Intensive Study of Spanish Dance

Project Overview

I plan to take part in a two-week intensive Spanish dance festival of technique classes held at Northeastern Illinois University, taught by Spanish dance masters from Spain and the United States. Through the festival, I will be able to take part in fifty-nine classes, taught by 7 different instructors. In preparation for this experience, I will work privately with _________, a former Northern Illinois University professor who has worked with the Ensemble Espanol and has also taught Spanish dance at Northern, and my adviser, _______________, who heads up the Supplemental Instruction Program for the university and has 12 years of dance experience. The goal of this experience will be to create a performance piece for the fall 2002 Art for Life show and a semester long Spanish dance curriculum for high school age students. I will have two follow up meetings with _______________ and ___________ for feedback on my project. At the end, I hope to fully understand and grasp the art and technique of Flamenco and the other regional Spanish dances, so that I can pass on this art and culture to my peers at Northern and to my future students when I become a high school teacher.

The Impetus for this Project

My desire to create this project stems from several sources. I studied Spanish for 5 years before college, and have always enjoyed learning about Latin and Spanish cultures. As a teacher, I plan to become involved with my school's dance group. It is my goal to bring to them not only my experience with ballet and modem dance, but also my experiences with hip-hop, African, and Latin dance. I want to be able to offer my students as many dance styles as possible to ensure their growth as multifaceted, multicultural dancers with a wide base of formal dance techniques.

During my study abroad experience (spring 2001), I had the opportunity to travel to the city of Seville, Spain, during La Feria (a major flamenco festival). However, since I had not originally planned to travel to Spain, I was completely unprepared for the experience. My friends and I were welcomed into several casetas (tents) for dancing. Though I could not remember many of the dance steps, it was an amazing experience.

Each and every night of the festival, people wore the traditional bright, full skirts (faldas), and they ate, drank, and danced the night away. During my stay, I also had the opportunity to attend a live flamenco performance. I was immediately caught up in the passion and heart-wrenching emotion of the dance. I don't think I breathed for the entire three-hour show! I immediately remembered how much I had loved the Spanish dance class I had taken at Northern, and I vowed to learn more.

Project Purpose and Description

During this intensive study of Spanish dance, I will grasp the technique in all areas of Spanish dance: castanuelas (castanets), Jota, Alegrias, Soleares, Bulerias, Tientos, and Tangos. I will also choreograph a performance piece for the 2002 Art for Life show under the direction of _____________ and ________________, and I will construct a one semester course in Spanish dance aimed at the high school aged students I will soon be teaching. This extremely enhanced knowledge base will not only help me in finding a teaching position when I graduate from Northern, but it will also give me the ability to pass on the art of Spanish dance to other people in the community. It is a beautiful dance style that very few people have studied. In fact, I did research in order to locate a less expensive flamenco studio in Illinois, and Ensemble Espanol was the only studio I could locate.

It is a personal mission of mine to spread cultural awareness. My work with ____________ will prepare me for the festival, while the classes will fully immerse me in the technique of all the regional dance styles. After the festival, my work with ____________ will prepare me to perform and to teach others. All of this will give me the opportunity to spread a truly beautiful culture that is so rarely seen in the United States.

Reasons for Attendance and Benefits from the Project

As Northern does not consistently offer courses in Spanish Dance, it is necessary to look towards other venues for such training. Although it would be preferable to study dance abroad, I would have to study dance in each region of Spain to get a training experience comparable to that which the festival offers. The Ensemble Espanol, which is in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, is now celebrating their 26th anniversary as a dance company of the same caliber as those I witnessed in Spain. It would be an honor to be able to work with them. I have included a list of the artists who taught at last year's festival, as this summer's information has not yet been finalized.

Although I am not pursuing a full dance minor at Northern, I now have 15 credits in the department from 7 different classes. I hope to accrue as much experience as possible so that I might be involved with the dance program at the high school I will work at in the future. I believe that it is a teacher's purpose to open as many different worlds as possible to their students. My background as a student of Spanish and German language and culture will facilitate this in the classroom, just as my background in diverse dance styles will aid me in the high school dance studio. This project will add infinitely more depth and diversity to my education at Northern.


January 25 - July 7: Weekly Spanish dance lessons with ______________ (1-2 hours per day).
______________ has already granted consent for these sessions.

July 8-21: Flamenco Dance Festival

July 30-August 15: Follow up sessions with _________________ and creation of a performance piece for the Fall 2002 Art for Life show and discussion for developing a Spanish dance curriculum.

August 18: Practice of performance piece for __________________ and discussion over finished curriculum plan for a Spanish Dance class including both cultural awareness education and dance instruction.

Project Budget

Justification for Funding

I am applying for this grant due to several financial constraints that will not permit me to provide the money for this experience on my own. The first is that my father lost his job last May, and with one brother in college and the other on his way, there isn't a whole lot left over for special opportunities. The second constraint is that I will be getting married in October, and I need to save money for the wedding and for our future. I will be living at home instead of at my apartment in DeKalb in order to keep the travel costs down ($330.00 will be saved through this measure).

Delineation of Costs

A. Travel and Program Costs

Mileage between NEIU and my home in Schaumburg at $0.20 per mile (map provided as evidence of mileage) $100.00
Food for full days away from home at $5.00 per day $50.00
Cost of the actual program of classes $630.00
Cost for parking at Northeastern for 10 days at $5.00 per day $50.00
Cost of private lessons from __________________ $150.00
Total Travel and Program Costs $980.00

B. Non-Personnel Costs

There are no requested Non-Personnel Funds.