She’s been a groundbreaking success and role model for many young students, like those in Ms. LoGrande’s Dance class at POLAHS. The excitement surrounding dance reached new heights on campus when three members of the London Ballet Company performed and taught a master class through the Our World Dance Project at POLAHS last month. Students learned that movement and creativity are universal languages; they bring people together.
Ms. LoGrande shares the details below.
The Project | Our World Dance Project is an inspirational play written and produced by Larry Heimgartner, retired professor in the Fine Arts Department at Los Angeles Harbor College. He reaches out to various high schools and groups across the United States, Africa, Brazil, and the UK through the Our World Dance series. All of the plays are educational in nature and deal with significant issues facing us today.
I was fortunate to meet Mr. Heimgarter last year, when Mr. Scotti introduced us at POLAHS. We set up a performance during the school day last spring. We were lucky to have the dancers return, and this year they wanted to interact more closely with the students.
About the Dancers | British dancers Jenny Logan, Rosy Nevard, and Emily Hughes-Lewis are members of the London Ballet Company. They’ve traveled to Los Angles to teach open classes and workshops at Rosalie and Alva School of Ballet and Allied Arts in San Pedro. Their impressive credits include the Royal Opera; Vienna Festival Ballet; Migrations Company; London Olympics 2012; Wimbledon Stadium; Snow White and The Huntsman; Downtown Abbey; and An Evening with Beyonce.
Our World Dance at POLAHS | On the first day, students watched a beautiful performance which included pieces from the Our World Dance play. It included fun, theatrical pieces meant to entertain; educational pieces; and a touching solo dedicated to the dad and brother of Emily, who had passed away from cancer. The following week the dancers spent two days with the Advanced Dance class at POLAHS, hosting a master class, and teaching creative movement, technique, and choreography. Working so closely with such poised, professional dancers was a moving experience for our POLAHS students.
Dancing at Alva’s | Throughout the week, the dancers taught morning adult ballet classes, pre-school imaginative movement classes, and afternoon classes with final presentations at Rosalie and Alva. They generously waived the fee for any POLAHS students who wanted to attend the afternoon classes from 3:30-5:50 pm. Several of our students took the class and performed with the dancers on the final day in front of a live audience!
POLAHS Dance Class | I expose the students to different genres of dance that include ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip hop, and even ball room dancing. We are currently studying swing dance! I want my students to see that no matter the challenge they may be facing, they have our support and can follow their passion.