Diving into DEL FUNdamentals with our Arnhold Summer Fellows
Every year, Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) welcomes a group of Arnhold Summer Fellows into our 4-week Summer Institute. The purpose of the Arnhold Summer Fellowship (ASF), established by DEL founder Jody Gottfried Arnhold, is to recognize and support outstanding college students who are dance majors with an interest in dance education.
This year, in Week 1, our Fellows participated in DEL FUNdamentals, an introduction to the DEL model, which spans three days and explores Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) as a framework to support lesson planning and dance-making in any kind of dance classroom. Fellows used LMA to explore body, effort, space and relationships within groups, with a final assignment embodying the qualities of a sea creature. They shared their reflections on the lessons here.
From Arnhold Summer Fellow, Veda Manly:
“In LMA there is body, effort, space, and relationship, but I especially appreciate all the work that we did to come up with words that helped describe the different elements in the categories. When I had originally learned LMA, there was a certain specific vocabulary that we had to remember, but during this week we were able to come up with words that maybe aren’t a part of the standard, but are just as useful in describing what our bodies are doing. For one choreographic task, we created an Ocean dance and I was a part of the octopus group. We used LMA to analyze the movements of an octopus and movement sentences to develop an improvisational score for the animal.”
Summer Fellow Rayna Richardson shared how dance can help to create a welcoming environment in the classroom:
“My journey in dance has not always focused on education or creating a safe space for students to express themselves. Many of my days have consisted of intense training, stern dance instructors, and overall demand for perfection. By attending DEL FUNdamentals, I experienced a sense of freedom and comfort that I haven’t felt since I was a young girl just beginning to dance. I was allowed to be vulnerable, make mistakes, and step out of my comfort zone through the tools of dance education. Through our exercises, my body could illustrate and communicate a story with simple but yet powerful words.”
Arnhold Summer Fellows dove into DEL resources and materials. The DEL Model is pictured below by Isabella Bernstein. Participants are asked to identify what lives in their teachers’ hearts, which brings their beliefs and values about dance education to the forefront of their experience in the DEL Summer Institute.
“The first week of DEL Fundamentals created an immense value for my mind, body and spirit. Not only did I learn how to communicate to the children, how to guide them and navigate them through exercise, I also learned how important it is to link dance to social relevant topics and embody the values of DEL to be an effective leader in that field so children can orientate towards equity, justice and community building.” – Teresa Lucia Forstreuter
Fellows watched PS DANCE!, a documentary film about dance education in NYC’s public schools. This film gave students a newfound perspective of the inspiration and joy students find when dance is part of their everyday curriculum:
“Dance as an art form is a different way for young people to learn that can open up
new possibilities in their lives. It builds confidence, community, social skills and
collaboration.” – Veronica Boccardo