Writer, director, actor, teacher Petronia Paley has a new show reel out. It's pretty amazing, chronicling her most recent TV and film guest starring roles on Blue Bloods, Damages, and Transporter, all the way back to her long run on Guiding Light. It reminds me how lucky I was working with her as the director of two NYC performances of Jitterbug! spread over a couple of years. Aside from validating my work, it taught me one thing about her: she approaches everything with power and conviction. Take a look and see for yourself. Across all disciplines-- she's the real thing.
"When children learn to control their bodies
they learn to master the choreography of their lives."
--New Yorkers For Dance
Dance/NYC celebrates National Arts in Education Week with a month long series of videos highlighting the importance dance and the arts have in providing a well-rounded education that touches the mind, body, and spirit.
For that one spokesperson whose "goal is to see dance in every school," may I humbly suggest one way to manifest that dream is to begin with Jitterbug! in the Classroom. Based on the book of the annotated dancical, Jitterbug! in the Classroom is a series of free Educator Manuals/Student Questionnaires for high school and college students written to address the National Core Arts Standards for Dance, Theatre, Music (Ensemble & Composition strands), Literature, and History/Social Studies. If used online, students can click links that open historic multimedia examples of dance and music from the Harlem Renaissance and the Swing Music era. You can view them here.
An August 2016 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception suggests sensitivity, i.e., empathy, can be learned through dance. Teaching empathy is one of the lessons found in the new National Core Arts Standards for all of the arts classes in today's schools. I have included those sections in my free Jitterbug! in the Classroom Teacher Manuals/Student Questionnaires for the following subjects: Dance, Theatre, Music (Ensemble & Composition strands), Literature, and History/Social Studies. Creating these educational materials based on the NCAS was a herculean task. There are more pages spread throughout the various disciplines than in the entire play. They can be found on the left side of this website by clicking Educator Resources. Using my dancical as a supplemental teaching aid in the classroom-- and hopefully someday on a school stage!-- is a great-- and easy-- way for educators to make the Harlem Renaissance come to life while addressing the NCAS since the play is annotated for historical reference and period slang. And, if the Student Questionnaires are read online, students can click links to multimedia examples of dance, music, and history.
Special thanks to Dance Magazine for this additional info validating something as dancers we always knew.
Multi-hyphenate with a penchant for writing.