Totem animals for Spring Performance: Art and Movement

In Art we watched a video that tells about the First Nations of the Northwest and their totem poles. We learned that totem poles are created to keep records of families as well as telling stories. We also dicussed totem animals also known as power animals. These animals are animals someone feels connected to in some spiritual way for a variety reasons. Students discussed what animals they felt connected to and designed their own totem animals. We will be using these in connection to our Spring Performance this year which has a “Pets” theme.  Our totem animals will become totem poles to decorate our stage for the performance. Giles and Susan have working with our students to come up with the story and choreography for he Spring Performance. I can’t wait to see the program. Great creating  students!

FDNSC Spring Performance: All About Me

Wednesday May 11 we had our Spring Performance. The K-5 students put on a performance in collaboration with their directors Giles and Susan of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater. The title of this piece is “All About Me.” The students told stories through dance. K-2’s stories covered the ranges of emotions. They told of times they felt frightened, excited, joyful, relieved, angry and even vengeful.  The students created all original dances that were named after each of them.  Their dances told the stories as well as conveying their emotions. The stories illustrate how experiences help the students learn and figure out who they are; “All About Me.” 

The 3-5th graders told different components of “All About Me.”  Their stories included some poetic dialogue that describes where they come from like “I’m from words pouring off a book,” or “I’m from up to down.” They also spoke of their ancestry. Some students told of their families military exploits while others spoke of distant relatives like kings and Vice Presidents to conquistadors and the first successful black dentist. Their dances were very fun and exciting, and the venue of the NC Arboretum made it that much more special.  

The “Family Tree” they designed was colorful and beautiful. The K-2 students designed the leaves and birds of WNC that were added to the tree at the end of the show. The 3rd and 5th graders added planes, trains, automobiles, boats, and flags. The 4th graders designed creative hats to represent what you see of them on the outside of who they are is to be matched only by what is in their minds and hearts.  We are very blessed to live in such a beautiful place and very lucky to have had the opportunity to  have our performance at the NC Arboretum. Thank you to the Arboretum folks who take care of such a wonderful place. Thank you to all the teachers, teacher’s assistants, and FDNSC community members for your support of FD students. And an especially HUGE thank you to Susan and Giles for continually creating wonderful stories and dances with FDNSC students.


Spring Performance Rehearsal: All About Me


Our students put on a Spring Performance every year with Susan and Giles of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater. These are some photos of our rehearsal.  This year’s performance is at the North Carolina Arboretum.  The students created the dance moves as well as the Art for the show. In these images Susan and Giles work out some of the problems before the official show later that evening. 

Spring Performance: Environmental Awareness Movement  Project

  • Susan And Giles of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater, Sean Donelly, the FDNSC Music Teacher and Chris Corral the Art Teacher at FDNSC collaborated along with the K-5 students and teachers in the creation of this moving “edutainment” piece.  Under the direction of Susan and Giles the art class created costumes from paper mâché and recycled paperboard boxes. Sean produced the score for the student’s dance which included sound effects from the his mobile audio lab. 
  •  In the beginning the earth is pristine and beautiful.  1st Grade’s dance represents this. They are caterpillars that transform into butterflies that dance with flowers.        
  • Fast forward.  Industry, progress and a desire to make things easy and convenient has led to a society of single serving plastic products that pollute our world. The 5th grade play the “trash people” and “recyclers.”  The unfortunate truth is we just don’t have enough recyclers to keep up with the trash people.           
  • After the trashing the rains come.  The 4th Graders do the dance of the rain.  The rain collects in the garbage which creates the perfect place for the mosquitoes to lay their eggs and reproduce.  The Kindergarten play the mosquitoes. The “Mosquito dance” shows the way people deal with mosquitoes as the 4th Graders come through doing the “Mosquito Exterminator Pesticide” dance.   This gets rid of many of the mosquitoes but not all, one Mutant pesticide resistant mosquito survives and creates a whole new set of pesticide resistant mosquitoes.                   
  • There are other Consequences for spraying these pesticides that helped create pesticide resistant mosquitoes.   The “Frogs and Bats dance” performed by the 2nd Grade show the frogs and bats that eat mosquitoes get sick which means less predators that eat mosquitoes and then we have to spray again.                  
  • 3rd Grade play the part of the birds and lizards. In their “Bird and Lizard Dance” we see the consequences for these animals as they are also exposed to pesticides. Though some of these animals don’t eat mosquitoes due to their predators being killed or made sick the extra mosquitoes lead to more pesticide spraying. Some birds and lizards die caused by pollution.                  
  • In the final scene we see the “Trash People” as they realize the folly of their ways.  They enter a metamorphic transition and rip away their trash bags and become accountable for their polluting lifestyles.  They clean up their world and do a dance of responsibility through recycling.                     
  • The K-5th grades did a great job in this fun outdoor traveling project that happened on the Francine Delany New School for Children campus.  We are so proud of how hard they all worked from creating their costumes to especially learning their dances.  Many thanks to Susan and Giles Collard  of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater for directing such a beautiful show and giving so much time to FDNSC. Also much thanks to Sean Donelly for composing the music and doing the sound effects. And finally to the FD assistants who come to every Specialists class and help the students to remember what they’ve learned from week to week. Thanks to all the families and teachers that helped in gathering our recyclables to help with the production of the show.             

Session 2 Electives Fair: Dance

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We ended our Electives Fair with our Dance Elective which was also led by one of our 8th Graders. Great job teacher Alanna. The choreography was well planned with lots of nice lines and levels throughout the entire piece. What a great end to Session 2. Great job dance students and to all our electives teachers and students.

Session 2 Electives Fair: Poetry

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Our Poetry Elective was led by one of our 8th Graders. Elective teacher Nicolai did an amazing job teaching his students the art of poetry and the poetry slam. These poets created and shared some beautiful, moving, and very insightful spoken words. Great job Poetry Elective.

Session 2 Electives Fair: Tae Kwon Do

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Our Tae Kwon Do Elective was also very exciting and informative. Thank you to Master Morris of Asheville Sun Soo Tae Kwon Do. This Class is such a positive influence for Francine Delany students.

Session 2 Electives Fair: Chinese

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The Chinese Elective students demonstrated their new language skills with a game and a dramatization of a conversation in Chinese. It was very informative and entertaining. Great job Teacher CJ.

Session II Electives Fair: Claymation

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The Claymation Elective created some very entertaining movies. Great job friends!

Session II Electives Fair and the BagMonster

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Greenworks Environmental 101 Elective class created an acronym for Greenworks. It explained all they learned about in this class. They learned positive environmental responsibility, and about the many environmental resources we have in our community such as Greenworks. “The BagMonster is made of the amount bags a single person uses in a year….. It must be in the hundreds! Friends please recycle your bags by bringing them to Ingles Grocery Store and switch to re-usable cloth bags. : )