Dance program for girls presents its spring showcase on May 3
More than 30 girls from four community centers across Madison will perform in the second annual Performing Ourselves Showcase at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3 in the Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space in Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Ave.
Performing Ourselves provides a series of experiential movement and performance classes to nearly 100 girls in four Madison locations: the Goodman Community Center, Kennedy Heights Community Center, Vera Court Neighborhood Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. The showcase is a collaboration between the UW–Madison Dance Department, Girls Inc. of Dane County and the local community centers.
The program is co-directed by Kate Corby, assistant professor of dance, and Mariah LeFeber, an associate lecturer in the UW–Madison Dance Department. Department staff and student interns work during 30 weeks with girls at the four locations to create performances that incorporate hip-hop and other modern styles.
“Not only does this project address the need for educational outreach and increased access to the fine arts for local low-income families,” says Corby, “but it will also facilitate an active learning experience for female youth in Madison by engaging them in the process of creation and performance as a means of engendering empowerment and identity.”
The after-school community programs involved serve female youth in the Dane County area, ages 6-18. A strength of these programs is the focus on increasing academic and life skills. Performing Ourselves augments this programming through exposure to the fine arts.
“Dance is an incredible way to reach these girls,” says Colleen Berg, a program staff member at the Goodman Community Center. “[The program] builds positive mentoring relationships, teaches the importance of teamwork, provides the girls with the opportunity to experience how good it feels to perform something you’ve worked hard to perfect, and so much more.”
Berg calls the program “a stellar model for effectively engaging girls.”
The program’s goal is to boost the self-confidence of Madison’s girls of color through dance and performance.
Admission is free. There will be a complimentary reception following the performance in the Virginia Harrison Parlor, Lathrop Hall. Performing Ourselves is supported by the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment and the Dance Department.