Happy to be Back!

Posted 7 May 2014 12:00 AM by Lindsey Colelli, City Spotlight Teaching Artist

I was so excited about coming in to JAM with the Teen Council Members and to get a taste of the talent I will get to work with later this summer. This will be my third year working as a Teaching Artist in Dance with the City Spotlight Leadership Program. Each year, as I attempt to ignite the desire of expression through movement, I look forward to the program and the participants reinvigorating my passion for the arts as a whole.

After a fun warm-up and some relaxing stretches, I observed as the leaders worked through some Viewpoints exercises to work on moving as one ensemble while non-verbally communicating with and physically listening to one another. I believe one of the most important qualities of leadership is communication, not only ensuring what you have to relay is communicated, but also making sure it is understood. In order to do so, it's great to practice listening and awareness. The leaders found it challenging to avoid anticipating the movement. They were most successful when they were less anxious, were more relaxed/open, and trusted the dynamic of the group.

We took these concepts and applied them to the next exercise. I divided them into five groups of three where they choreographed four eight-counts of their interpretation of the first few stanzas of Tupac Shakur's musical interpretation of Nikki Giovanni's poem, The Rose That Grew From Concrete. Each person had to choreograph an eight-count of his or her own and then had to devise the last eight-count together while clearly communicating and listening. The products exceeded my expectations by far. They did SUCH an amazing job!

Once again, I left the leaders with considerably more excitement than when I walked in, and I walked in with a few buckets full! I'm super amped up about creating with them this summer, guiding their brilliantly creative minds, and helping them communicate their truths!

Teen Council Leaders Gabby, Connie and Kyra share their original choreography.

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