Deirdre Moore | July 2013

Arts Immersion To Do List: Week 3

Another week, another check mark on the Arts Immersion To Do List!  It is week 3 and I reiterate that I am so glad I have this blog to keep me honest and continue to inspire me to immerse myself in the arts this summer.  For this week I decided to complete item #3, “Experience art: dance.”  If you feel the desire to check this one off too, I have a couple of suggestions for you.  There are lots of way to interpret “experience dance” so have some fun with it!

Tip #1: Set your intention.

Before you decide on what to do and/or once you have decided, be sure you know what you want to get out of the experience.  Do you just want to be entertained?  Do you want to nurture your inner dancer?  Are you looking to raise your Arts Integration educator awareness?

Tip #2:  Think out of the box.

Of course you can buy tickets and go see a professional and possibly famous group of dancers; I’m a fan of supporting artists.  But there are lots of ways to experience dance so be creative, especially if time and/or money are an issue.

Let’s say you do just want to be entertained or feed the dancer within.

There is nothing like the classics to bring a smile to your face.  Anything with Gene Kelly should do the trick!  My favorites are Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris.  Or perhaps you want something more recent like Chicago with Catherine Zeta-Jones.  What’s great about this option is that they can be enjoyed from the comfort and convenience of your own home.  You could even use your computer and just do a search for videos of a type of dance that intrigues you.  It’s amazing what is out there!

I watched a beautiful piece that was not a performance on a stage but a combination performed by modern dance students in a class at San Diego State University.  And don’t forget my guilty pleasure, the Fox program “So You Think You Can Dance.”  The choreographers and the dancers unveil some real beauty and entertainment and in just 2 hours you can see everything from ballroom to hip-hop to modern.

What I Took Away From It All????

My curiosity led me to the first ever Fringe Festival held here in San Diego which provided a rich opportunity for San Diegans to sample lots of different kinds of art all in one general location.  I chose dance and witnessed a series of duets choreographed and danced by local dancers.  What a treat!  While it did nurture my inner artist as great art does, I did ask myself as a practitioner of Arts Integration, what I could take away from the experience.  “What did I like?  What was I drawn to and why?  How can that inform my own teaching?”

I realized that what I loved most was when each movement seemed to flow effortlessly and seemingly unchoreographed into the next, when transitions were seamless and each movement organic.  It’s a quality that separates a good dancer from a great one and is something I want to remember as I work with my own students and when I am dancing myself.

So set your intention, think out of the box, and go experience dance.  It will make you a better human being, a better artist, and a better teacher of Arts Integration.  And on top of all that, it can be just plain fun!

About the Author

Deirdre is a teaching artist and AI coach in the San Diego public schools dedicated to helping classroom teachers make arts an integral part of their teaching. Deirdre has an MEd in Arts Integration and over twenty years of classroom and performing arts teaching experience. Email Deirdre.