Posted in Arts Experiences, GAP News, Greenville Public School District

GPSD Middle School Dance Program

Beginning in April 1, Greenville Public Middle Schools are introducing an after-school dance program for beginning and experienced dancers. The program will offer students the opportunity to foster and enrich their dance education through the development of technical proficiency and artistic growth. Solomon and Coleman Middle Schools will each be holding three sessions for a  group of 8-15 students, providing exposure to new styles of dance techniques in a setting that will allow them to interact closely with a skilled instructor.

Brianne Connelly of Lake Village, AR will be teaching the classes, bring over 14 years of experience as a dancer and instructor to the program. Ms. Connelly is an alumna of the Lake Village Teach for America Corps, where she formed the Lakeside Middle School Dance Team. She has taught community dance classes at several different locations, including the Hodding Carter Memorial YMCA and Greenville Higher Education Center. Ms. Connelly has experience teaching Hip Hop, Zumba, Aerobic Dance, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Line, Folk, Tap, Latin, African, and Chinese dances and will be sharing a variety of dance styles and techniques with the participating students.



The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.

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