BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance

Blog: Week 2 at The Ross School with Tamara!

August 5, 2019

Day 1

We started the week off with some familiar faces arriving in the morning, 5 students returned from the last week which was exciting. We started class off wit the name game, this time we tried to remember all of our gestures to use in our piece. We started with a jazz/modern warm up moving around the room with different speeds and levels. I made the space they could move with progressively smaller and smaller to challenge their special awareness. We made our way back to the center to finish warming up then learned a mixer adagio combination that would be used in our piece later. After learning our center combos we went across the floor with low runs, leaps, battements and two new tricks for everyone’s illusions and calypsos. After a snack break we started our piece. They started in three groups and we began to build our piece using prompts and movements we learned in class.


We again had familiar faces from last week along with some new campers. We started this class with name game as well. We proceeded with a similar warm up to the majors then learned a center combo across the floor, then began our piece to “Call me maybe.”  I got a suggestion from Sebastian that we should try the movement to Taylor Swift’s new song “You need to calm down”. Everyone liked that more, so we ended up going with that one. We each added our own little twist to the piece. Gab brought her gymnastics and faces, Sebastian with his hip hop, and Tribeca our 4y/o student brought her free styling skills.


Day 2


It was Stefano’s birthday and he stayed home so we postponed our hip hop day because I knew he was looking forward to it. We had a similar warm up today for our contemporary fusion class. We tried partner manipulation where we would call out a body part for your partner then they would have to lead their movement from there. Then our partner gave us an order and we would have to remember the order of where to move from so we could use it in our piece. We then learned a center gestural combination, then went across the floors and we started our piece and had a chat about how to make it successful. The piece was a simple gestural piece that needs confidence and commitment to make it work. I showed them a clip of Lucy Valley’s “Satisfaction” solo as an example. We then worked on the piece until 30 mins until class was over but energy was low because it was raining so we spent the rest of the time playing dance games to keep it light.


We are in the gymnastics room today because of the rain. It is difficult to keep them off of the equipment because a lot of them are gymnastics majors. So we learned some dance tricks that required matts to learn. We also finished our first piece and there were moments where the students would disagree about what moves to do next, but we found good ways to make everyone’s steps fit in.


Day 3

We prepared for our hip hop video shoot. We started by watching clips of differ genres of hip hop and crews of all ages.Then we warmed up and had special guest Asia come in to teach us. She gave us an intro to vogueing culture, where it started and why it’s important today. The main key she gave us to make it work is confidence! We learned basic movements and then a phrase we would use in our videos after that we split in to groups to learn different phrases. Emma and Casey taught the younger kids a combo I taught them while I worked with the older group. 

We ended up being able to learn and film the whole thing in one day with each student getting time to show a little of their personality and skill. We had the true LA video shoot experience.


Today we started our second piece. We started with our warm up and we got to practice mirroring improv. We then learned a center combination for a new dance and  then ran our finished piece and added in students who were absent. Our second piece was Alors on Danse and we incorporated a kick line into our piece which was really fun. We also worked on duets and trios for our piece.

Day 4

Last day we finish up our piece we started Tuesday. I made a mix of the songs “Safety dance” and “Dance to this” by Troye Sivan to help modernize the piece a little. We added a center combo we learned in class to this new piece and had solo cross over moments where there were some awesome choice made. Chennoa made an awesome choice to play with the musicality her solo fell on. 


We finished up our pieces. Tribeca mapped out our dances on a white board which was really impressive and she pointed out the shapes she drew for different moves. 


Day 5

It’s show day everyone shows up super pumped and ready. Today we are going to support our gymnastics friends and see their performance because they invited us and we found out that there was a film screening in our room before our show. We only had time to warm up and run our pieces twice and work out any kinks before our show. We ended up running it once in the hall before the show too. All went well and the kids were super pleased with their performance and the hip hop video.

The minors had a similar situation. We had 30 minutes to prepare before our show. They all did really well and covered any mistakes up. We went to support our theater friends and came back by request to finish the day with freeze dance