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Dreaming Big with Raise The Barre

No, I'm not just teaching dance through my social impact, I'm helping to build a brighter future for our younger generation through movement!

I often get asked, "What do your Raise The Barre workshops entail?" because I don't label them as a dance class. I teach movement based improvisation and choreography workshops.


A lot of the concepts I teach in my workshops aren't introduced until the college level. The first time I leared them was during my Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance program with Alvin Ailey and Fordham University in New York City. However, not many kids decide to enter a BFA dance program to gain these skills. So, why are these incredible techniques not being utilized elsewhere in academics? This is my mission! Kids need to learn these things to excel in academics and throughout life when they enter the workforce.


At one of my latest workshops, I integrated science into my choreographic activity. I counted off numbers to randomly break the class into small groups of 5 each and told them we would be creating movements to rock categories. Then, I ask them what are the various categories of rocks (sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous, etc.) and what is different about each category? We used each rock's characteristics to create different movements together in our groups of 5.


Challenging students with activities like these sparks them to think on their feet, visualize concepts, work well in group settings, and 1 on 1...all things we need to be great at doing in order to excel in school and ultimately land a great job!


Not only do I teach the students in my workshops, but I am also having conversations with them individually and as a group, sharing my story of who I am and how I've had so much success in my life. I'm inspiring every student I teach to dream big because of dance. They can see how these dance tools has greatly impacted my life and experience it first hand. Then, they understand how they can use all that learned and use it to inspire them to work hard and raise their own bar.



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© 2023 By Michaelene Karlen.