ABS Thursday Notes- October 19, 2017

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                   October 19, 2017




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.” – Moliére

In a 5th grade Dancing Classrooms lesson, the instructor coaches couples through the tango for the first time, with drama teacher, Nick Zayas, assisting. “Great scorpion shape with those arms!” the teacher calls out. “Demonstrate for us how you did that! Can you see these arms? No broken scorpion arms, only strong, powerful ones!” …this kind of language, humorously appealing to the varied interests of kids while encouraging excellence, is typical of this beautifully crafted curriculum. Individuals rotate, trading partners seamlessly as the dance repeats. (Read that last sentence again…we are talking about ten and eleven-year-olds here!) As always, it’s surprising which of the students seem to float on air, excelling in this particular art form. Some who hesitate to dive into other subjects will surprisingly display intense focus in ballroom dance, asking pertinent questions and executing complex combinations with graceful ease and apparent delight.


Dancing Classrooms is a program of twenty lessons taught at the 5th grade level at ABS, by visiting artist Ann Guill and her assistants. It’s well underway, now. ABS piloted the program with Ms. Guill six years ago. The Dancing Classrooms mission: “To build social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance. Through standards-based, in-school residencies, we use the vocabulary of ballroom dance to cultivate the positive feelings that are inherent in every child. The maturity necessary to dance together fosters respect, teamwork, confidence and a sense of joy and accomplishment, which we hope to bring to every child. Ballroom dance is the medium we use to nurture these qualities.”


Students learn the fox trot, waltz, swing, tango, merengue, and other dances while also learning how to treat one another with respect and social grace. This is a perfect match for us, particularly because Ann and her assistants are teaching the child, not the subject. They are all expert ballroom dancers, but the priority is the social progress of the individual child. It’s challenging at first to 5thgraders, because of the “cootie” factor, but that passes quickly by. They have been dancing with partners since Kindergarten, so it’s not an enormous leap, and our students are accustomed to public performance. This makes them ideal exhibition dancers, and there is an “informance” for parents at the end of the program. They draw and write in connection with this experience in other classrooms, and their drawings and writings will be exhibited at the final program. Students’ familiarity with ballroom dancing leads easily into their work in Romeo and Juliet on the Border, in which they perform Northern Mexican and cowboy partner dances from the late 1800s.


The 5th grade Dancing Classrooms Exhibitions take place at our MLK building, as follows:

Ms. Leni: Monday, November 13 12:00-1:00 (Ewing Theater at ABS)

Ms. Frazier: Tuesday, November 14, 12:00 – 1:00 (Ewing Theater at ABS)

Ms. Koza: Wednesday, November 15, 12:00 – 100 (Ewing Theater at ABS)



Lion King Tickets!

Disney’s Lion King Jr. will be performed by ABS 8th graders three times:Wednesday, November 8th at 6:00, Thursday, November 9th at 6:00, and Thursday, November 9th at 8:00. Performances are at the Hanes Brands Theater, 209 Spruce Street N. in Winston-Salem, 27101. The show lasts about one hour. Tickets are limited by this relatively small venue, so there are two performances offered on the second night.


Priority reservations: 8th grade families ONLY may reserve or pick up ten total tickets per family, from Mrs. Brown: 748-4116 x2000 or dbrown@artsbasedschool.com  beginning tomorrow, October 17, until Monday, October 30. Pick up the tickets from Ms. Brown at our 107 E. 7th Street campus.


General reservations: After October 30 any ABS families may reserve or pick up tickets from Mrs. Brown, on a first-come-first-served basis. All reserved tickets that are not picked up in advance will be held for pick-up by last name at the entrance. Your tickets may be given to family or friends, but must be reserved or picked up by ABS families only. Tickets unreserved by 3:45 on November 7thwill be offered first-come-first-served at the theater door, until they are gone. Any unclaimed tickets will be released five minutes before show time. Tickets are free, but a free-will offering will be gratefully accepted to help cover the cost of production.


Positive Discipline Workshop for Parents

 October 21

We have a few spots left….

WHEN:  Saturday, October 21  from 9am-Noon

WHERE:  ABS Café, MLK Building

CHILDCARE:  Childcare will be provided on site (please let us know how many children will need care when you sign up)

COST:  $10/family

SIGN-UP:  Email Robin Hollis (rhollis@artsbasedschool.com) to sign up today.  You may send in payment with your child in a marked envelope (checks should be made out to ABS).  You may also stop by either front office to sign up as well.


Volunteers Needed for Traffic Committee

In last week’s Parent Council meeting, we discussed the challenges that we face with parking and traffic at school. Details of the conversation can be found in the meeting minutes attached to the Thursday Notes e-mail. We would like to form a committee of parents to work on this issue, with a focus on both finding solutions and educating our families.  Part of the education effort will include making a video. If you’re interested in serving on or leading this committee, please contact Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net).


Upcoming ABS Garden Workdays

Friday Garden Work Session and Play Date  October 27 from 1:30-3:30. We’ll get started before the kids get out of school and then let the kids play while we work some more.


Saturday Workdays, 9:30-12:30, October 21 and November 4. RSVP appreciated but not required to kristen@rootsfirst.com.


Come Skate October 26!

The K-Kids and Builders Clubs are sponsoring a skating party on Thursday, October 26 from 6:30 – 8:00 at Skate Haven, 120 Hood Drive. The cost is $5.00 per skater (which includes skate rental). All proceeds will go to a challenge match for disaster relief through One America Appeal.

So grab your friends (and your Grandma) and come rock and roll!


Prospective Parents’ Tours

School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am.  Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms.  Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child, should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023.  Applications will be accepted beginning January 1.  The lottery will be held the second Tuesday of February.

Builder’s Club 

ABS Builders Club will be holding a relief drive for Hurricane Maria’s devastation to Puerto Rico, and for the earthquake in Mexico. This drive will focus on collecting 4 items; bagged rice and beans, bagged pasta, and plastic water bottles. These items will be delivered to Puerto Rico and Mexico through the Piedmont Triad United for Puerto Rico and Mexico.  The drive will last for two weeks for optimal collection. It will start on October 23rd and end on November 3rd.  We will be collecting in both buildings.  Thank you for all your support and generosity!   -Julian Wilson, Builder’s Club President


Halloween is Coming

Please do not send students to school in costumes.  We all enjoy the fun and excitement of Halloween but find that costumes and accessories make it very difficult to concentrate.  Also we do not want students to bring candy in their lunch bags for snacks.  Although it can be delicious, high sugar snacks should not replace a healthy snack.  Thanks for your help!


Around Town…

Central Library Open Invitation Art Exhibit-  On display at Central library through 12/29 on the second floor hallway overlooking the cafe.  Ms. Messick (K-4 art teacher) and Isabel Wilson (2nd grader) both have pieces in this exhibit.


Romeo & Juliet at GTCC

Our own Ms. Heidi appears as Tybalt and Friar Laurence in GTCC’s production of Romeo & Juliet, a travelling production in which the audience follows the players around GTCC’s downtown High Point campus. The play includes a few bawdy references and, of course, the violence of the feuding families; it is therefore most appropriate for older children and adults.

Performances are this weekend and next (10/21-10/22 & 10/28-10/29) — Saturdays at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm.

The show involves walking, including stairs, and standing outdoors, so bring your sunscreen and parasols.

More information, including how to buy tickets online can be found here: highpointtheatre.com