Arts in the Classroom

For teachers learning how to talk about art in their classrooms—or for those just looking to reinvigorate their careers with a good dose of arts-centric professional development—Lincoln Center Education’s revamped Summer Forum this past July was a resounding success.

LCE teaching artists—designated arts professionals who work with educators to integrate arts into the classroom—conducted labs, performances and workshops. Wendy Blum, a 15-year LCE teaching artist, led a family event for educators and their children during the second week of the Forum. In preparation to view an afternoon performance of fellow LCE teaching artist Monica Bill Barnes’ vaudevillian duet Luster, Blum had her workshop participants create a pattern made up of commonplace gestures (miming to a friend that he has pizza on his face, for example), then implemented tools like exaggeration, repetition and inserting pauses to modify the original pattern. Participants also built their own makeshift proscenium, using props and material. Quick discussions following each activity (“What kind of performance do you think will happen in a proscenium space?”) helped cement the connection between collaborative dancemaking and Barnes’ finished piece.

LCE program manager Daniel Wallace highlighted the complete customization as the program’s biggest strength. “If you’re a high school English teacher, and your students are reading something about companionship,” he said, “then you can bring in a dance artist to teach partnering.”

But the Forum’s success wasn’t LCE’s only summer happening. Lincoln Center—in partnership with Hunter College—announced an alternative certification program to train and place arts teachers in New York City’s public schools. In August, 20 music and dance artists enrolled in a tuition-free master’s program at Hunter College that is subsidized by Lincoln Center’s recent $1.5 million grant from The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. Beginning in February 2015, program participants will be placed in NYC elementary, middle or high schools—and continue to teach as they complete the two-year master’s program. Those enrolled will receive a $7,500 grant for art supplies for their placement schools and will also have access to further training and coaching at Lincoln Center. By next year, Lincoln Center plans to expand the program to 60 candidates.

 

Photos by Christopher St. Clair, courtesy of LCE

Teachers Trending
Evelyn Cisneros-Legate. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West

Evelyn Cisneros-Legate is bringing her hard-earned expertise to Ballet West. The former San Francisco Ballet star is taking over all four campuses of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy as the school's new director.

Cisneros-Legate, whose mother put her in ballet classes in an attempt to help her overcome her shyness, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and School of American Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a full company member in 1977. She danced with the company for 23 years, breaking barriers as the first Mexican American to become a principal dancer in the U.S., and has graced the cover of Dance Magazine no fewer than three times.

As an educator, Cisneros-Legate has served as ballet coordinator at San Francisco Ballet, principal of Boston Ballet School's North Shore Studio and artistic director of after-school programming at the National Dance Institute (NDI). Dance Teacher spoke with her about her new position, her plans for the academy and leading in the time of COVID-19.

Keep reading... Show less
News
The author with Maurice Hines. Photo by Anthony R. Phillips, courtesy Hopkins

In March, prior to sheltering in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, my husband and I traveled from New York City to Miami to screen our award-winning documentary, Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, at the Miami Film Festival.

Our star, Tony Award–nominated dancer and choreographer Maurice Hines joined us in Miami for the festival—stepping and repeating on the opening night red carpet, sharing anecdotes from his illustrious seven-decade career with local tap students, and holding court at a cocktail mixer with lively female fans.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Haruko Photography, courtesy ABT

Gabe Stone Shayer may be American Ballet Theatre's newest soloist, but he never dreamed he'd be dancing with the company at all. Though he grew up in Philadelphia, his sights were always set on international ventures—especially The Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet.

Even in his early training, he was learning from Russian educators: Alexander Boitsov at Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, and Alexei and Natalia Cherov, from the Koresh School of Dance. At age 13, he transferred to The Rock School for Dance Education, where he danced until his acceptance to The Bolshoi Ballet Academy at age 14. At 16, Shayer returned to spend his summer in the States and attended ABT's summer intensive—fully intent on going back to Bolshoi to continue his training in the fall. Four weeks in, he was offered a studio-company contract. "I was so surprised," Shayer says. "Having come of age in Russia, I was very Eurocentric. Of course ABT was on my radar, I just never imagined it was for me."

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.