DEL ESSENTIALS REFLECTION

By Paris Cullen

The DEL Essentials course with Jody Arnhold and Ann Biddle was a magical collaborative experience involving a diverse group of people that share a common passion for the power of dance. Part of the magic came from the community that was formed through the safe space for creative expression. Many people in the group came from different backgrounds, yet it was very evident to me that our passion for dance allowed us to feel connected to and respect each other almost instantly. Even though we were only together for three days, I started to feel like I had a family at the 92nd Street Y.

This past week solidified my beliefs in the power of dance and taught me how to articulate this in a more coherent way. One exercise that I particularly enjoyed was creating a movement score about sea creatures. We first listed a huge range of possible topics (which I came to realize is pretty much infinite) and then narrowed down our choice. Each group was assigned a different sea creature to collaboratively create movement to emulate. It brought me such joy and peace to witness the creativity in the room. The sharks asked me to guest star in their section (pictured below) and I felt an overwhelming sense of community. Dance education really does have so many benefits, not only cognitively, physically, and socially for the individual, but also for groups to function harmoniously together.

When we finished this process, I started to daydream of a school where a creative process was involved with every subject. Imagine choreography and improvisation mixed in with all subjects: math, science, social studies, foreign languages, reading and language arts… The potential I started to see became exponential. I’m so grateful for this experience!