ABS Thursday Notes- January 10, 2019

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                          January 10, 2019





How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” – Voltaire


Tomorrow is one of my favorite days at school, when sixty Kindergarten students whirl, leap, howl and paw the air, together with over a dozen lithe, powerful UNCSA modern dance majors, preparing for their 10th annual collaboration. Ms. Hollis and I always tiptoe down the hallway and peek in as the little faces look up, up, up in wonder and behold those magnificent “big dancers” right in the studio with them. One year, a Kindergartner stopped in her tracks as she entered the space to see those big dancers, then turned to me and gasped “Mrs. Siebert, there are HIGH SCHOOL KIDS in here!” The big dancers just join into regular dance class with the little dancers, as natural as you please. Ms. Adams introduces them, then turns on the music and begins a warm-up. “Find a place in the room where you know you will be noticed because there is lots of space around you! Keep your feet rooted to the floor and see how many ways you can move your arms. Freeze in a high statue when I hit the drum (bang!) Now move your arms again. And freeze in a low statue. (bang!)” The little dancers are used to this, but when they see that the big dancers are doing it exactly as they do it, they’re filled with wonder. And of course, both big and little dancers are inspired by the improvisatory ideas of the other. Before long, they are spinning and flying and tumbling through the space together as though they are family, free of self-consciousness, just brothers and sisters in the dance.


Each year the tiny and great dancers partner to perform Serge Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” for classmates and parents, beginning with these joint dance classes taught by ABS dance teacher Jan Adams. Ms. Adams, a NC State Charter School Teacher of the Year, also taught pre-ballet classes at UNCSA for over twenty years.


The young students and their teachers use Prokofiev’s beloved musical tale in the classroom, and in music, art, and dance classes to study story structure and sequence, character and setting, vocabulary, instrument families, acting, movement, scientific studies of animals, and Russian culture. They compare the stereotypically evil wolves in children’s literature with real wolves, discovering that the shy creatures are family oriented and have been vilified through much of classic fiction. This is an introduction to the inaccuracies of stereotypes, and the importance of questioning the validity of what you read.


Each child prepares to dance the role of one character from the story. Ms. Adams works with the UNCSA dancers to consider how they might choreograph the story for little people, while teaching the little people how to take on the various characters. Eventually the story is prepared with big dancers leading the little dancers, providing the little ones with a visual safety net. When the duck appears on stage, seven little ducks waddle behind him. If stage fright confuses them, they can look up at their tall leader and follow him. That is why tomorrow’s introduction is so valuable: those big dancers become friends; touchstones that quiet any stage fright. There are also breathtaking performances by the grown-up dancers; moments when they break off into inspirational expressions of their own.


We will perform at the DeMille Theatre on the UNCSA campus. Seating is limited, so Kindergarten families have been assigned a day to attend, on either Wednesday, January 30 at 12:00 p.m. or Thursday, January 31 at 12:00 p.m. Parents will park at the UNCSA visitors center and gym, and will be shuttled the short distance to the theatre.


ABS Spelling Bee

Congratulations to all our spelling bee participants and winners.

Orion Sledge-Ricks (7th grade)- Champion Speller

Adler Giordano (8th grade) – 1st Runner Up

Orion will be representing ABS at the next level of competition in February.


Congratulations to ABS Science Fair Winners!


1st – Norah Barnes

2nd – Penny Soriano

3rd – Alyce Morris


1st – Olivia Lewis

2nd – Roi Moss

3rd – Sadie Schwartz


1st – Clara Hardy

2nd – Anna Hill

3rd – Leo Haaf


1st – Ollie Cleveland

2nd – Emi Moss

3rd – Isabella Neff


1st – Addy Greene

2nd – Harper Webb

3rd – Jesse Haaf


1st – Sofie Barnes

2nd – Brennan Hildreth

3rd – Aidyn Morris


1st – Austin Pitassi, Jack Barnes, Landen Foster (Group Project)

2nd -Ceilidh Woosley

3rd – Emma Weiderman


No entries


No entries


Annual Giving!

Tomorrow is the final day of our Annual Giving Campaign! We are truly grateful to everyone who has donated to our Annual Giving campaign so far. Thank you!

Total School Participation to Date: 38%
Total Gifts to Date: $56,142

This year, as in past years, we are hoping to achieve 100% participation. Please help us get closer to our goal in these last 24 hours! Family participation in Annual Giving at The Arts Based School is more than financial support; it is a vote of confidence that demonstrates your belief in and investment in this remarkable place. To make a secure gift online, visit: artsbasedschool.com/your-support



K-Kids Sponsor Read to Feed

Have you ever owned part of a cow? How about a llama? Well, you could now! The K-Kids are once again sponsoring the very popular  school-wide fund raiser for Heifer International called “Read to Feed.” Heifer International is an organization which contributes livestock and training to families in need around the world and helps them build sustainable businesses. Your child can help by reading! See the letter in your child’s Thursday packet, and K-Kids Letter, for more information.


No Clubs or Ensembles on January 15, 16, 17

During Lion King production week there will be no Art Club, Band, Chorus, or Strings on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The teaching staff will be at the theater. Please pick up your student at the regular 2:30-2:45 times on these days.


Middle School January Jam-

 Friday, January 25th 2:45-4:00pm

Kick back and relax, we’ll take care of the kids.  For $5 we will provide a fun afternoon with a live  DJ,  music,  and dancing for ABS middle school kids from 2:45 to 4:00pm.  Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase. ($1 for drinks, chips, and candy.  $.50 for popcorn).  ABS 5th -8th graders only in the 7th St Building.    All parents must park and come inside to pick up students at or before 4:00.  Permission Slip and Money must be turned in by Thursday, January 24.   Students will not be permitted to stay without a permission slip.  January Jam Permission Slip


Volunteers needed to help, please sign up at link:



Summer Camps at ABS

The Arts Based School will be offering ABS Summer Camps for Summer 2019.     Stayed tuned for more information about dates, programming and registration!                                               


High School Options

Jan. 1-Jan. 22 families may complete online applications for the high school magnet school program of their choice at the WSFC magnet school website