The Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation recently awarded Baldwin Union Free School District a grant that will allow students in grades 5-12, as well as those in the high school’s Fine & Performing Arts Academy, to take master classes of modern dance. The series of classes will focus on building confidence, encouraging self-expression and practicing mindfulness in student’s day-to-day life.
“Dance is all about self-expression and understanding and also serves as an effective method to embed social-emotional literacy into our curriculum,” explained Gabriella Franza, assistant director of instructional programs for Baldwin UFSD. “Partnering with the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation has allowed our students to fully express themselves in a healthy and fun way, becoming comfortable with oneself, developing self-awareness and improving discipline.”
“I love this type of dance. It was new to me, but it allowed me to find a new way to express myself and move in a way I never was able to before,” shared fifth grader, Skyla, from Lenox Elementary School.
“The foundation’s educational outreach initiative aims to share dance with our community through physical, musical, and creative workshops, residencies, and performances,” said Lori Belilove, who also serves as artistic director.
Through the master classes, students were able to utilize the practices of Isadora Duncan, which championed the notion of free-spiritedness coupled with philosophy, humanity, and understanding the self, both in the mind and body.
The foundation, established by third generation Duncan dancer, Lori Belilove, seeks to expand public awareness and understanding of the famed American dancer Isadora Duncan, the dubbed ‘mother of modern dance.’
The board of directors and artistic advisors – composed of numerous dance luminaries, historians, and advocates – formed the organization to give the general public and dance community a deeper understanding of the artistic heritage of Isadora Duncan and the lasting benefits of this type of performance and exercise.