School of Education News

Performing Ourselves Spring Showcase 'Better Together' on May 5

April 30, 2018
The UW-Madison Dance Department and the UW-Madison Community Arts Collaboratory present the Performing Ourselves Spring Showcase "Better Together" on May 5.

The event will feature approximately 125 youth from schools and community centers across Madison who, through their choreography, will illustrate what it means to be connected and “better together” as a group.
The program, which is co-directed by ​UW-Madison's Kate Corby, an associate professor with the School of Education's Dance Department, and Mariah LeFeber, has provided a series of experiential movement and performance classes to over 250 underserved local youth throughout the past year. The program partners with schools and community schools, including: the Allied Learning Center, East Madison Community Center, Elver Park Neighborhood Center, Goodman Community Center, Kennedy Heights Community Center, Lussier Community Education Center, Vera Court Neighborhood Center, Frank Allis Elementary School, Aldo Leopold Elementary School, Sandburg Elementary School and the Madison Community Montessori School.

Performing OurselvesPerforming Ourselves started as a pilot program six years ago and launched fully in September 2012 with three student interns and three local community centers. Today, seven UW-Madison student teachers serve community sites, under the leadership of Mary Patterson as outreach specialist and program dance/movement therapist. In addition, this past year Performing Ourselves became a founding member of the new UW-Madison Community Arts Collaboratory, with Operations Manager Stephanie Richards supporting youth arts outreach programs in dance, theater and visual art.

After exhausting Performing Ourselves’ three-year grant through the Ira & Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, Corby and LeFeber actively sought additional funding. This year's programming is supported by the UW-Madison Dance Department, Education & Outreach Partnerships in the School of Education, American Girl Fund for Children, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., the charitable arm of The Capital Times, the UW School of Education’s Virginia Horne Henry Fund for Women’s Physical Education and Movement, Dane Arts, Door Creek Church, Madison Arts Commission, Madison 4 Kids, the Wisconsin Arts Board and many generous individuals.

This showcase is the culmination of a year of instruction by program staff and undergraduate dance majors who work collaboratively with elementary, middle and high school school youth to create new choreography.

Performing Ourselves’ goal is to empower youth and develop leaders through dance and performance. Corby says it facilitates an active learning experience for youth in Madison by engaging them in the process of creation and performance as a means of engendering empowerment and identity.

"Better Together" will be performed on Saturday, May 5 at 2:30 p.m. at Lathrop Hall's Margaret H'Doubler Performance Space. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more ​about the Performing Ourselves website

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