Dance Institute Returns to SUNY New Paltz
NEW PALTZ -- For the eighth consecutive summer, SUNY New Paltz is granting local school children access to the world of dance. The university is a core residency site of the National Dance Institute -- a not-for-profit program that enriches the lives of thousands of children each year.
The Institute, with its founder Jacques d'Amboise and artistic director Ellen Weinstein, is in residence July 10 - 21 to work intensively with fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders and New Paltz graduate students. The two-week program includes dance classes, visual arts projects and classroom curriculum materials.
The Institute is held on campus in collaboration with a unique graduate course titled "Process Pedagogy: The Arts as Education," offered by the School of Education and taught by Nancy Gropper, a member of the graduate faculty at Bank Street College of Education, New York City. Fifty students of the six-credit course are learning about the Institute philosophy and its classroom application, and being integrated into the process of preparing the 40 young dancers for an ensemble to be held at the conclusion of the residency.
"The graduate course component enables the students to reflect and develop further understanding of the teaching and learning process and how the arts can inform educational practice in other domains," explained Gropper.
"We are very pleased to be able to offer such a vibrant program," said Robert Michael, dean of the School of Education. "It gets children and their teachers involved in some of the most exciting work in the arts today. This epitomizes what SUNY New Paltz is all about -- enhancing the quality of educational, artistic and cultural life in our region."
The teaching methods of former New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d'Amboise are acclaimed because they unite trust, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence through demanding work and commitment. They encourage children to use creativity and their own initiative, thereby developing lifelong enthusiasm for learning.
The residency culminates in professionally-staged performances for the public on Friday, July 21 at 4 and 7 p.m. in Studley Theatre. Tickets are free and available at the door.
The summer program at SUNY New Paltz is offered through the School of Education with the support of the Office of the Dean of Fine & Performing Arts.
For more information on the residency at New Paltz, please call the School of Education at (914) 257- 2800. To learn more about the National Dance Institute, visit its web site: http://www.nationaldance.org.
Note to editors: Reporters/photographers are welcome to visit the children's dance classes, which are being held Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 3 p.m in the Old Main Building's Studley Theatre. Additionally, the pedagogy class for graduate students meets Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - noon in Old Main 215. d'Amboise will lecture in this class on Thursday, July 13. Adult students' dancing sessions are held weekdays from 3 - 4 p.m. in Studley Theatre. The first week of the residency is the best time for visits since later the schedule becomes flexible to allow for preparation for the final ensemble.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.