Moving Stories gives students the chance to express themselves in a powerful way

Jamaal Jackson, poet laureate and Moving Stories storyteller performs with students © Siôned Watkins

The student was understandably uncomfortable.  Before enrolling in a dance class at his high school, he had never danced before.

“He was more prepared than he thought.  He shone in the show,” says NAC Dance Associate Education and Teaching Artist Siôned Watkins.  “That’s part of what Moving Stories does.  It helps shape students into confident young adults.”

The second edition of Moving Stories began with a visit.  Three storytellers, Jamaal Jackson, indigenous poet, Doreen Stevens and English Theatre resident artist, Sarah Waisvisz  shared their stories with 80 dance students at Earl of March High School.  The students worked collaboratively to create movement for eight stories.  Their hard work cumulated in a performance in the NAC’s Azrieli Studio on May 28. 

“The show received a standing ovation,” Siôned says.  “It was so meaningful for the students to bring the work they had created with professionals to the NAC stage.”

The students can also use the video recording of the performance to help open doors to post-secondary dance programs.  In fact the “intro” and “outro” for Moving Stories was created and danced by aspiring professionals including three graduates who performed in the 2016 edition of the program.  Seeing what their peers have achieved since performing in Moving Stories is hugely inspiring for these young dancers.

Programs like Moving Stories are possible thanks to donors and Siôned is grateful for the role you play in the development of young dancers.  “With your generosity you give young people the opportunity to express themselves through a process that’s creative and collaborative.”

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.


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