Collaborative Creative Process for Performers

DancersThis residency leads participants through a collaborative creative process from choosing an initial idea and gathering material about it to performing their finished piece. They follow a structure for making progress on the piece. They learn about group dynamics and healthy group practices such as equitable power-sharing and consensus building. They practice giving rigorous, positive critiques and revising their work-in-progress. As people progress from a simple idea to a composition in time and space that communicates intellectually, kinesthetically, and emotionally with an audience, they learn the fundamental, liberating truth that they can create their own worlds with their bodies, voices, and imaginations. This is the power, and the empowerment, inherent in participation in the performing arts.

National Core Arts Standards: Cr.1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. Cr.2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. Cr. 3 Refine and complete artistic work. Pr.6.1 Convey meaning through artistic work.


What a UNC-Greensboro professor of dance said about this residency with her MFA students:

“Thank you tremendously for giving so fully of yourself to our students. Your energy and enthusiasm were contagious and we were all inspired by your wisdom, insights and experiential knowledge shared with us all.”

What a Guilford College (Greensboro, NC) student said about this residency:

“Everything we did was about developing safety, trust etc. for allowing creativity to pop up when it would. I appreciated Sheila’s experience/feelings about trust-building activities. She built safety & trust as we worked by teaching & modeling & explaining respectful ways to critique, listen, give feedback, share.”

What Elon College students wrote about this workshop:

“I learned to brainstorm ideas and just try it! Start with a simple phrase & expand from there.”

“I appreciate the emphasis on positivity and confidence.”

“I learned how important it is to take on leadership responsibilities and to stick with them.”

“My approach to creativity has shifted–realizing that there are a million ways!
I suddenly realized I have so many more ideas to create from than I thought I did–simple or deep. This is the first time I enjoyed group work.”

“I feel I grew as a performer and director during and after your workshop. It was a wonderful experience.”


Photo by Steve Clarke

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