Author: Aaron Deets (MA-Business Candidate, UW Arts Collab Assistant Artistic Administrator) he/him
Performing Ourselves is one of four programs offered by UW Community Arts Collaborative and focuses on empowering young people through the medium of dance. Based in Madison, WI, the program was founded by Mariah LeFeber and Kate Corby. Performing Ourselves was initially a collaboration with UW–Madison’s Dance Department, offering undergraduate dance majors hands-on teaching and community-building experiences while also providing an immersive environment for students to learn more about dance and movement.
Performing Ourselves’ mission is to empower youth and develop leaders through dance. Their curriculum centers on teaching movement-based curriculum to youth in schools and local community centers. Performing Ourselves combines dance education, dance/movement therapy principles, and performance to foster embodiment, resiliency, and positive self-concept in youth.
The energy is high and positive in a Performing Ourselves class, with a clear connection between the teaching artists and students. Simple gestures like high-fives bring smiles and laughs. Throughout each class, there are always a few students that are less enthusiastic than others. However, by the end of the class, they all can’t wait to share all that they’ve learned as they dance their way down the halls of Madison Youth Arts Center. Moments like these are clear examples of the social and emotional impact programs like Performing Ourselves have on Madison, WI youth.
Performing Ourselves Spotlights:
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