Twenty teachers from 12 primary and secondary schools across Kingston, St Andrew, and St Catherine participated in the MultiCare Youth Foundation’s (MYF) Train the Trainer Dance Workshop on November 9.
The workshop was held at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Performing Arts at The University of the West Indies, Mona.
Organised by MYF dance coordinator George Howard, the event was designed to increase participants’ knowledge of dance and its vocabulary through a better understanding of the elements and principles of dance. Participating schools were included Harbour View Primary, Donald Quarrie High, Windward Road Primary and Junior High, Ascot High, St Michael’s Primary, St Jude’s Primary, Norman Gardens Primary and Junior High, Dunoon Park Technical High, Franklin Town Primary, Holy Rosary Primary, Tarrant Primary, and Greater Portmore High schools.
“We believe strongly that the arts are very much at the centre of youth upliftment. MYF is investing in the performing and visual arts – and sports – to build character and to get children emotionally engaged. Our Train the Trainer programme sees us teaching the fundamentals to teachers who do the work at the front line, and we are looking forward to seeing what happens when these children are transformed.”
The educators received instruction in learning and teaching dance technique, improvisation, and lesson planning from Michelle Patterson, dance educator/
external examiner for the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Art and adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, and Althea Gruber, specialist recourse personnel, CXC dance tutor, CXC examiner/marker, and lecturer at Excelsior Community College.
Ann Astwood, programme manager at the foundation, added: “We are mindful that with the practice of the arts, the creative process serves as a building block for a child’s positive all-round development. So, we are using dance within the 32 schools we serve to develop creativity, and that creativity redounds to the youngsters’ academics. When the creativity begins to flow, you are equipping them with positive skills that will take them through life. We try to strengthen the educational process not only with the children, but also with their teachers.”