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Parkway Students to Work With Parsons Dance Company

The Missouri Arts Council has awarded Parkway a $5,000 grant that will fund a residency at three Parkway schools by the world-class Parsons Dance Company. Funding for the residency was matched by Dance St. Louis. From January 24-27, professional dancers from the Parsons Dance Company will conduct classes with students at Parkway Central High, Central Middle and North High schools. Each Parsons team will teach classes that begin with warm-up movements and will use both classical and contemporary music in their instruction. Students will learn part of a Parson's dance and then evaluate what dance structures, processes and elements were used. After the residency, students will create a tribute dance, using some of the same concepts, forms and principles as the Parsons dance. They will perform the dance at their two dance concerts in April and May. Parkway teachers will share video of the student choreography with the company's founder, David Parsons, evaluating how the students and teachers used what they learned from the Parsons dancers and how what they learned might become part of a future curriculum for Parkway students or for other schools participating in similar residencies. The Parsons Dance Company is widely recognized for its community-based residencies and has given hundreds of master classes and workshops across the country and around the world. The group has been featured on A&E, Bravo, the Discovery Channel and on "CBS Sunday Morning." Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.