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Tue, Aug. 03

Phoenix dance company visits Grand Canyon School
GCS students participate in weeklong dance workshop expressing academics through movement

Submitted photos<br>
Grand Canyon School second grade students perform dances choreographed by Kristen Grippo and Ramon Soto of the Movement Source Dance Company.

Submitted photos<br> Grand Canyon School second grade students perform dances choreographed by Kristen Grippo and Ramon Soto of the Movement Source Dance Company.

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - On Jan. 13, elementary students at Grand Canyon School participated in a dance performance as part of the annual Artist-in-Residence program. Over 300 parents and community members attended the event held in the Grand Canyon School multipurpose room.

The performance was the result of a week spent engaged in workshops with Kristen Grippo and Ramon Soto of the Movement Source Dance Company. Grippo and Soto traveled to Grand Canyon from Phoenix on a grant from the Arizona Commission for the Arts. Each year, staff at Grand Canyon Elementary School work together to write the grant, bringing artists to work with students at the school. The goal is to increase students' exposure to the arts in their remote community. For the past two years, teachers have elected to focus on dance performance, as this gives students opportunities in an area of the arts that does not have a regular presence at the school.

Students participating in the workshops this year had a wonderful opportunity to learn dance performance skills and express ideas through movement. The artists incorporated student ideas into the choreography, and several of the dances related to the students' current units of study. In addition, the workshops and performance allowed students to excel in areas not normally available in the school's academic programs, and helped them make connections between art and knowledge they are learning in their regular classes.

The school received additional support for the artist-in-residence program from Xanterra, Grand Canyon Lions Club, Grand Canyon Rotary, the Grand Canyon School PTA and Grand Canyon School. Teachers will begin writing next year's grant in the upcoming months so that this valuable experience can continue in the future.

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