Weave Dance Company Selected For Artist-In-Residency At Orchard Knob Elementary
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Weave Dance Company has launched its first artist in residency, teaching instructional and rehearsal hip hop and other dance styles to kindergarten through fifth graders at Orchard Knob Elementary School.
As part of the residency at the Title 1 school, Weave began providing on-site instructional and rehearsal classes in January available to a portion of each grade from Orchard Knob Elementary student population totaling over 100 students. Dance classes occur during the regular school day three-four times each week.
In total, the program’s 44 sessions focus on, but are not limited to, hip hop dance styles.
The community is invited to an end-of-the-year dance showcase scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, in the school gymnasium.
“One of the foundational pillars of Weave was to make the arts accessible to those who normally would not have the opportunity. In essence, our vision is to open the doors for everyone and practice the movement arts in a safe, responsible way while connecting and activating their God-ordained talents,” said Travis Upton, co-founder and creative director of Weave Dance Company.
“We are so fortunate to be partnering with Weave Dance Company to expose our students to the beautiful art of dance. Travis and Bernadette Upton make a perfect husband-and-wife teaching team, and their love for the students and their deep passion to help each child embrace this amazing artform is so evident,” said LaFrederick Thirkill, Orchard Knob Elementary School principal.
“Dance was designed to beautifully reflect the way our bodies have been created. We believe it is possible for anyone to enjoy dance in an environment of decency, creativity and a general elevation of the beauty which the Creator intended for the arts,” Mr. Upton said.
The artist-in-residency partnership with Weave Dance Company is the result of a grant to the school offered by Weave (grant is through the federally designated Opportunity Zones program). No school funds are used for the dance program, and participation is voluntary. The Uptons said they wouldn’t want it any other way.
Weave instructors engage Orchard Knob students in a variety of hip hop dance styles, emphasizing pop & locking (hard-hitting), grooving (soft style) and commercial hip hop (performance-minded). The classes also review the origins, conceptions and influences of hip hop history over the last 40 years. Students may also explore other dance genres such as contemporary, jazz, improvisation or ballet. All students have the option to perform at the year-end showcase.
“Art should be beautiful, creative and enhance the beauty within the human soul to impact everyone in its presence as it is being released,” Mr. Upton said. "Our vision is to open the doors for everyone and practice the movement arts in a safe, responsible way while connecting and activating their God-ordained talents."