"Linked Together" is a choreographic piece inspired by at-risk youth and their ability to learn, grow, and transform their lives through dance. The idea for the piece originated from dance programs implemented with under-resourced populations in Virginia, Panama, and India. My teaching experiences in these places sparked the development of a longer, more comprehensive dance program in Arizona, with a Boys and Girls Club. The Arizona dance program included specific somatics exercises, focused on the integration of mind and body, as well as other types of improvisations, to help the participants learn about movement concepts and develop original movement.
The title "Linked Together" suggests that all people are connected in many ways, regardless of personal differences such as socioeconomic status or language. The dancers included myself, Arizona State University (ASU) dance students, as well as Boys and Girls Club dance program participants. For the concert, all dancers portrayed stories and concepts related to empowerment through emotionally charged movement, and thereby provided audience members with a visceral lens through which to see the transformative powers of dance. The data collected from this project through observations, surveys, and interviews suggest that constructive behaviors that are internalized through dance can flow seamlessly into the non-dance world, encouraging people to think creatively, collaborate with others, gain a sense of ownership, and feel empowered in all parts of life.
- Linked together: creative movement as a way to promote creativity, collaboration, and ownership among at-risk youth