.Jessica Runge

     
  Anton's Timing Chart  
   
     
  Alex's Quality Chart  
 
 
     
  Rachel's Floor Plan  
   
     
  Warren's Facing Chart  
   
....

LESTER B. PEARSON SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS PROJECT

Project Description:
Jessica Runge taught dance to 112 students in grades six and seven at Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts in London, Ontario in April and May 2004.

Sample Dance Projects created by 6MB Students:
Outlined below is an exercise that was given to one of the classes. Over the course of four days, about twenty minutes a day was devoted to this exercise. The students worked in seven groups and each group created a different thirty-two count quartet.

Project Goals: This exercise was designed to extend students' movement vocabulary, enhance their specificity and ability to attend to details with regard to movement, challenge their movement memorization skills, provide them with opportunities for creative work and expression as individuals and in groups, and, in the end, produce unique dances reflective of their interests and choices.

Process:
Step One)
From the movements learned in the skills development section of class led by Jessica, each student selected four of their favorite steps (such as a head circle, a leg kick, an arm gesture, or a traveling step).

Step Two) Working in groups of four, each student taught their four steps to the other three people in their group. Dance phrases comprised of sixteen movements were developed.

Step Three) For homework, each student was responsible for creating one of the following -- a Timing Chart, a Quality Chart, a Floor Plan, and a Facing Chart -- such that each group would have one of each type of chart. These charts specified different timings, qualities, positions in space, and facings for each of the sixteen steps in each student's movement phrase. Examples of these charts can be found to the left of this column.

Step Four) These charts were used by Jessica to create unique Dance Maps for each student. Each student's Map instructed them with regard to when, how, and where they would perform each of the movements in their sixteen step phrase. Examples of these maps can be found below.

Step Five) Students worked on their own and in groups to learn how to vary their original phrases in accordance with the new instructions about timing, quality, spacing, and facing contained in their Maps.

Step Six) During Jessica's last class, the students performed what they had learned at that point. They continued to work on the projects after her time at the school concluded. Ultimately, each group of four students created a thirty-two count quartet. A streaming video of this work will be available soon.

Responses) Deborah Kapp, a dance teacher at Pearson, felt that the project successfully enabled students to learn about new ways of creating dances.

Shannon Martin, one of the participating students wrote: "I figured out why we did this whole activity... because it is [an] intellectually challenging way to make interesting dances in which we could learn and have fun!!"

         
Rachel's Dance Map Anton's Dance Map Alex's Dance Map Warren's Dance Map  
 
         
.... BACK TO TEACHING