Island Moving Co. Pilots a New Creative Movement Residency
Dancers are in the school community every day, collaborating with classroom teachers
NEWPORT’S ISLAND MOVING CO. PILOTS A NEW CREATIVE MOVEMENT RESIDENCY AT COGGESHALL, SULLIVAN SCHOOLS IN NEWPORT, RI
Island Moving Co., Newport, RI’s resident contemporary ballet company, will be in residence at
Coggeshall and Sullivan elementary schools for an intensive, curriculum-driven week of teaching. The eight
dancers of the Company will be at the schools every day from April 1st through 5th, with all-school assemblies
scheduled for Friday, April 5th, at 11am for Coggeshall School and 2pm at the Triplett School for Sullivan.
IMC Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen is excited about the new program. “We have been working in the
schools with every third grader in Newport County for the past six years,” she says. “We developed this new
model with two schools in Palm Beach, who had received major funding from the Department of Education to
integrate the arts into their curriculum. We just love the possibilities that open up when the dancers are in the
school community every day, when the classroom teachers are discussing and having the children write about our theme, and when we can coordinate with other teachers, such as the art and music teachers, to broaden the reach of the residency beyond the three creative movement classes we usually can teach.” The theme for this year’s residency is Unity, Support and Tolerance, which comes from the anti-bullying message the dancers used last year to link the creative movement classes to a theme already being used in the elementary curriculum.
“We hope that the success of this week in two of our schools can lead to similar arts integration efforts
in the new, combined school when the Pell School opens next fall,” said Ohlsen. “We know that a lot of learning goes on
in these residencies. We’re looking forward to expanding this pilot next year. We couldn’t have done it without
the commitment to the arts in these Newport elementary schools and the help of our funders, the Newport
County Fund, the Citizens Bank Foundation, the North Family Trust and the Newport Public Education
Foundation.” This winter and spring, Island Moving Co. is also teaching creative movement in all of Newport
County’s elementary schools, in the Guitteras School in Bristol, in the Mitchell and Elliott Schools in Needham,
Mass. and at Moses Brown School in Providence. For more information about the IMC creative movement
residency, call 401 847-4470.