QuestionsContact Guinn Baker
Where words fail, dance may prevail.
Through our innovative Minds In Motion Israel program,
we work together to use the power of dance to break down barriers.
Our program began with Jewish students at Beit Yitzhak Elementary School in 2010.
By 2012, it had evolved into a collaborative experience with Arab-Israeli students at Al-Salam in the village of Qalansuwa.
In 2015, for the first time ever, our classes from Beit Yitzhak and Al-Salam performed together in a culminating performance in front of an audience of 1,500.
They danced together. As one.
Our two-week, immersive MIM residencies in Israel begin with two teaching artists and two musicians, who collectively bring the Minds In Motion experience to both Jewish-Israeli students at Beit Yitzhak Elementary School in Emek Hefer and Arab-Israeli students at Al-Salam in the village of Qalansuwa.
Minds In Motion staff work with more than 300 students daily for two weeks.
No matter the cultural setting, Minds In Motion offers its students a positive experience with dance and performance. By helping all students discover important life and learning skills, the program:
- Encourages the development of expressive participation skills concentrating on creativity, self-confidence, focus, and dedication;
- Fosters improvement of interpersonal skills building on values of cooperation, mutual respect, and self-awareness;
- Nurtures an understanding and appreciation of working towards the achievement of a challenging physical and mental goal;
- Believes that dance tells its story through a language of music and movement, and it historically has served as a tremendous platform of cultural exchange and education;
- Promotes relationships between children of all backgrounds, which is particularly impactful in the Middle East;
- Guides MIM students to unite beyond stereotypes, which is a meaningful message for Jewish and Arab participants;
- Informs a more compassionate community with cooperative experiences as students practice towards a unified performance goal and moving in unison; and
- Breaks down social boundaries and lays groundwork for collaborative dialogues.
News from our 2015 trip to Israel:
1/21/2015: Checking in from the MIM Residency in Israel
With Education Director Cat Studdard, MIM Teaching Artist, Katherine Smothers and MIM Music Supervisor, Blanton Bradley!
Day 1 – Beit Itzhak-Sh’Ar, Central District
We were all smiles at the start of our first day as you can see below and we were even happier at the end of the day. Our students are great!
We met with the new principal at Beit Itzhak in the morning and she asked if we could have three days of performances beginning next Wednesday. We are so committed to having a performance at Alsalam this year, we said Yes!
Our transition to Qalansawa was fairly smooth and even though there are no names for any of the roads in the Arab village; between a hand-drawn map we had been given and Blanton’s GPS from his host family, we arrived in time to get everything set in the gym. It’s plenty big, right next to the school and will be great for the performance.
Blanton managed a few photos of our fifth graders in action. First you’ll see that Katherine is trying to get them to put a little stank on their snap. In the last one, I am on the floor pleading with a student to perform a solo. Whatever it takes, right? We almost didn’t teach our fifth graders and we are so so happy to be working with them again. Some students who were less than enthusiastic as fourth graders are really, truly dancing now.
-All Best, Cat
Day 2 – Qalansawe, Central District
There was a strike at the Arab village today in protest to a death of a Bedouin(Bedouins are one the Arab tribes living in Israel), who died as a result of a series of confrontations with the Israeli police. All the businesses and schools were closed as we drove into the village. When we arrived, we were doubtful that we would have class. But, ALL OF OUR STUDENTS, the two teachers, the principal, and our counselor who facilitates the program were all there! We had class as usual and were so honored that they had come in spite of the strike. The amazing power of dance!!! -Cat
Your support allows us to provide a great opportunity for the students. Please consider making an online donation to support Minds In Motion.