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.



Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

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Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

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Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

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