Many of my teaching inspirations come from my “dance mom”, the lovely Mary Anne Santos Newhall. One of these is to bring my technique classes outside at least every semester.
Monday, on Earth Day, I took my Modern 121 class outside to dance in front of Ball State’s famous Beneficence. Not only was it fun to dance outside, but it brought on a different movement quality. I remember when Mary Anne had us dancing outside, she pointed out all of the sensations; having a wide open sky instead of windows and walls, feeling the sun on your skin, and taking in all of the sights and smells around me. As I watched my class dance movement phrases I’ve seen them do many times before inside, I was amazed at how their movement quality changed just from changing our location.
I had the students perform an improvisation around Beneficence and then we pieced together some phrases that they just learned that day and others from throughout the semester. The combination of the beauty of mother nature and these lovely young ladies is quite a site to behold.