BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance

Blog: Week one at The Ross School with Tamara!

July 30, 2019


First Day

We started the day off with the name game in which we recite our name and do a pose or move  and everyone has to repeat your name and pose. In both the major and minor classes almost every student was eager and ready with their pose when we got to them in the circle which really started off the class on a strong note. We then moved into the center and found assigned spots for warm up. We started each class with a cardio warm up with challenging steps that the students would see used later in the creation process. Each student really held their own and kept up with flow of the warm up.

After warming up and stretching we learned a center combination in each class. In the Dance Majors program we tried the combination they had learned to different speeds and with different facings! There was only one “I can’t” said in the minor class which quickly turned around to be this students strongest step!

After our center combination we moved to the side to go across the floor in which we were able to work on our bigger traveling movements like jazz walks, chases, leaps, chaines turns (and how to spot for them), and grande battements.

Then we began to create our pieces. In both classes our center phrases made their way into our pieces along with a lot of the moves we did across the floor in our classes. The dance majors finished their 2:30 minute piece and were able to practice it a few times which was I could tell would be a strong piece by the end of the week because they picked it up so quickly. 

The minors got half way through their piece and were able to get a little creative in the process bringing in their own flare and tricks to the piece.

Both classes did so well we ended with freeze dance in which were able to explore how we can use levels in dance to make out movement more interesting. I saw some great low level choices from the minor class.  One student Stefano was jumping for joy when we finished the piece because he knew he completed a fun but difficult task of learning a whole piece in one day.


Day two we had one student missing and began our ballet piece. We started with a ballet warm up learning a pile, tendu , adagio, and pirouette combo we would use in our piece. Our ballet/ lyrical song was Lost boy so we were able to put the story line of us living in Neverland. We got almost all the way through our second piece. We ended the day with Stefano yelling “I love dance!” after we finished running our pieces for the day. Which is always nice to hear.

Which wild enough was said again in the minors class by student Sharon, which I replied “man I love dance too” we added eager learner Olivia into our piece after losing some students we also gained some everyday. We mostly reviewed and taught Olivia what we had learned and went over steps that were difficult, so they were really in our bodies. It was exciting to see the students work to improve steps they already knew as well.  A lot of these students did gymnastics and were excited to show off their skills.


Day three we gained a new student who was an older dancer so we were able to add her in to two pieces and give her a featured role. During class we played an acting game called five reasons which tested our listening skills, memory, and ability to act quickly. We learned our musical theater piece this day which was to Jitterbug from the Wizard of Oz. It was so exciting to see the students willing to go all the way in their acting moments to make the piece very exciting. We also finished our ballet/lyrical piece and we ran our first one too.

In the minors we gained another new student who was already familiar with some of the choreography because Sharon taught her during break. We added her to our piece and we were moved to the gymnastics room this day so we learned some moves that incorporated dance technique as well as gymnastics skills. Our new student brought a lot of great ideas to the table to add spunk to our piece.

On day 4 we performed our jazz piece in front of the whole school which was really exciting. All of the student were nervous but it did not show in their dancing. The music even cut out at one point but they kept going which is so mature of all of them. Then we got to teach some of the other campers the moves. In class we created solos using our name to create the movement that would then be used in our musical theater piece. We finished all our pieces and were able to run them before leaving for lunch.

We gained another student in the minors class. Who picked up the movement of our pieces so quickly we added her into both pieces, we finished our pieces and they looked so great and everyone was nervous, but very excited.

Day 5

We all came in excited for our performances ran out pieces a few time before each show and then got show ready.

Each class did so amazing showing off not only the steps they learned but their eagerness to perform for their friends and family. It was exciting to see each of them shine and hear what each student got out of the week.