Pre-professional conservatory teaches students about bullying prevention through ballet
Global Campus students explored bullying prevention through ballet, in a unique experience made possible by the Colorado Conservatory of Dance.
On April 25, students from the Performing Arts School on Broadway (PASB), Global Intermediate Academy, and Global Primary Academy watched dancers perform the ballet “The Crayon Box,” at the Mapleton Arts Center.
The ballet is a story about six crayons, each a different color, representing specific personality traits that affect how they communicate. Through their interactions, they teach and learn about important social-emotional skills that help people work together, understand each other, and communicate in a healthy and constructive manner. The performance introduced to students what it means to be a bully, target, bystander, and the silent majority.
For the younger Global Campus students, the performance taught them about bullying, supporting friends, and not being bystanders. For the middle and high school students attending PASB, the school’s director, Jackson Westenskow, said it was a model of telling an important message through movement and art, which they focus on as a school.
“For us, it’s not just learning how to be great actors, dancers, or theater technicians, but asking questions like, ‘how can we design performances that can relate to our community, tackle important subjects, and send a positive message?” he said. “Teaching young kids about something as heavy as bullying is tough, but it can be done through something like ballet, which is what we all saw today.”
This was the latest in a string of special performances PASB students experienced this school year. In September, they watched Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, part of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), perform “Romeo and Juliet.” Later students watched the musical “Xanadu,” at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the play “The Color Purple,” at the DCPA.
The Performing Arts School on Broadway will host a showcase on Monday, May 8, and the MAC, where students will perform pieces they have been developing throughout the year, all with a summertime theme.