Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Applying Science to Dance

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Applying Science to Dance

Article excerpt

When Camia Green was a student in Booker High School's Visual and Performing Arts dance program and thinking about pursuing a career on the stage, she used to curse requirements that forced her to take math and science classes.

"I'm a dancer; what is that going to do for me in the long run?" says Green, recalling her attitude.

Yet at the same time, Green, who began dancing at age 6 in the Sarasota Ballet's Dance-The Next Generation program, knew that sub- par grades would not make an already difficult career choice any easier.

Instead of rejecting the challenging academics, she decided to embrace them -- in her own way.

"If you can relate a subject you don't really understand to your passion and interest, it makes it that much easier to appreciate," says Green, who graduated from Booker in 2006 and is currently appearing in a Universal Studios dance production in Orlando.

Not only did relating equations and theorems to movement help her boost her grade point average, her knowledge of scientific processes provided the material for a choreographic project at her alma mater, Kennesaw State University.

"Mitosis," a piece sparked by a science class Green took in her senior year at Kennesaw and choreographed for the 2011 American College Dance Festival, will be performed by current Booker VPA dance students this weekend as part of their annual spring performance. Based on the scientific phases of cell separation, the contemporary work is "about change and the different people that come in and out of your life and their effect on the person you are today," says Green.

Thanks to a grant from the Education Foundation, Green recently spent five days working with seven Booker students, some of whom had their own biases against science and math. She started by teaching them steps, focusing on partnering, sharing weight and separations, but without mentioning the origin of her vision. …

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