Home > Toronto Workshop > Toronto, Day 6: Let’s Dance

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“Watch me whip, watch me nae nae.” We heard the lyrics of this popular hip hop song as we arrived at the O’Connor Early Learning and Child Care Center for today’s photo assignment. Here, local group VIBE Arts runs one of their programs teaching dance to students. The best part about this dance class for the little students is that once they master their moves, they take their skills on the road to the local seniors’ home to dance with the residents there! These little b-boys and b-girls learned the “stanky leg” and “whip/nae nae” dance moves. The four instructors responsible for whipping up the little dancers’ enthusiasm were nothing short of miraculous. They bounced and sang, jumped and stomped with all the vigor of the most rambunctious little tikes.

Once practice time was over, the dancers walked up the street to the senior center and our group split in two for the second half of our day. Some of our students followed the VIBE Arts crew, while the other half returned to the museum to catch up with another museum program: an improv movement group. Members of the improv group were finishing up a two-day project designing their own theater costumes. They had made plaster casts of their faces and after drying them overnight, they returned to paint them in the visage of their characters. Our students followed them as they practiced improv techniques, finished their sketches and put the final touches on their masks.

We finished the last day of class with a very long edit and critique session. After shooting on location for almost four hours, we returned to the room to edit for several hours. The critique went well into the night, and after collecting the cameras and eating dinner, we finally said goodbye to our class sometime after 9 p.m. It has been a long week, but it’s gone by quickly. Now, we have the slideshows to make and a graduation ceremony to prepare for, and we’ll soon be on our way home after another great week.

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