Educational Outreach

imc educational outreach

School Residencies

The Island Moving Co. is known for its work in area schools, having created residencies through the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Artists in Residency program for twenty years. The Company has taught creative movement to children in the schools through local grants and taught in the Middletown School Department for ten years.  Recent partnerships with the Newport School Dept have produced a new Math Into Movement curriculum for every second grader. The Company conducts programs in systems from Jamestown to Massachusetts.

Bringing Island Moving Company into your school as part of a residency program is an incredible opportunity to introduce your students to dance and the power of creativity and movement.

During a basic residency, which usually includes three creative movement classes for each classroom, the dancers and students explore choreographic elements, including rhythm, patterns, and levels. These concepts are essential not only to the study of dance, but to mathematics and science, as well as understanding poetry, imagery, allusion, and metaphor.  Residencies can also address curricular themes.

The Company’s Artistic Director, Miki Ohlsen, and some of our professional dancers, are involved with the in-school residencies. They would be available to work with your teachers to develop a program that fits in with your current curricula.

For example, using the students’ own writing or other text, the dancers and students create movement phrases which reflect, in both abstract and literal ways, their meaning. Students will see how a choreographer creates a dance out of these building blocks, much as a writer arranges phrases to create a text.  Movement can be used to illustrate mathematical principles such as addition or measurement, reaching all learners, especially kinetic ones.


TEXT INTO MOVEMENT – This participatory workshop explores the techniques and tools choreographers use in making dances. Using simple text that the students develop, the dancers create movement phrases to demonstrate how dances are made. Through the guidance of the Island Moving Co. dancers, the students create their own work, exploring the art of choreography and expressing ideas through movement. This 50-min. workshop includes short dances made by IMC dancers.
Grades 1-12 Fee:  Maximum 250 students

IMC’s Text into Movement Literacy Residency from IMC Dance on Vimeo.

INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE MOVEMENT – These three introductory classes expose students to the basic concepts of movement such as, level, rhythm, shape and tempo. The Island Moving Co dancers help students explore and express their ideas through creative movement. These classes are linked to text or other curricular themes.
Grades K-5 Fee: $100 per class ~ 3-class minimum

MATH INTO MOVEMENT – The curriculum addresses two of the 2nd grade math standards: addition and measuring time. 2 concepts from the common Core Math Curriculum are explored in 4 lessons, two lessons for each concept. Critical in this is that the teachers repeat the movement lesson one day with their students after IMC has taught the lesson in their class.
Four in-school workshops for each 2nd grade classroom (cost: $100 per workshop) plus 3 meetings with the teachers in their Common Planning Time. $2500 to $3500, apart from classroom teacher time, for a school with 4-6 2nd Grade classrooms.

IMC’s Math into Movement Math Residency from IMC Dance on Vimeo.

The Team Building & Leadership Movement Workshop is experiential in nature and provides methods for developing the concepts of teamwork and co-leadership. Originally developed for MIT and Tufts University graduate programs, this program is appropriate in any setting where ideas of leadership, cooperation and collaboration are being explored. Excellent for high school students.

Grades 9-12 Fee:
Mini Workshop (1 hr.) ~ up to 50 participants: $700
Full Workshop (3 hrs.) ~ up to 50 participants: $2000

“As a member of the audience, I thought it was very interactive. I loved going up and dancing with my class” – teacher, Needham, MA

“Thank you for the photo…What a great reminder of the highlight of my school year (really). You all do such meaningful work, and these kids here who were lucky enough to participate will never forget this experience.” Jeffrey Fessler, arts integration coordinator, Palm Beach Public Schools

These critically acclaimed programs offer a more intensive and intimate experience with the artists in your school

CURRICULUM BASED CREATIVE MOVEMENT RESIDENCY – This performance-based residency program consists of a series of eight or fifteen creative movement lessons per class plus rehearsal and performance of a final product. Island Moving Co. dancers create a dance performance piece with the students, drawn from curricular themes developed in discussions with the classroom teacher.

“Seeing the children work, and sometimes struggle, to create beauty and grace in a context of community and personal responsibility for the success of the group, was enormously satisfying. I recommend their educational programs enthusiastically and without reservation.” – Alex Rempis, 3rd grade teacher, Moses Brown School

“I liked this dance class because you had to memorize things, and were very physical and unique. Also because we had to use our brain.” – Richard J., 2nd grade, Kennedy School, Middletown

Please call for details. Some grants are available for this project.

INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTS RESIDENCY – This collaboration between the visual arts, music, and dance culminates in a rich and moving performance experience for the entire student body. The workshop helps high schools address the new arts, music and dance proficiency standards for Rhode Island. The Island Moving Co., in a series of lessons with any group of students, creates dances for the students to the music composed by students and faculty or other local artists.

Please call for details. Some grants are available for this project.

YOUNG DANCER PROGRAM – Since 2012, with the help of the Frederick Prince Memorial Fund at Newport Hospital, Island Moving Co. has offered a “scholarship class” for third and fourth graders who had participated in creative movement residencies at their school and wanted to continue their study of dance. Most of the children at our affiliate school, Newport Academy of Ballet, began studying ballet at 4 or 5 years old. The Young Dancer Program is designed to catch up our creative movement students so that they can join their peers in age-appropriate classes next year. This year, six students from the previous scholarship class have moved into Ballet II and III classes at the Academy. Island Moving Co. dancer Glen Lewis has been teaching the class with several interns from Salve Regina University and Island Moving Co’s Junior Company. Twenty students are learning the rudiments of ballet, having fun and getting a great physical workout once a week. Six of the students auditioned for this year’s Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff and joined the children’s cast as Mice and Soldiers. We are so happy to have these students, so eager and earnest, at the Academy. As Tatiana said, “I dream of dancing.”