I am thrilled to announce that Indigenous Pitch is doing two dance camps, in two states, AT THE SAME TIME!
That's right- while the usual team is still in NOLA doing week 2 of our program there, Charles and I (Nicole) are doing one in Ardmore. While we are not running this camp, we are providing the dance portion each day, as well as any other help we can give- child wrangler, cheerleader, gopher, etc. The camp is at the First Baptist Church in Ardmore, on the corner of Athens and St. Pauls, so it is right in the neighborhood. The camp is called Creation Camp and it seeks to develop the creative arts in children- visual art, story-telling, music, theater, and dance.
Creating is what makes humans different from all the other animals. Yet so often, we are afraid to create. What will people think? What will they say? Is it good enough? Am I good enough? At this camp, we are showing children that they have the skills they need to be artists. It doesn't matter if you have had years of training, or skilled parents. An innate part of being human is being a creator. We do not each create the same things, or in the same way. (And how boring it would be if we did!) Our skills may be verbal, musical, theatrical, or physical. Some may draw, some may sculpt, and some can interpret those things into words or movement. Giving the children confidence in their creative skills is important not just for art-making, but for creating confident citizens that see the potential in those around them.
In my time at camp yesterday, our youngest camper made up a word. The rest of the camp fell in love with it and used it the rest of the day! It even found its way into the camp song they wrote together in music class!
During my dance class we worked on steps and shapes. We did positive and negative space- this exercise requires teamwork and an ability to connect. For the first day of camp, connecting physically to new people is a pretty tall order. But our campers did it, and made some beautiful human landscapes.
We also worked on movements the kids already know- keeping with the theme of innate creativity. One of my favorite movement games is to play different genres of music, one right after the other, and watch what happens. Classical music=ballet, even if they have no idea what a ballet step is! Jazz music= struts and wiggling fingers. Rap music=head nodding, arm waving, and street moves. Spanish music=stomps and claps. My personal favorite yesterday was a piece of techno music that inspired a roomful of robots!
Music and dance are universal languages. They are linked in our culture and our souls. Children know this without being told, without being taught. As we get older, we let our fears shut down our joy and our intuition.
Follow the children- listen to the song and let it move you!Nicole