Adventures of Olympic nature while in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia School logo

Last week, Shula and I made a whirlwind trip up north to Philadelphia to work with a wide range of youth at the Philadelphia School. An independent school that serves local youth in preschool through 8th grade, I was immediately struck by the emphasis on collaborative teaching and learning, creative inquiry, and lifelong learning, and knew that our 2-day engagement was going to be a really rich adventure.

While there we worked mostly with their Junior Unit in making dances that were rooted in their learning about ancient Greek gods and goddesses. These 78 youth will be hosting their own Olympic Opening Ceremony at the end of this month, to invited family and friends, where they will share these dances, as well as music and other things that they have made throughout the year.

We also worked with a number of classes in their Primary Unit on lessons they’ve done about birds, and one group of 7th graders on their reading of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I think the word ‘adventure’ for this engagement is fitting: it was so full in activity and in richness, and I could feel my making and facilitation capacities being stretched and deepened in the best ways possible. There’s some exciting stuff going on in Philadelphia, and I hope we can return soon. I think the youth had a great time, too! But don’t take my word for it….check out the blog below from the Philadelphia School, and watch the video of one of the dances made with some Primary Unit students!


From the Philadelphia School blog

“On May 12 and 13, the TPS music department hosted choreographers from the Washington, DC-based Dance Exchange to facilitate movement classes for our students. The principal focus was…”

READ the rest of blog, and watch a short video, HERE.

About Matthew Cumbie

Matthew Cumbie (Associate Artistic Director) is a dance artist and collaborator who currently lives in Washington, DC.