D&E conducting teacher retreat

Davis & Elkins College will host a continuing education opportunity in the arts for West Virginia K-12 teachers who would like to learn more about integrating dance into their classrooms. The free workshops are scheduled for Nov. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the D&E campus.

With a focus on dance, the sessions will encompass science, math, English language arts and social studies.

“Dance is a core discipline in West Virginia,” said D&E Adjunct Professor of Dance Laurie Goux. “It integrates extremely well with math, reading and social studies.”

Emily Oleson, coordinator of the Dance Program at Davis & Elkins College, adds that dance “can increase student engagement, inspire depth of understanding, and provide classroom variety and opportunities.”

In the workshop, Oleson and Goux will explain how to develop arts integrated lesson plans and workshop ideas for individual teachers through hands-on activities. The plans can be adapted to any grade level.

A long-time instructor for Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College, Oleson is pioneering a new major at the College in American Vernacular Dance, the dances that have arisen socially in the United States. This fall she presented “The Meaning of Buck Dance” at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Millennium Stage with artistic partner Matthew Olwell of Good Foot Dance Company in collaboration with Urban Artistry and Bessie-award-winning tap dancer Baakari Wilder.

Goux is a West Virginia Department of Education Dance Consultant who serves Randolph and Harrison counties to build Arts Integrated Curriculum using the national and state Core Standards. She has been a professional dancer and choreographer for more than 30 years and has worked with some of the most prestigious choreographers in American dance history, including Katherine Dunham.

All teachers attending workshops will receive a free lunch in Benedum Dining Hall and a complimentary ticket to the evening dance concert given by Urban Artistry in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.

To register or obtain further information, call 304-637-1212 or email olesone@dewv.edu. Teachers planning to participate must register by Nov. 8.

The following is a workshop schedule:

9:30 10 a.m.: Welcome

10 11:30 a.m.: Honeybee Disappearance Laurie Goux

The lesson will explore the importance of honeybees to our environment, problems and possible solutions of colony collapse, and how honeybees communicate through dance. Lesson combines Content Standards and Objectives for science, math and dance.

11:30 a.m. 1 p.m.: Lunch, Benedum Dining Hall

1 2:30 p.m.: Dancing with Shapes: Geometry in Dancing Emily Oleson

This lesson will explore geometry through movement, facilitating understanding of three geometrical dimensions, planes and solids. Possibilities can range from covering simple two-dimensional shapes for younger students, to more complex polyhedra for older students.

2:45 4 p.m.: American Vernacular Dance in History: a Study of Social Dance

Social dances reflect social movements and phenomena, and provide a useful tool for remembering significant moments in American history. Often accessible, easy to learn and highly musical, these dances range from the Charleston to Appalachian flatfooting, to tap and urban dances such as House and hip hop.

The Davis & Elkins Dance Program engages students in technical training and theoretical inquiry, giving them opportunities to perform, choreograph, compete, produce and teach dance. Three emphases will be offered for dance majors Sustainable Dance, American Vernacular Dance and Contemporary/Postmodern Dance. Students selecting a minor in Dance must complete 18 credit hours of dance courses.

For more information, please visit the D&E website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.