Screening Of PS DANCE! THE NEXT GENERATION Documentary A Success At 92NY
DEL’s celebratory event was an exploration of the future of dance education in America and beyond!
We were so thrilled by the excitement and enthusiasm from the dance education community at the screening of our newest dance documentary in Kaufmann Concert Hall at 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY) on Friday, September 30, 2022.
Bringing together the entire dance community – from choreographers and dancers to educators and aficionados – the evening was attended by over 350 people, including NYC Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks, and Paul Thompson, Executive Director of the NYC DOE Office of Arts and Special Projects.
The evening began with a reception in 92NY’s Weill Art Gallery, where the dance community mingled and made pictures. After finding their seats, the audience was blown away by a performance from senior year members of the Brooklyn High School of the Arts under the direction of NYC DOE Dance Specialist, Michelle Smith.
Brooklyn High School of the Arts students, under the direction of Michelle Smith; photo by Danica Paulos
The impressive and energetic number, choreographed by Hollie Wright to “Hot Lunch” from the movie Fame, had attendees whooping and received a standing ovation. This is what dance instruction in schools makes possible. It was a showstopper!!
Jody Gottfried Arnhold; photo by Whitney Browne
Jody Gottfried Arnhold (DEL Founder, 92NY Board Chair & Executive Producer of the film) rose to speak:
“Our newest documentary showcases the DEL model and the power of dance education in public schools. Students learn meaningful life skills, educators find inspiration, school administrators benefit from a renewed sense of energy in the halls, and families watch their children grow and thrive in phenomenal and unexpected ways.
We see how the DEL model can be adapted for every educational and artistic environment. When dance is integrated into the curriculum, inspiring stories like these are possible in every school. We look forward to more advancements in dance education.”
Chancellor David C. Banks, seated next to Paul Thompson – Executive Director of NYC DOE Office of Arts and Special Projects; photo by Trevor Riley
Jody introduced the Chancellor of NYC’s Department of Education, David Banks, pictured above. Banks expressed his dedication to preserving and advancing the arts in NYC’s public schools, even amidst looming budget cuts, when arts programming is typically at risk. He shared that his daughter was a dancer, and is now a public school teacher… She also attended the film screening.
The panel; photo by Whitney Browne
A short panel with the film’s stars included remarks by Ann Biddle (Director of the DEL Institute – Teacher Certificate Program), Shakia Barron (DEL Faculty), Edwin Braithwithe (NYC DOE Dance Specialist and Dance Advisory Team member OASP) and three student teaching assistants who shared their journeys from participating in DEL to current college pursuits.
“It sounds cheesy, but DEL changed my life,” said Tali, a DEL student teaching assistant featured in the film.
Nel Shelby; photo by Whitney Browne
Nel Shelby (Director and Producer of the film) introduced the documentary, and shared her own passion for telling stories about the impact of dance education:
“I feel so lucky to be a fly on the wall in these classrooms. [Dance education] should be the standard for all students, here in NYC and everywhere. This is what an education should look like. These students are not just learning to point their toes, they are embodying lessons in history, literature, math… They are deepening their understanding of required curriculum… And they’re having FUN doing it!”
Photo by Trevor Riley
After the film, audience members enjoyed Movement Sentence Mocktails and dessert in the Weill Art Gallery, and shared their impressions of the film.
We are so grateful to everyone who attended this celebratory occasion, and we hope you will all share the film to inspire others to support dance education!
What people are saying about PS DANCE! THE NEXT GENERATION:
“PS DANCE! is awe-inspiring! To see these children receive encouragement and confidence through meaningful storytelling through dance should be an integral part of all learning. As evidenced in this film, dance opens minds and creates leaders, and this is why it’s so vital to our education system.” – Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre
“There are everyday unseen miracles that occur in our world. DEL unveils the power of the miracle of dance passed from leader to teacher to student to create dance leaders. This film is inspiring! It provides a joyous path to what is possible through dance education. What is wondrous is that DEL exists. What the world needs is this miracle of dance education. We really need this!” – Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women
“PS DANCE! The Next Generation helps us to understand the importance of Dance. Dance allows for us to express our emotions and increase our awareness of ourselves and others through creative movement, DEL is the light that we need for our children of the next generation!” – Linda Celeste Sims, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
“I absolutely loved PS DANCE! and learned so much from it myself. There are tons of things the DEL program has that I can adapt to my own creative process in storytelling. PS DANCE! showed me that not all kids are the same or learn the same. So when teaching in a way where they can learn what they need to learn but also express themselves in a unique way at the same time is very important for everyone’s unique process of learning.” – Lil Buck