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Public performances and workshops to attract dance enthusiasts

Mary Lynn Babcock, dance profAcclaimed dance experts at the top of their field and dancers as young as 8 will join together for daytime classes and evening performances at the Fourth National Gathering of Dance and the Child International July 12 – 15.

Dance and the Child International USA Chapter's National Gathering is held every three years. This is the first year that UNT has hosted the event. The conference is expected to attract more than 200 dance enthusiasts from across the country.

Public performances will be at 7 p.m. July 13 and 14 in the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building, University Theatre. Tickets are $10.

Hosted by the Department of Dance and Theatre, the four-day conference titled Breaking Boundaries/Creating Connections brings together a multi-generational and multicultural group interested in helping young people create, perform, teach and observe dance.

"We're breaking boundaries by making the core dance-making classes intergenerational," said Mary Lynn Babcock, left, associate professor of dance and conference/site coordinator. "We're creating connections in new ways by guiding people to integrate movement and techniques from dance into non-dance classes. In all, this conference provides a unique opportunity to work with a diverse community of inspiring teachers, dancers and peers in a non-competitive environment. By the end of the conference, you will see amazing dances from children as young as 8 through young adults."

Multi-generational classes will help participants collaborate in creating new dances. In skills classes divided by age group, participants will work on strengthening the body for dance and choreography. In other classes, they will explore different cultures of dance, including African, East Indian, hip hop with Mexican fusion, folklorica and Korean dance. The conference will feature classes on poetry writing and dance, art education and dance, and music and dance.

"This is truly an interdisciplinary approach to giving dance to our nation's children and young adults," Babcock said.

In a Special Teachers Symposium July 14, participants will learn how to create integrated discipline lessons aligned with state and national standards, teach geography and other subjects through dance, motivate students by engaging them in active and artistic learning experiences and use the latest technology as performance and assessment tools. 

"The point is to forage into education by crossing curricular boundaries through dance and to help teachers to not be afraid of how to incorporate dance into the curriculum," Babcock said. "You learn how to solve problems together, you learn about structure and how to transfer your theme into the subject." 

Continuing education unit credit will be available for the one-day teacher's symposium, which will be led by Lynnette Overby, faculty director of undergraduate research and experiential learning and professor of theatre and dance at the University of Delaware; Mila Parrish, director of dance education at the University of South Carolina; and Sean Tierney, assistant professor of geography at UNT.

Internationally known New York-based dancer and choreographer Bill Evans, who has more than 50 years of dance experience, will teach the multi-generational and technique classes. 

  • Register online, or call 940-369-7293 or Babcock at 940-300-8087.

Posted on: Thu 07 July 2011

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