Friday, February 26, 2016

Never Say "No", Just "Yes, And..."

Students in the Arts Track participated in their first acting exercises this morning, led by Ms. Palmer (a former theater teacher) and Quynn Cashman  (a student at NIC and former acting student of Ms. Palmer).  They learned the importance of respect, listening, focus, and giving to team members, in addition to vocal and physical warm up exercises.

Ms. Palmer started the day by talking about the rules of theater, including respecting one's self, one's teammates, and one's environment.  She demonstrated the different areas of the stage and led them through a series of focus exercises.  Students then learned warm ups for both body and voice before playing improvisation games to put it all together. The improv games allowed students to practice the cardinal rule of acting: never say "NO", just "Yes, and...". It was a fun morning with a lot of laughter and energy!

Students play "The Party Game" where the "host" of the party has to guess what characters the guests are portraying.  Nona was an excellent hostess, and her party guests were quite entertaining!

Quynn "drives" the taxicab as she picks up various hitchhikers.  This game teaches focus and improv as the other people in the car have to pick up on the traits of the hitchhiker.

Students practice listening and focus skills with the old party game "Telephone".  There were some hilarious results!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Arts Track Brings the "Flavah" to Hip Hop

Lynsie Morris, a dance instructor from Coeur d'Alene (and a former student of Ms. Palmer) spent the morning teaching the Arts Track the basics of Hip Hop. After getting warmed up and learning basic stance (keep it low!) and rhythm, she taught the group choreography to four different songs.  Students then broke into groups to develop their own mini routine.  The afternoon brought students the opportunity to develop their own lip sync routines that incorporate American Tribal Dancing and Hip Hop elements.

Arts Track students have shown incredible willingness to try new things the past two weeks, and that openness will continue as we start theater arts next week.
Zoe and Lily learn to keep it low.

Nona and Hannah add flavor to their routines as Lynsie helps.

Niko, Evan, and Brian try out their hip-hop moves

Hannah, Nona, Lily, and Cierra demonstrate their routine

Eliska, Catherine, and Reba take a much-needed break

Arts Track learns a routine

Jerrica mugs for the camera as Mrs. L. busts a move.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A New Semester Brings New Opportunities

Students had their first taste of a new series of arts opportunities today.  Spring semester of the Arts Track will focus on the performing arts in the morning (Ms. Palmer), with visual arts in the afternoon (Mrs. Lutzwolf).

It started with a lot of energy as our two guest teachers, Dr. Maras and Mrs. Gaddie, taught the basics of American Tribal Dance (ATD), a style of belly dancing. Students received Bindi (a decorative sticker to wear on their foreheads) to get in the spirit.  Kids were hesitant at first, but quickly embraced the Arts Track motto of trying new things.  They learned how to pivot, lead, follow, and the importance of dance to one's health.  Did you know that dance can stave off dementia and physical ailments later in life?  It is an art form that engages not only the body, but the mind, and ATD in particular gives a good overall workout.  Dancers have to be ever vigilant of the leader's subtle moves as the dance style is choreographed sets of moves in an improvised presentation.  A dancer may be a leader in one moment and a chorus member the next.

It was exciting to see students embrace new ideas and try something out of their comfort zones.

In the afternoon session, students started collage art using maps focused on the theme of "What does your future look like?"  By using old maps as a base and adding imagery and color on top of it, students expressed ideas about their futures visually.

Mrs. Gaddie, a CFHS alumna, and Dr. Maras, a former CFHS staff member, demonstrate an ATD duet.

Students learn to pivot and use their arms in this beautiful dance style.

Emily and Zoe show off their Bindi decoration.

Students learn some basic moves in ATD.