Posts tagged ‘dancing’

Supporting arts eductation at the preschool age

Supporting arts education in preschool children is important for a wide variety of reasons:

  • Preschool care and education, except for certain low-income programs, is considered a private service and receives little or no federal funding.
  • While the importance of early childhood arts education has received greater attention in recent years, the majority of funding and programming is directed to grades K–12, with preschools being largely underserved.
  • Arts education should not be considered a frill, but a necessity. Since preschools are not part of the public school system, funding sources vary greatly. When budgets are tight, arts programs, teachers, and supplies are often cut first.
  • More than four million children attend preschool programs nationwide.
  • Preschool-age children are primed for learning and greatly accepting of most art forms.
  • Compelling evidence exists that early arts experience has an impact on all aspects of a child’s learning and development and that, in many ways, “earlier is better.”
  • Early childhood thus presents both a unique opportunity and a unique challenge; a part of that challenge is to engage and support all who care for and educate young children in making the arts an integrated and vital part of their earliest experiences.
  • We know that “art,” understood as spontaneous creative play, is what young children naturally do—singing, dancing, drawing, and role-playing. We also know that the arts engage all the senses and involve a variety of modalities including the kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. When caregivers engage and encourage children in arts activities on a regular basis from early in life, they are laying the foundation for—and even helping wire children’s brains for—successful learning.

Source: Arts Education Partnership, Children’s Learning & the Arts: Birth to Age Eight


December 16, 2010 at 11:23 am 2 comments

Performing arts classes yield huge beneift to kids

What do performing arts classes offer kids? Think about dancing.

We all do it at some point in time. We feel the rhythm, hear the music and before we know it, we are dancing. We may not have the finesse of the ballroom dancer, or the speed of a cloggier or the grace of the ballerina, but when you are up and dancing it doesn’t really matter.

Children who dance have increased self-esteem, coordination, balance and poise. Dancing cannot only be fun, but educational. Whether you enroll your child in a dance school or a program through the local community center, as long as they are exposed to the feel and the beat, they will have fun.

Let’s look at how dancing can help your child to grow. A child’s self-esteem is enhanced with dancing. In a classroom setting, children are placed by age and skill level. Accomplishing the different positions of ballet or steps and routines in Tap create a sense of self-worth for the child. Being able to create moves with the music is a very satisfying event for a young dancer. And dancing is not just for girls. Boys are becoming more active in dancing, just look at all the boy bands and the synchronized dance moves they perform.

In addition to self-esteem, dance can reinforce a sense of pride. A child who wears glasses, has braces, is “pudgy” or maybe a little clumsy will find a renewal in their pride when dancing. When you are on stage or dancing by yourself, you are in a different world. It may not happen overnight, but it does happen.

Grace and poise are two physical benefits of dance, in addition to providing an intense and fun form of exercise.

A child in dance learns different positions and steps, which utilize all parts of their bodies. They are educated on proper posture, head and body alignment and moving with their entire body to create a flow of movement. Dance techniques have been used to train professional athletes including football and basketball players to help them develop faster moves on the playing field and allow them to move without injuring their bodies.

There is also a great deal of discipline involved with dancing. For the youngest dancers it is less rigid, but as you progress with years of experience, the discipline becomes stricter. Visions of a stern, older woman sitting by the bar tapping a heavy stick come to mind, but it is rarely like that. The discipline will involve positioning, practicing, learning, practicing, respecting and practicing. The longer a child dances, the more respect for others and themselves they will have. Dance has evolved from a thing skinny, pretty girls did in tutus to an active and recognized sport.

Not every child who dances when they are young will go on to become professionals, or even continue to dance into their middle and high school years. But the majority who has danced at some point in their lives will tell of the fun and the discipline. The feel good rhythm that moved their feet then, continues to course through their veins today. And performing arts endures: once a dancer always a dancer.

December 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

The Academy at Asheville Arts Center to perform “Once On This Island, Jr.”

The Asheville Arts Center is proud to announce one of our esteemed children’s theatre offerings this fall, “Once on this Island, Jr.”  This musical is being put together by our extremely talented Academy students and is set to perform in December.

Click here to view the Facebook invitation!

More about the show:

once-on-this-island-junior-colorOnce On This Island Junior is a Caribbean adaptation of the popular Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” featuring a poignant story and catchy, Caribbean flavored score.

This is the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a young man from a wealthy family. When Daniel is returned to his people, the gods who rule the island guide Ti Moune on a quest to test the strength of her love against the powerful forces of prejudice, hatred and death.

Told in a presentational style reminiscent of story theatre, it is equally effective regardless of its cast size and features minimal – though colorful – sets and costumes that capture the imagination of the audience. Creative dance or movement-driven staging is also part of the show’s style, calling upon performers to portray trees, wild animals and even a fierce rainstorm.

With its touching story and catchy pop and Caribbean flavored score by songwriters of the film Anastasia and the Broadway smash Ragtime, Once On This Island Junior is a multi-cultural feast for the heart, mind, and soul.

The Academy cast had the amazing opportunity to work with original Broadway cast member, Gerry McIntyre on November 14.  Mr. McIntyre also directed a production in New Orleans with kids who had survived Hurricane Katrina, featured in the documentary, “After the Storm.”  Click here to see more about the documentary.

Show dates are December 4 & 5, 2009 at North Buncombe High School in Weaverville, NC. (7pm Friday, 3pm & 7pm Saturday)  Mark your calendars!

More about our Academy program:

AcademyTheatreFestPicTHE ACADEMY AT THE ASHEVILLE ARTS CENTER is a year-round, progressive conservatory for students with the commitment and desire to deepen their performing arts education in acting, singing and dance.  August 2009 marks the beginning of the Academy’s fourth year.  Current Academy students have earned lead roles in many community and school productions, paid voice-overs, and film projects.  Two concentrations of study are offered: the Musical Theatre Concentration and the Drama/ Acting Concentration.

Students in grades 4 – 12 (ages 10-18) are eligible and may be admitted by audition after submitting an application.  Younger students may qualify for our Junior Acting Company, a pre-Academy program for those 10 years old and younger.

The Academy’s “acting company” conservatory approach allows students and instructors to build a supportive, exciting, boundless learning group.  Together they’ll explore the tools and styles of performing on stage, film and TV.  Academy students are the core of our Children’s Theatre Workshop and annual Academy productions.

November 23, 2009 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

The Children’s Theatre Workshop presents: Cinderella, Kids! & Grease School Version

Wizard of Oz 2009 014Over the next two weekends, come experience the talented casts of two dymanic shows!  The Children’s Theatre Workshop at the Asheville Arts Center has been working  hard over the last few months to bring quality children’s theatre to the Asheville community.


This Saturday, October 10, the timeless fairy tale meets the magic of Disney in this adaptation of the treasured animated film.

cinderellaPoor Cinderella is endlessly mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and denied a chance to go to the Royal Ball. With a little help from her mice friends, and a lot of help from her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella goes to the ball, meets the Prince, and falls in love! With a beautiful score including “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and the classic “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” this musical will charm its way into your heart, and remind you that dreams really can come true.

The perfomers are all between the ages of 4 & 7 years old.
Performances are October 10, 2009.
11am, 12pm (South cast), 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:15pm (North cast)

The next show for this age group will be Jungle Book, Kids! which starts November 2, performing February 6, 2010!


0910_GreaseLogo_WebNext weekend, Friday through Sunday, October 16-18, 2009, come to Rydell High and hand-jive with the Greasers and the Pink Ladies!

It’s 1959 and Rydell high is filled with rebellious, thrill-loving students. In the midst of this scene, Sandy Dumbrowski enters as the new girl in school. It turns out that she and the leader of the Burger Palace Boys gang, Danny Zuko, have had a brief love affair the summer before. While Sandy stresses to her new classmates the emotional attachment she and Danny had, Danny stresses the different aspects of their relationship. In the end, Sandy and Danny resolve their differences and end up happily together. Dancing in the show involves 1950s jazz styles.
Note: This show is toned down for younger performers. From the Samuel French website: “Groups who perform for young audiences or produce musicals with young actors now have an ideal version of GREASE for their needs. Shorter and more suitable in content for teens and subteens, this abridged version retains the fun-loving spirit and immortal songs that make GREASE a favorite among rock and roll fans of all ages.”

Performers in this show are between the ages of 8 & 18 years old.
Performances are October 16-18, 2009. (2 performances per cast.)

Performing at William W. Estes Elementary at 275 Overlook Rd in South Asheville. Friday, 7pm & Saturday, 3pm (South cast), Saturday, 7pm & Sunday, 3pm (North cast.)

Our next show for this age group is Fiddler on the Roof, Jr. Starting November 2, this show will perform January 29-31, 2010!

October 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm 1 comment

The Songs: An Asheville Arts Center Cabaret

n124620974600_3703This fall, the Community Theatre at Asheville Arts Center is creating something just a little different.  The Songs is a collaboration of musical numbers spanning many decades of musical theatre, with a stellar cast of performers from all over Asheville and WNC.

This show is exceptional because it’s purpose is to create a show from scratch.  The production team, prior to auditions, began brainstorming a hugely diverse list of musical numbers to choose from.  The next step is auditions, in which we cast 30 people who could each play a major role in any other musical.  From here, the production team will begin the process of selecting roughly 24 songs for 3 acts of entertainment and plugging the ensemble into those songs.  By the beginning of rehearsals on September 22, we will have the show pretty well mapped out and begin blocking and choreographing the show.

This show is a fundraiser for Asheville Arts Center, to help us grow our community theatre program – which is vital to the performing arts community in Asheville.  We will be seeking support from businesses, organizations and individuals who support the performing arts in Asheville, in the support of advertising/support in our program.  We are also brainstorming ideas for doing “performed commercials” for higher level advertisers & supporters.  Stay tuned!

The Songs will run November 5-15, 2009 at Asheville Arts Center, with our PG-13 Third Act being performed on Friday & Saturday nights.   Thursday evening performances are “Donation Nights” with a minimum ticket price of $5, but our patrons are welcome to pay as much as they’d like to support us.

Come to the show!

Click here to become a fan of The Songs on Facebook.

Ensemble Cast list for The Songs:

Lisa Abeling
Andrea Bailey
Monica Baumberger
Annie Benson-Greer
Calinthia Briggs
Kelli Brown Mullinix
John Coggin
Tim Geib
Mark Jones
Wolfe Lanier
Taylor Loven
James Meador
Daniel Moore
Summer Nordmeyer
Mary Katherine O’Donnell
Kristen Palotta
Trevor Perry
Mandy Phillips
Jennie Ramsey
Christina Redd
Rachelle Roberts
Jennifer Russ
Mary Katherine Smith
Emma Stoneberg
Heather Taft
Chuck Taft
Katie Trani
Jacob Walas
Michael Wilson

September 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment

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