R.I.S.E. residency, exploring counterbalance and trust copyFor more than a decade, I have offered ArtSmart aesthetic education residencies in schools through TPAC Education. These are always focused on a performance the students will see live. I work most often with middle school grades, but have also worked with ages from PreK through high school in dozens of Davidson County schools, as well as some in surrounding counties.

I also am on the Tennessee Arts Commission Artist Roster, and offer independent residences for schools and organizations. My work is focused on integrating curriculum or other learning objectives into creative process work in dance and sometimes in writing.

In April of 2013 I was excited to work with the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee for their after-school program R.I.S.E. (Refugee and Immigrant Students Empowered). Over the course of a week I introduced middle school refugee students to dance and choreographic composition fundamentals, we  reflected on our personal and communal identities, explored writing identity poems, and then created a short dance and spoken word piece expressing individual and community characteristics. This process mirrors a longer process I undertook in a social justice dance/narrative project on immigration. Many thanks to the Metro Arts Commission for helping make these residencies possible, as well as a residency completed in October 2013 for the same program.

This mini documentary of the residencies was made possible by a mini grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and was filmed and edited by Ian Cresswell. Dance and Writing Residencies for R.I.S.E.