Integration, Expression, and The Dance
In all Duncan classes, dancers move through and integrate gaze, form, and feeling to express their dance. Each technique class will study the mythologies, inspirations, and improvisations around the Duncan steps and dances to build a life-long relationship with natural movement exploration. Classes will engage students’ minds, bodies, and spirits each week to build a personal connection to the technique’s movements and repertory throughout each session.
Students explore the myths, deities, and queens of ancient Egypt through guided improvisation studies inspired by the art and artifacts of the great Egyptian kingdoms. Daily classes will deepen each student’s individual study of Duncan dance and creative expression through movement and visual arts, and the week will conclude with a group field trip to the National Geographic Museum’s Queens of Egypt exhibition where dancers will experience their inspirations first hand. Intensive will be led by Ms. Becky with assistants, accompanied by supplemental classes led by guest teachers Cynthia Word (Artistic Director of Word Dance Theater) and visual & performance artist Katie Macyshyn.
Fall Technique Classes
Seasonally-themed youth dance classes that explore the human experience within the natural world. Students explore how the motions of water, wind, and trees inspire the natural movements of the human body while they learn to honor the dance within themselves and each other. Themes of the autumn session include the rejuvenating and flowing cycles of mother earth, patterns in nature, Persephone and Demeter, Apollo and Artemis, and the moon.
December Solstice Series
A special three-week celebration of the Winter Solstice to honor the light of the sun and the light within ourselves as we usher in winter. Each week will focus on a different Solstice story or ritual from around the world. Suggested reading: The Return of the Light, compiled by Carolyn McVickar Edwards.
Learning Skills In Each Technique Class
Class: 3-4 year olds — RainbowDance
Taught by Becky Lallande
Technical: Fine and gross motor coordination; marching, galloping, hopping, jumping, gentleness, reaching, crawling
Artistic/Metaphorical: Maintain focus and commitment to personal goal, sharing, cognitive breath control and visualization
Interpersonal Relationships (Social/Emotional): Individual and group development, establishing trust and safety within own body and in larger group; build self confidence, experience harmony, community, and social empathy, develop self control/regulation.
RainbowDance gathers children (and adults) for one hour with the goal of enhancing self-regulation, self-esteem, and social empathy. Providing a symbolic journey into the world of nature and relationship, RainbowDance encourages the growth of empowered and self-nurturing children. Results from retrospective studies of children and adolescents show that the onset of disruptive behaviors occurs during preschool,* and that these behaviors remain stable into adulthood unless addressed during early years. Creating healthy developmental tools at this age helps mitigate the potential for future behavioral problems ranging from violence to depression. Our programming is particularly well suited to the school environment and supports academic growth. Once RainbowDance has become instilled as a regular practice, teachers integrate it into their daily routines, incorporating songs, stories, and soothing activities to help build classroom harmony and alleviate moments of distress.
Developed by Dicki J. Macy and the Boston Children’s Foundation: bostoncf.org
Class: 5-7 year olds
Continuation of goals for RainbowDance
Taught by Becky Lallande
Technical: Fine and gross motor coordination; bilaterality (moving from weight on one foot to another); coordinating gesture, gaze, and steps; waltzing, skipping, leaping, recline and rise
Artistic/Metaphorical: Changing dynamics of expression: gentle to strong, quick to slow and lyrical; expression of personal images or stories through body movements
Interpersonal Relationships (Social/Emotional): Value placed upon diversity: Beauty inherent in all nature’s creatures; inclusion; honor; flock versus mob perception of group; experience of solitude and affiliation; biological need to be both individual and part of tribe experienced in embodiment
Class: 8-10 year olds
Continuation of goals for ages 5-7
Taught by Becky Lallande
Technical: Patterning; Joining, retreating; Skip hops and turns; Victory leaps; waltzing varied tempos; serpentine path from Solar plexus; initiate movements from solar plexus (physical and emotional); distinguish varied runs and skips
Artistic/Metaphorical: Maintaining connection with partner/gaze; expression of emotion, image; contemplative and expressive variations
Interpersonal Relationships (Social/Emotional): Embodiment of shift between leadership and follower; self and group reverence and respect; access and expression of beauty; understanding of time and place for varied “roles”
Class: 11+ year olds
Continuation of goals for ages 5-7 and 8-10
Taught by Cynthia Word
Technical: Leaps, waltzing at varied tempos, patterning and sequences; tanagra study; serpentine path form Solar plexus; varying pathways; Dionysian step; initiate movements from solar plexus (physical and emotional); distinguish varied runs, walks, strides, and skips
Artistic/Metaphorical: Maintaining connection with partner/gaze; advanced expression of emotion, image; contemplative and expressive variations
Interpersonal Relationships (Social/Emotional): Aspects of self as embodied parts of divine feminine; self reflection as precursor to relational engagement
What to Wear
On the first day of class:
Comfortable clothing in which a child can move and feel free
Suggestions: leggings, t-shirt, tank top, shorts
We dance in bare feet
Duncan dancers traditionally wear silk tunics in rehearsal, class, and performances, and our children’s classes continue this lineage
Tunics are worn over comfortable clothing, generally a tank top and leggings or shorts
Each child is encouraged to purchase a tunic, tunic set, or “tunic kit” from Word Dance Theater that includes the silk color and style for their class
Tunic kits are available through Ms. Becky
Tunics should be worn only in class, performance, and rehearsal; store on a hanger or kindly folded in a drawer; hand wash & iron
Tunic kit costs range from $20-45 each and are distributed the first week of class