On July 13, Stefanie Boettle, our Community Program Facilitator, joined PAIR Houston for a first time Dynamic X-Change workshop.
PAIR, Partnership for the Advancement & Immersion of Refugees, empowers refugee youth to navigate American society, reach their academic potential, and become community leaders. Their programs serve hundreds of students annually, and PAIR serves youth in multiple neighborhoods, schools and community sites in Houston.
We chatted with Stefanie to hear more about her experience with PAIR.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the students at PAIR?
A: We worked with over 41 kids! They ranged from 8-15 yrs old, and were refugees or immigrants of: Afghanistan,
Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Tanzania, Uganda
Q: What was the goal of the workshop?
A: PAIR Houston's overall theme was "Entertainment" - everything about having fun and enjoying yourself. Three Dynamic X-Change Teaching artists worked with the students to explore the question, "What brings us joy in life?"
Q: How did you interpret that theme?
A: We took the workshop into celebrating our own gifts and talents and finding joy within. We talked about our own gifts, and we found creative ways to "write" our gifts out with different body parts, movements and sounds. From this we created a choreography in smaller groups, and then shared our creations. Each group had to work together as a team, making decisions together, sharing leadership, finding solutions together.
Q: What was a memorable moment?
A: The workshops ended with, what quickly became their favorite game, "Passing the Gift". It's an invisible gift that can become anything that you want, such as a ball of fire that's making you jump and run fast, to earphones that make you dance, etc.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: We had a wonderful time! All students participated with so much creativity and joy. We even got the PAIR counselors to join in!
This week, meet Scott Wheet, one of our Core Dance Artists. Scott began dancing at the age of 17, and then went on to pursue a degree in dance. Two years after graduation, Scott came to join us as a Core Dance Artist in January of 2017. Read on to learn more about Scott!
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Education/Training: Troy University, BFA in Dance; 3 years of industry experience as a performer, teacher, and creator
Position: Dance Artist
Delights: Espresso in the morning, listening to music loudly, trips to the beach, and organizing literally anything.
How did you come to Core Dance?
I had been living in Atlanta for about a year when I found out about Core. They were promoting a dance festival experience called Exposed which featured international guests from Israel. Shortly after, auditions were held and I was asked to come back. Here I am, about to start my 3rd season, and I couldn’t be more grateful for this journey & these people!
What is your favorite part about working here so far?
Learning how to become a source of knowledge that is shared through touring globally, working with diverse communities, and seeking to understand how people experience art.
What is one thing you are looking forward to?
I am so incredibly excited to continue our process with Germana Civera in France this August! The work is more relevant by the day in this climate and will only evolve as we share and invite dialogue into the community.
What are you up to this summer?
This summer I am actually taking a short break from dancing to accept a job offer back home in Chicago. I’ll be working for my brother as a contractor, painting and remodeling condos in the city. Then in late July, I’ll be heading down to Vero Beach, FL with a few company members of Core to teach a summer workshop. The intensive will culminate with sharing a performance from our repertory!
This week, we check in with Sharon C. Carelock, our Production Coordinator. Read on to see what Sharon's up to this summer, from her own dance projects to updates around the Core Dance studios!
Summer Project 1: Dance Film
For a year, I have been working for a pick-up dance company called sunday morning at 7, headed and directed by Anicka Austin. In May, we presented a live performance of Austin’s disco ballet, "Sanctuaries and Fortresses." A part of the process was the creation of a dance film directed by Lev Omelchenko called, "The Birth of Pleasure." In this film I played the character, Venus, which required lots of costume changes and makeup :) We were able to film on location in some amazing spots, including The Bakery Atlanta and the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. The cast and crew were stellar. I felt like a Hollywood movie star the entire time. I can’t wait to see the film which is set to premiere late summer/early fall.
Summer Project 2: Summer Refresh
At Core Dance, the summer is for relaxation and recuperation for the dance artists, and it is also a great opportunity to renovate, repair, and clean out some areas in the office and studio spaces. We call this the Summer Refresh. I get to work alongside contractors and help make decisions about flooring, paint, lighting, etc. It feels very rewarding to walk into a room and know that I was an integral part of the change that took place there. I also use this opportunity for reflection. I think about what has transpired over the past season, and going through all of the closets makes me consider the time Core Dance has spent in this space and the impact we’ve made on the community.
Barbara Branson, Publications Manager, and the People of Core Dance