In the Motion IV class, our focus was on rhythm and spatial orientation, using the influences of African tribal music as our avenue. We were given a handful of dancing exercises (highs and lows, mirroring, moving during different counts of a beat) to weave into our dance exercise for the day. My group consisted of 2 healthcare professional students, 1 senior and 1 dance student. With much guidance from our dance student, we were able to figure out a piece that we all liked and felt represented us. At first, everyone (but the dance student) was confused about where to start or how it would all play out. Once we worked together and communicated what moves we needed to work on, everything started feeling like it fit in place and everyone understood their role in the piece.
I liked hearing all the ideas the group had to contribute to the dance. One thing I noticed that I liked about our senior was she was very outspoken when she was unclear of what we were doing, because I would be unclear too and was a great reinforcement and encouragement for myself to ask for help when I needed it as well. During the rest of the group exercise, I was able to feel more comfortable and I could feel everyone did as well and it was a great moment to be able to be free and dance without judgement. At the end of the class, our senior shared with everyone how the class reminded her when she was in the Peace Corps in Africa (can’t remember the country) and how she was invited to the village’s traditional dance and was encouraged to participate in it. While I feel like the media likes to focus on aging with negative stereotypes, hearing her story combated that. Throughout her life she was able to have unique experiences that helped shape her views on the world, ability to interact with people who are different than her and provide care to the community. I think that is an admirable and important quality to have, especially within healthcare that I feel younger generations, including myself, has yet to go through, but can learn from by hearing these stories being passed on.
Kalyann Kauv, graduate student in Pharmacy
First off, I love every second of our Sunday afternoon sessions together! Seeing the room light up with positivity is an invigorating instance to be a part of. Being a dance and choreography major we can get lost in the rigor of our program and tend to only associate with other dance majors, our faculty members and on occasion other arts-based disciplines. This program is a nice way to ground myself in the reasons why I even began dancing when I was 8, and that being the fact that it’s just fun. I love seeing how willing everyone in the program is to participate and jumps right into a new art form without any hesitation! Whether the other participants know it or not, it is a wonderful learning experience, as a dancer, to see how dance-centered tasks get translated to non-dancer bodies of all ages. Working with different age groups and scientific disciplines creates a lovely dynamic in the space that establishes community and collaboration because everyone has something different to bring to the movement studies.
Todays work was stimulating to watch and be a part of because I could see peoples faces light up when they saw their own choreography come to life on other people! Working with Alice was a joy specifically because she went full out from the start of our choreographic exploration together! Another aspect of today that I had fun toying with was the memory component of the movement studies because it made people feel like they were working together to make something beautiful. Memory is a large part of dance and choreography so I’m sure people are beginning to trust this art form and fully submerge themselves in something completely new. I always know I can count on the short time we all have together to be an uplifting part of my week and I’ll always have a smile on my face while participating in this program! This integrated program also lets the different generations understand each other in a non-verbal way that we can all communicate with. For example, when we are all together it isn’t about how old or young you are or even how much or how little you’ve danced in your life its just about being together and present in the task at hand while generating enough positive energy in the room to fill the Grand Canyon!
Danielle Frye, student in Dance