Athleticism of Dance: Performance

Athleticism of Dance: Performance

This interactive lecture demonstration highlights the similarities between sports and dance and the importance of physical activity. Audience members learn that dance artists through rehearsal or practice learn to make footwork or choreography look effortless. They also learn why dancers wear a certain uniform and about the types of shoes that are worn including the pointe shoe that allows ballerinas to dance on their toes. Other topics include warm-ups, injury prevention, body control, and the concepts of inertia, centripetal force, and momentum. This is shown by the dancers by exhibiting fast turns and jumps.   Demonstrations also include strength building routines and a variety of impressive partnered lifts. Partnered lifts or pas de deux is featured and showcase how dancers are lifted high into the air and the audience witness the skill that it takes.  Students learn dance vocabulary (French words), and basic choreography. Members of the audience are selected to perform as the dancers prepare for their final performance or finale set to contemporary music. This performance is offered for grades: k-12  and is 45-60 minutes in length.

Artist Background

Ballethnic Dance Company, Atlanta’s first and only African-American professional ballet company is a 30 year-old classically trained culturally diverse ballet company that blends traditional ballet with the artistic influences of other ethnic cultures.  Co-founders Nena Gilreath, a North Carolina native and UNC School of the Arts alumnus, and her husband Waverly Lucas, are both former dancers with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Atlanta Ballet. They share an impressive list of artistic credits including performances at New York City’s Lincoln Center, Atlanta’s National Black Arts Festival, the 1996 Cultural Olympiad and the Bermuda Arts Festival. Accolades include Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta Critics Pick (Best Dancer), the National Choreographers Award, The McPheeter’s Medallion Award for Community, Lexus Leaders of the Arts and the Atlanta NAACP President’s Award.

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