Blog Archives

Updates from our Outreach program!

Jessica Kostoff teaches one of our Outreach classes in Beachwood, Ohio. She has given us some insight on the progress of the students and what to look forward too!

The Beachwood adult class is amazing!  We have been having so much fun in class!  Everyone comes in excited to move!  During October we had a great Halloween class.  We played some games and worked on creative movement activities.  We played pass the pumpkin with a small pumpkin and pretended it was different weight and shapes and how to handle it like so.  We also did the Monster Mash!  The participants kept asking to do it again and again.  We also explored with movement across the floor as Halloween creatures.  A participant from the previous class requested that I bring in some disco music, and I did, so we built a dance together.  We went around the circle and each person added a movement on.  Everyone enjoyed being able to participate in the creation of a dance. 

 

                In the next few classes we are going to work further on building dances and movement phrases together and putting meaning behind them.  We are also going to work on a creative movement series called, “Ready, Set, Move”.   This has several steps to it and will take a few class periods.  It works a lot with listening and following directions.  It also works with colors, numbers and movements that they get to do and review all those skills.  I am looking forward to building more skills with them and enjoying the holidays with them.  They are a special group of people and I always look forward to going to see them!

Dancing Wheels loves spreading our message as well as giving people a chance to be themselves and dance with abandon! If there is a group of students, with or without disabilities, that you think would be interest in a program like this?

Then contact our office at (216) 432-0306 or email our School Coordinator at school@dancingwheels.org

 

Advertisements

The School of Dancing Wheels Ensemble collaborates with Unveil, ArtWorks Dance Performance Company

20121019-154619.jpg

This past Saturday the dancers of the Performance Ensemble took class and rehearsal with the students from the after school program ArtWorks. These students are in internships learning how to create and be in a professional dance company. The two groups will be working together throughout this semester in creating some works to be performed in December. The ArtWorks dance company Unveil were asked to write about their experience at Dancing Wheels and their responses are below. The two groups will be meeting again November 3rd.

Najader

My experience with Dancing Wheels was great. I learned that it’s people first. It was nice to meet and dance with students and people with disabilities. They weren’t as different as anyone else. They still had emotions and feelings, and to me they were pretty happy. It was fun to see and learn how it feels to be in a wheelchair and having to use all of your upper body strength. I can’t wait to go back and dance with Dancing Wheels again!

Marcus

I enjoyed working with the Dancing Wheels Company School Ensemble. It was a very fun experience. I loved when we worked on choreography. The techniques were insightful and interesting.

Olivia

This Saturday at the Dancing Wheels Dance Company I had a good experience. I enjoyed moving with the dancers with disabilities, and I was inspired by how they and the whole company don’t let their disabilities hold them back! I really learned not to be discouraged or let something hold me back in dance or in life. I loved everybody’s positive attitudes and learning how to ride and move in the wheels chairs!

Marrisa

My experience at Dancing Wheels was awesome. I had a really good time working with the School Ensembles. I really liked how we did different dance moves with the wheel chairs. I didn’t know you could use wheel chairs in all of those different ways. My favorite part was riding on the back of the electric wheel chair and keeping a pose while doing it.

Samantha

As I walked into the Dancing Wheels studio, I was hesitant, nervous for new experience and excited for new friends. Once I saw Motion teaching hip-hop, I thought it was all over. I have no rhythm. Hip-hop is not my favorite style of dance, but Motion helped me understand how to move. Once we started to interact with the dancers with disabilities, I was amazed. They were keeping up with all standing dancers phenomenally. Some could retain better then I could. Then we tried getting in their shoes, or I should say chairs. The experience was eye opening and extremely fun. I am ecstatic I have that memory and anticipating the next visit to be just as great!

Katrina

I went to a small Quaker elementary school where there were at least two special needs kids in every class. I think the best thing you can do with special needs is to talk to them, and meet them at their level, and include them. I strived to do that last Saturday. It was interesting to learn wheelchair techniques, but I was acutely aware of the fact that, unlike some of the girls in the class, my experience in the wheelchair was only temporary.

Willia

My experience in working with dancers with disabilities was interesting. I was surprised to know how much the students talked. I always thought they were quiet but going to Dancing Wheels proved otherwise. They were as eager as I was to learn and I found it refreshing. They were also fun to work with because the shapes that we were able to create were unique. I also did an arabesque on one of the student’s motorized wheelchair, which I thought I couldn’t do but I tried it and accomplished it.

The Dancing Wheels School: Taylor Amanda Evans

This week we’d like to introduce you to Taylor!

I first heard about Dancing Wheels from Youth Challenge. I love watching the T.V. series So You Think You Can Dance because of all the cool routines and for all the people to go out there and perform their hearts out, that inspired me to dance as well. Dance is my way of expressing myself and escaping all my troubles. I’m in my second season now with the company and I love it! I am a member of the performance group and it’s really fun to perform with my best friends. When do I plan to stop you ask NEVER!

-Taylor Amanda Evans

Taylor (center) in the dressing during “The Snowman” Production.

From the Teachers perspective

Here is a word from one our newest teachers, Jessica Kostoff, about her experience thus far with teaching students of various abilities in one of our Outreach Programs!

This month, I started teaching the class at Beachwood Adult Activities Center. The class has 8 participants in it and are all new to the Dancing Wheels program. We have had two successful classes so far. The participants worked on gaining flexibility and strength as well as working on social interactions and building a community in the classroom. The participants also worked on interacting with each other through a ball passing activity and learned some movement fundamentals by going across the floor and learning a dance to the song Firework. This was a fun final summer activity for the participants. We used colorful scarves that they threw up in the air like fireworks at the end of the dance.

There was growth in the participants in just one week. The first week they did not know what to expect and needed motivation to move. The second week they were showing me what they remembered and participated throughout the entire class. I am looking forward to the next classes and including some fall and Halloween activities with them. We are all having fun and the participants are getting to work with others. Not only are they learning dance and movement elements from me, but I am learning from them too. It has been a great experience so far and I love this class!!!!

Jessica Kostoff

We’d like to thank Jessica for being a great new addition to the team!