On January 8 and 10, Missoula Writing Collaborative and Ballet Beyond Borders collaborated to bring dancers into four schools: Hawthorne and Chief Charlo in Missoula and Dixon and Arlee on the CSKT Reservation. Students had a chance to see performances ranging from contemporary to modern to hip-hop. Some performers hailed from the local Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre School while others had traveled to Missoula from as far as Romania, Ecuador, and Israel. At each school, six to eight dancers gave solo and paired performances. When they were finished, students had a chance to translate their movements into words and write a poem about the experience. After 15 minutes of writing, students shared their poems with the dancers.
Most of the dancers who visited the schools also performed at the January 12 Gala at the Dennison Theatre. This was the third year of collaboration between BBB and MWC. We could tell from the wide-eyes, smiles, and energetic poems that both students and dancers came away inspired!