Alison Chase and her company dancers work with elementary, middle school, and high school students to provide movement based instruction that promotes creativity and physical habits for life-long health. Students create and perform original choreography that instills pride in authorship and increased physical awareness. Wherever possible, classroom teachers are encouraged to participate in an accompanying professional development session design to develop an understanding of dance as an element of physical fitness and as a mode of self expression, and acquire new exercises for use in the classroom.
Each day of student programming focuses on a specific theme, such as alignment, relaxation, or invention. Familiar movement such as ‘hip hop’ street dance can be used as a portal for experiential exercises in which children learn to expand on the introductory vocabulary and invent their own short original dance to share with the class. Throughout this process children are mentored in basic interactive skills, such as commitment, respect, and collaboration. Balance is stressed from a physical and a nutritional perspective; students learn to adopt these lessons throughout their daily routine. Participants will acquire somatic literacy, becoming comfortable with vocabulary of movement and gesture, and able to read the movement of others. As time and space permits, students will present a culminating performance for family and community members.