Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

WCE Students, Hoggard Dancers Hold Film and Dance Performance at Kenan

Monday, June 05, 2017

Christine Liao and James DeVita developed a large-scale arts integration project in 2016 for students enrolled in EDN 414, an undergraduate course titled Integrating Arts in Elementary Education and students enrolled in EDL 558, a master’s level course titled Social Justice Topics in Education. This spring, the project was expanded to include Hoggard High School Dance Director Pam Walden and student participants in Hoggard’s new International Baccalaureate in Dance.

Over the course of the spring semester, DeVita’s graduate students conducted research on marginalized populations including LBG, transgender, individuals with disabilities and low socio-economic groups. Research and reflections were shared with Liao’s undergraduate students, who developed videos to showcase the reflections. Hoggard dancers then created a dance component, using the social justice concepts portrayed on film.

The unique collaboration resulted in a live choreographed dance and film performance held in Kenan Auditorium on April 28.

Liao and DeVita said the project helps Watson College students develop a deeper understanding of social justice issues and an appreciation for use of the arts in teaching, and the project was enhanced through their collaboration with Dr. Walden.

“Adding Hoggard dancers in the mix this year helped to increase the quality of the performance,” DeVita said. “Their experience with dance helped bring to life important reflections the students hoped to convey.”

In reflections shared with Walden, Hoggard dancers said they enjoyed partnering with UNCW students and thought combining video with dance was an effective way to broaden perspectives.

“I had always known that immigration was a big topic for the U.S but I never thought about what the lives would be like for the kids that moved here from other countries,” one 10th grader wrote. “After researching and getting to know more about my topic I understand why ESL programs in schools are so important. After seeing everyone's performances I understand why these social justice topics are so important.”

Another student commented on the effectiveness of the multi-media presentation. “Honestly, I have seen many performances, but none this impacting. It was neat to witness real-life examples of each social justice group, and then display these examples through movement.”