Ballet Class Blogging: Artists in Motion

One of my favorite parts of teaching children is the art that comes with it. One of my students gave this picture to me last night, on the third day of spring. I love its specificity.

 

I'm currently averaging about one piece of artwork a week, so my next step is to plan an in-class drawing or visual art-related activity that I can pair with movement. I really like this idea, modeled after one exercise from Lincoln Center Institute's Ghostcatching workshop: I'd split my students into groups of two, and have half of the students perform choreography while the others sketched their partner's shapes and movement. 

 

I'm thinking of bringing in examples of famous paintings, then have my students form movement tableaus, or create movement based on the artwork. Another activity from Ghostcatching workshop that I love, but I don't think my students are old enough (they're only about 7-years-old): Have each student make a wire sculpture of a dancer in a shape, then photograph each sculpture. Put photographs together and film each clip to make a short film, similar to a flip-book. (Which was an early version of Ghostcatching, a computer-animated dance film created in 1999 by choreographer Bill T. Jones and digital artists Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser.)

 

Have you brought crayons, markers and paper into your classrooms? What activities work for you, and what do your students love most? 

 

To read more about Lincoln Center Institute's Ghostcatching workshop, click here.

 

 

Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.