In February 2020, Edmonds Center for the Arts will partner with TeenTix to pilot a series of free Dance Journalism Workshops for local teens. A cohort of 20 students will explore how to approach looking at dance with a critical lens, attend a performance of Hiplet Ballerinas at ECA, and try their hand at writing a dance review. Workshops will be taught by Seattle-based dance journalist and artist Imana Gunawan.
The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. Since 2006, some of the city’s most talented professional arts critics from The Seattle Times, The Stranger, Seattle Globalist and Seattle Dances have taught over 700 teens through workshops and intensives focused on arts criticism training.
“We’re at a moment when arts journalism is on the decline, with many media outlets reducing or eliminating their arts coverage,” said ECA’s Director of Programming Gillian Jones. “At the same time, there are a lack of opportunities for young people to think and respond critically to what they see. We’re extremely excited to partner with TeenTix on this program, and to invest in the next generation of arts patrons and leaders.”
Dance Journalism Workshops take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 and Feb. 23 from 4-6 p.m. at ECA. Teen participants will also attend the Hiplet Ballerinas performance on Thursday, Feb. 20, which includes a pre-show talk organized in partnership with the University of Washington Bothell and moderated by dance artist, performer, choreographer and dance educator Dani Tirrell.
Imana Gunawan, a Texas-born Indonesian, is a Seattle-based storyteller, multimedia journalist, dance artist and creative director. Through her journalism and dance work, Imana believes in realizing a more just world for those historically pushed aside. She is a member of Au Collective – a dance-based nonprofit centering people of color, queer people and womxn – with which she regularly performs, collaborates and teaches. Imana is passionate about facilitating community conversations and has hosted panels for artists of color at events including the Artist of Color Expo and Symposium and the Womxn’s Creative Industries Meetup.
Hiplet fuses classical pointe technique with African, Latin, hip-hop and urban dance styles that are rooted in communities of color. It was specifically designed to make ballet accessible to all, by mixing it with current popular songs by artists ranging from Black Violin to Beyoncé. After features on Good Morning America, Buzzfeed, and The Huffington Post, the new art form went viral in spring 2016 and has now amassed over a billion views. Since then, partnerships with Mercedes Benz, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, New York and Paris Fashion Week, W Magazine, Versace, and Old Navy have culminated in an incredible worldwide demand for a live show featuring Homer Bryant’s innovative technique.
Dance Journalism Workshops are free-of-charge and open to teens ages 13-19. Teens must commit to all three dates in order to participate. No prior experience is necessary. To register, visit www.teentix.org/press-corps, or contact Katie Newbaum, ECA Education & Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-275-9485. Both workshops and the Hiplet Ballerinas performance take place at Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 4th Ave. N. For more information about TeenTix, visit www.teentix.org.