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Students Learn New Movement Vocabulary During Dance Improvisation Course

Students at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) submitted performance videos as a midterm project for an introductory dance improvisation course. 
The course explores exercises involving imagery, text, as well as aural information, allowing students to explore the creative process. Students include: Rylie Fisher (Denham Springs, Class of ’21), Madeline Lorio (Livonia, Class of ’21), Juno Gray (Nederland, TX, Class of '21), and Andrea Chen (Natchitoches, Class of '21).
“This class has expanded my movement vocabulary,” said Fisher. “I have been exposed to and created so many new movements through class exercises. I have been dancing for almost my whole life but I am just now being taught how to creatively improvise.”
For their midterm project, students were asked to film themselves performing an improvisational solo in an interesting location using a unique camera angle, allowing the space they chose to inform their movement choices.
"For each class, we explore a variety of topics or themes through improvisational exercises such as task based exercises, initiation exercises or using imagery along with descriptive words to influence the physicality of their body,” explained Associate Lecturer of Dance Crystal Lewis.
Virtual learning has been challenging because it’s hard to feel one another’s energy through a computer screen, something dancers rely on heavily.
“Ms. Crystal has really gone above and beyond by incorporating group work through breakout rooms and even working on chain reaction movements, helping to create an energy between us,” said Lorio.
Another challenge for Lorio was dancing in a new space. Dance has played a huge role in her life from a very young age. She’d danced for 15 years before going to LSMSA her sophomore year.
“When I first began dance at LSMSA I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to get the same dance experience or training I had back home,” she shared. “But boy was I wrong! From my very first class in the dance studio, I felt at home.”
For Fisher, the class is a great way to release stress from online classes and dance everything out. Although she would rather be in the studio and feel the energy of her peers, it's nice to get to dance at all.
“Even though we're virtual this semester we're having a good time exploring and creating in the moment together,” said Lewis.