Aligned with OBT’s mission to share, inspire, and connect with the community in meaningful ways through excellence in performance and training, Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Education and Community Engagement (ECE) department created summer programming that gave new students access to the magic of ballet and other dance forms. Partnering with schools and local organizations, the incredible ECE team of teaching artists, under the leadership of Sarah Ward-Brown, has been BUSY this summer hosting an array of free summer workshops throughout Portland! Here are the highlights:
Storytelling Through Dance was a week-long camp that served over 50 students and ran for four weeks at da Vinci Arts Middle School in NE Portland. Each day included beginning ballet, creative movement, choreography, and culturally specific dance from around the world. Kindergarten through fifth grade students tried their toes in Folkloric Ballet, traditional Nepali dance, Afro-Brazilian dance and Hula. Each class celebrated the diversity of people and cultures that make up dance.
Sarah shares, “It was wonderful to be in the community sharing the voices of other forms of dance.” In addition to dance, da Vinci School was humming with other Portland-area arts organizations. OBT students got to peak in on play rehearsal, wonder about buckets of dye, and ask other students about their art work.
These amazing programs marked the first time OBT’s ECE staff was able to see students in person since last year. “It was fabulous to feel their energy and see their faces. As a teacher it was very exciting and fulfilling to be in-person,” Sarah states, “A huge thank you to Portland Public Schools, David Douglas Schools District, and PHAME for allowing us to share the magic of dance with its students.”