What We Love About Student Dance Performances

Our new “DEL Production” course supports dance educators in planning and producing student dance performances.

From recitals to community sharings, student dance performances are meaningful and joyous occasions. They’re important moments where students and teachers share-out a culmination of learning and collaboration. But behind the excitement of the final product are a slew of strategies and skills put to use by dance educators and choreographers to bring these productions to fruition!

Our new “DEL Production” course will present strategies for implementing dance production elements from choreographic inspiration to fully realized production, across the age span in a variety of settings – public schools, studios, and higher education.

Our DEL Production course facilitators, Deborah Damast and Taryn Vander Hoop, shared what they love most about student performances. And we’ve included some excerpts from performances they helped create and produce!

Taryn shared, “My favorite moment of any production, student or professional, is sitting backstage or in the theater and feeling the magic of live performance about to begin – the nerves backstage, the din of chatter in the audience, and the moment that the pre-show announcement happens and the audience falls silent.

All of it is the culmination of months of preparation, teamwork, reworking moments that aren’t working and finding solutions, lots of laughs, and trial and error. You don’t see the labor, but you hopefully experience a form of catharsis from performing or attending. This thrill is my favorite part of producing new work, performances, or experiences.”

Here are Taryn’s students at Loyola Marymount University performing in her work, “When Will I Be?” video by John Suhar.

Deborah shared, “I absolutely love the transition from studio to stage. The internal process of creating becomes an opportunity to share with others. I am amazed when my graduate student choreographers experience transformation and become better teachers through the act of choreographing. 

I also love seeing when my graduate students present their choreography after they graduate! And the children I teach at The Yard amaze and surprise me with their ability to create, perform, express, and reflect. Seeing children create such deep collaborative choreography, discussing their process and performing with total commitment is so beautiful.

Here are some of Deb’s students performing at The Yard!

In our upcoming course, DEL Production, Taryn and Deb will present strategies for implementing dance production elements from choreographic inspiration to fully realized production, across a wide age span in a variety of settings, including public schools, studios, and higher education.

Through embodied practice, participants will have an opportunity to engage with both the creative and technical aspects of dance production. Taryn and Deborah will introduce choreographic and technical theater vocabulary and will offer ideas for creating successful student performances, sharings, and site-specific dances in person and on film using the DEL model.

Enroll by February 27!