News: Limón4Kids in NYC Schools

The José Limón Dance Foundation started Limón4Kids this year in New York City middle schools, and, following a successful three-week pilot, the program will continue in the fall.

 

“The idea is to introduce students to modern dance through Jose Limón’s personal story,” says Gabriela Poler-Buzali, executive director of the Foundation. “These are highly Hispanic communities, so we show him as a role model of how an immigrant can change the landscape of a field.”

 

The curriculum, developed by the company’s associate artistic director Roxane D’Orleans Juste, is inspired by Limón’s first piece for his company, La Malinche (1947). Students learn the story and explore movements based on the work’s three characters. Then, they create their own dances based on La Malinche to perform at a final assembly. There, they also see the original piece danced by the Limón Dance Company members who were their teachers.

 

This year, the program involved about 170 students at two schools, P.S. 187 in Washington Heights and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School/M.S. 74 in Queens, and a third school, Casita Maria in the Bronx, is already onboard for next year. The foundation hopes to eventually reach out to schools in all five boroughs and New Jersey. Info: www.limón.org

 

 

Click here to watch a video about Limón4Kids.

 

 

Photo: José Limón Dancers in La Malinche. By Nanette Melville, courtesy of the José Limón Dance Foundation.

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less
Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.