Dance Program is Creating Teen Girl Coders

Dance Class First Day

“danceLogic is a space where creativity lives in arts and science, here young girls have infinite possibilities” – Shanel Edwards, Instructor

 

The West Park Cultural Center is offering their danceLogic program for the second time this year, a unique S.T.E.A.M. program that combines dance and computer coding leading to the development of original choreography and performance. Girls ages 13 through 18 years old learn the value of focus, dedication, and teamwork, as well as industry standard coding language.

 

 

danceLogic is an innovative program designed to educate, inspire and cultivate girls of color, regardless of their background or financial status, to explore the S.T.E.A.M. field: science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in a creative, active and exciting structure. Dance and coding have similar language involving repetition, direction, and combinations. The program uses dance to spark an interest in STEAM, now and in the future.

Shanel Edwards, co-instructor of dancelogic, says “danceLogic is helping these girls have access to the art realm and science world as possible career paths, it is allowing them to stretch their boundaries of what success looks like for them.”

During the dance class, led by instructors Shanel Edwards of D2D The Company and Annie Fortenberry, a performer with Ballet 180, the girls learn dance skills and movement techniques. This is followed by an hour of learning industry standard coding language under the direction of coding instructor Franklyn Athias, Senior Vice President Network and Communications Engineering at Comcast who says “I’m helping the kids see that someone, just like them, was able to use Science and Technology to find a very successful career.”

When the girls progress to creating their original choreography, they use coding as a reference. “The combinations of dance and logic have good synergies. Learning something like dance requires practice, just like coding”, explains Franklyn Athias. “The dance is more physical, but it requires the students to try, fail, and try again. Before long, the muscle memory kicks in, and the student forgets how hard it was before. Coding is the same thing. Learning the syntax of coding is not a natural thing. Repetition is what makes you good at it. After learning the first programming language, the students can learn other programming languages because it becomes much easier.”

Annie Fortenberry adds “My favorite thing about the program is that the students can explore leadership roles. By building their choreography and supporting each other in coding class, they navigate creating and sharing those creations, as well as resolving conflict to make one cohesive dance. There’s a lot of beauty and bravery in that process.”

The very first session of DanceLogic culminated with a performance at the 11th annual West Park Arts Fest. The girls performed choreography, shared what they learned and how it has impacted their lives. They committed to continuing their coding education over the summer and into the new school year.

To sign up or learn more, please visit: www.westparkcultural.org/dancelogic

Article by Niesha Kennedy


West Park Arts Fest / 11th Year

Niesha Kennedy, PR Manager
West Park Cultural Center
215-278-3450
nkennedy@westparkcultural.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Philadelphia, PA – Founded by West Park Cultural Center in 2008, the West Park Arts Fest will return for its 11th year on Saturday, June 9 along South Concourse Drive in West Fairmount Park. The site is adjacent to the Centennial Commons along Parkside Avenue–a “new park within a park” by Fairmount Park Conservancy as part of Philadelphia’s Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative.

Fairmount Park Conservancy and Mural Arts Philadelphia are joining West Park Cultural Center as organizers for this free public event advancing the festival’s mission to bring communities together in the park, promote greater awareness of the area’s history and heritage, while celebrating the arts and cultural diversity of Philadelphia. The festival embraces partnership and has over the years been made possible in great part to the participation of many arts, cultural and community partners from West Philadelphia and across Philadelphia.

On Saturday, June 9th from 12pm to 5pm attendees of all ages will enjoy stages of exciting culturally diverse performances by some of the area’s best dancers, musicians, and vocalists. Some of the talent includes the popular West Philadelphia Orchestra, Badd Kitti, Gretchen Elise Music, Patrice and The Show, The Philly Clicks, Jasmin Yahne Dance Company, and many more. The event will engage attendees in dance, art making, and many other activities including guided historical trolley tours through the Centennial District. The Franklin Institute will showcase prototypes of its new exhibition “Game Masters” as well as providing PACTS program activities. Attendees can buy unique items in the Handmade Market, browse other vendors and enjoy the offerings of diverse food vendors. An estimated 3,000 are expected to attend. There are Sponsor and Vendor opportunities.

Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Arts & Cultural Program, with the support of ArtPlace Amrerica and Guest Curator Theresa Rose, has commissioned three outdoor art installations for Arts Fest that includes interactive elements that draw their inspirations from the neighborhood. The commissioned artists art Ruth Scott Blackson, Jesse Harrod, and Brian Bazemore.

Festival goers will also see a standing timeline curated by Global Philadelphia that documents Parkside’s history and heritage with pictures and text.

Partners include The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Zoo, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Tree House Books, FringA-Thon, Al Bustan Seeds of Culture, and many more. Sponsors for 2018 Arts Fest: BlackRock, UPS, Scungio Borst, ArtPlace America, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Parkside Centennial CDC, Zerflin, Rockland Capital, Zakian, Brown’s ShopRite and West Philadelphia Financial Services Institute.

To see more about the Arts Fest visit http://www.westparkcultural.org/west-park-arts-fest  and http://www.facebook.com/westparkartsfestival  For more information call 215-473-7810 or email info@westparkcultural.org.

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West Park Arts Fest 10th Anniversary

Niesha Kennedy, PR Manager
West Park Cultural Center
215-278-3450
nkennedy@westparkcultural.org

WEST PARK ARTS FEST CELEBRATING 10 YEARS

Philadelphia, PA – Founded by West Park Cultural Center in 2008, the West Park Arts Fest is celebrating 10 years and moving to the Avenue of the Republic near the Please Touch Museum. This site is adjacent to the Centennial Commons – an exciting public space project under construction by Fairmount Park Conservancy as part of Philadelphia’s Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative.

Fairmount Park Conservancy and Global Philadelphia have joined West Park Cultural Center as organizers for this free public event advancing the festival’s mission to bring communities together in the park, promote greater awareness of the area’s history and heritage while celebrating the arts and cultural diversity of Philadelphia. The festival embraces partnership and has over the years been made possible in great part to the participation of many arts, cultural and community partners from West Philadelphia and across Philadelphia.

On Saturday June 3rd from 12pm to 5pm attendees of all ages will enjoy two stages of exciting culturally diverse performances by some of the area’s best dancers, musicians, vocalists, and spoken word artists. Some of the talent will include the popular West Philadelphia Orchestra, Badd Kitti, Gretchen Elise Music, Megan Flynn Dance Company, Academy of Classical Indian Dance, Jasmin Yahne Dance Company, Clowns Without Borders, and much more. The event will invite participation in dance, collaborative painting with WEPAINT, free guided historical trolley tours through the Centennial District, heritage storytelling with Global Philadelphia, children’s activities with the Franklin Institute PACTS Program, Tree House Books, Patchwork Storytelling Guild, Keepers of the Culture and more to be announced.  As part of the celebration, Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Arts & Culture Program, with the support of ArtPlace America, has commissioned artists to create special installations and interactive elements that draw their inspiration from the neighborhood, the park and the history of the 1876 Centennial. Festival goers will see a standing timeline created by Global Philadelphia that documents Parkside’s history and heritage with pictures and text.

Attendees can buy unique items in the Handmade Market, browse other vendors and enjoy refreshments from food vendors and the popular Parks on Tap – the traveling beer garden developed by Fairmount Park Conservancy with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and FCM Hospitality. An estimated 1,500 are expected to attend. Participating partners this year include Mann Center, Philadelphia Zoo, The Franklin Institute, Tree House Books, and more.

Sponsors as of this writing include ArtPlace, Scungio Borst, Zerflin, UPS, Santander, ShopRite, Rockland Capital, West Philadelphia, Financial Services Institution, and Zakian. The event is also supported in part by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.

To learn more about the festival visit http://www.westparkcultural.org/westparkartsfest  and http://www.facebook.com/westparkartsfestival  For more information call 215-473-7810 or email info@westparkcultural.org.

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