

"Dance at Vail Christian High School has been part of our culture and DNA since 1998," O'Neil said.

Much of the credit goes to Patti Carlson, VCHS dance coach, who has directed the team to seven straight state titles. They'll shoot for their eighth in December.

Vocation and avocation

The art spaces give students a look at lifetime possibilities, said Erik Williams, director of community development for the Vail Valley Partnership.

"If you think about your parents, they had one job during their careers. Later it was two to three jobs. The latest estimates say these kids will have 15 to 17 jobs as they go through a career," Williams said. "Things like this give them an opportunity to learn what they're interested in but, just as importantly, what they're not interested in as they choose careers."

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and