DEL Tracing Footsteps: Reflections from our Arnhold Summer Fellows

DEL Tracing Footsteps: Reflections from our Arnhold Summer Fellows

In week four of our Summer Institute, the Arnhold Summer Fellows joined our brand new Tracing Footsteps course.

In Tracing Footsteps, a brand new curriculum created in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, we teach the importance of honoring culture and history of dance traditions. Summer Institute participants studied Native American dances, Chinese dances, and tap dance cultures and traditions.

Arnhold Summer Fellow Diana Acosta reflected on the week:

“This week has been a rich week of unlearning, learning, and acknowledging. Each of the three modules we went through in this course was so beneficial for my understanding of the cultures and histories of Native Americans, tap pioneers, and Chinese Americans. From this course I learned that these histories and dances are simultaneously woven together to unite, comfort, and empower the people they belong to.”

Fellow Teresa Lucia Forstreuter shared:

“I found it highly inspiring to see that historical events can become dance moves and touch people through speaking the truth. Thanks to Dian Dong and H.T. Chen I can see now that being a dance artist goes perfectly together with being poetic, thought-provoking and collaborative.”

Fellow Rachel Moses drew inspiration from DEL’s Tracing Footsteps course and took her lessons to the land she grew up on:

“Something that has particularly moved me this week is the unit on Native American traditional dances. More specifically, the importance of reframing mindsets so that present and future generations don’t succumb to the false fact that Native American history resides only in the past. I was only introduced to land acknowledgements about 3 years ago at Mount Holyoke College. Now, I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for what land acknowledgements really mean. In honor, I share my land acknowledgment and an improvisation on land that carries lots of meaning for me.”

Photo: Rachel Moses

Fellow Grace Stuckey wrote:

“As I reflect on the last week of the DEL Summer Institute, I feel thankful for all of the resources that Ann Biddle and our guests shared with us. I feel more confident as a student, teacher, and dance historian. We explored the three modules of Tracing Footsteps, and I was challenged to shift my thinking on a journey of transformation. Each day, I learned something new, whether it be about Native American dance and culture, tap dance in New York City, or Chinese-American History.”

A big thank you to all the Arnhold Summer Fellows for their participation in the DEL Summer Institute!

The DEL Summer Institute may be over, but we have announced our Fall courses and our panel event on Dance and Ableism.  Learn more!