Area youth blend dance, art at summer camps
Post Independent intern
The halls of Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs are decked out in giant paper flowers, modeled after the artwork of Georgia O’Keefe, as the college hosts the “Dancers Dancing” summer camps put on by the Glenwood Springs Arts Council.
The three camps — one of which took place on June 11-22, the second running today through June 29 and a third slated for July 9-20 — involve dance, art and photography classes from several local instructors. Each camp is specific to a different emphasis, and the days are split into different age groups. The camps are open to ages 3 through 12th grade.
The first camp was called “Inspired by the Masters.” The students learned to emulate the work of famous artists like O’Keefe and Claude Monet, which were integrated into their dance pieces.
“The kids have totally come alive this week,” said Maurine Taufer, dance instructor and director at the Arts Council said of the first camp.
One of the dance numbers, instructed by Susan Mount, was inspired by the song “Come Alive” from “The Greatest Showman.” Students in second through fifth grade split into two groups. One created 3-D cardboard characters from the movie while the other group helped choreograph the dance routine.
Choreography is just one area where the kids have been allowed to let their creative juices flow. They studied famous artists and made paintings and collages based on those pieces, but turned them into something all their own.
Brooke Jennings, who will be starting third grade in the fall, emulated Monet’s “Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge” using tissue paper, modge-podge, paints and collage. She titled it “The Love Bridge.” Instead of copying Monet’s green and blue background of trees, she painted a sunset over the bridge.
Photography teacher Cath Adams has also been encouraging creativity through introducing the students to different types of cameras they may not be familiar with.
“We’re going out and exploring, basically just Glenwood, and capturing things that are sort of unique and different,” said Adams.
The students learned how to use a pinhole camera, which snaps photos with film, and requires the photographer to wind it every time a picture is taken. There is also no screen on the camera, so the photographer cannot see what they are taking a photo of until the photos are developed.
“You have to have a lot of patience,” said soon-to-be-13-year-old Katalena Lott. “A modern camera does a lot of things, but a pinhole camera will show you what it was like 100 years ago.”
Glenwood Springs High School students Cadie Harrison and Skylar McLaren are also participating in the camps, but they are getting a new kind of experience as interns. Both of them, along with fellow GSHS students Megan Quinn and Sophie Carnoali, have been dancing with the Arts Council since they themselves were pre-kindergartners.
This past May, Harrison and Carnoali won the statewide Bobby G Award for “Best Choreographers” for their choreography in GSHS’s production of “Crazy For You.”
“It was a lot of fun to be able to teach our peers and just to see the final product, but there was also, like, challenges throughout it,” said Carnoali in a recent interview with KDNK Community Radio. “But it was great to work through that together and just to use our strengths to overcome the challenges.”
More information on the “Dancers Dancing” camps can be found at coloradomtn.edu/artscamps.
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